Seliger looks ahead to special session

Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo
Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo

Amarillo, Texas

by Larry Lemmons

Kel Seliger says the legislative session is a great time but it's good to get home.

He's comfortable returning to the business where he's worked for 32 years.  Lake Steel sells steel.

The District 31 Senator was re-elected to his second term last year.

Although the Governor will decide what will be covered in the upcoming summer special session, authorizing legislation for five state agencies must be considered.

Seliger says, "Under certain circumstances, if we don't pass that legislation those organizations can just completely go away. And they can't. We have to have those. We can always approve them but they...we have to have them. We also failed to authorize 2-billion dollars in bonds that the voters approved in 2007."

He says he's happy about the budget the legislature passed and other successes in the session just finished.

"A bill that would allow school districts to abate property taxes, a part of them, for economic development. Which is an important economic development tool. And that was a tough one to get passed. And then House Bill 469, which is going to provide incentives for clean coal plants."

He's also happy that some things didn't pass.

"Sometimes legislatures accomplish a lot by what they don't do. There were 7,000 bills filed.  1700 of them passed. People in the state of Texas don't need all those."

Unfortunately, he says, many Senate bills died in the last days of the session in the House while some legislators attempted to hold off a vote on Voter ID.

"We got through this session without passing any significant water legislation, which is a shame because we're going to have a lot of water challenges in the entire state of Texas, but I think particularly in the Texas Panhandle over the next two years before we go back in session.