Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Former Texas Transportation Commissioner Nichols is appointed to Texas Senate Committees on Transportation and Homeland Security

Nichols selected to serve on four Senate committees

January 16, 2007

From Staff Reports
Athens Review
Copyright 2007

AUSTIN — Freshman State Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, has been appointed to serve on four committees and one subcommittee during the current legislative session.

Nichols was elected in November to represent Senate District 3, replacing former Sen. Todd Staples, R-Palestine, who successfully ran for state agriculture commissioner after serving since 2001 as state senator.

Nichols will serve on the committees on Transportation and Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Nominations and on Intergovernmental Affairs, where he was named vice-chairman. He also will serve on the subcommittee on Evacuations and Flooding.

“This announcement is great news,” Nichols said. “These committees will allow me to capitalize on my knowledge and experience while giving me a greater opportunity to advocate for specific needs of Senate District 3.”

Prior to his election to state office, Nichols served two terms on the Texas Transportation Commission. He also holds 30 medical patents and has served on the board of directors at East Texas Medical Center and the Nan Travis Hospital Foundation for over 24 years.

“As a member of the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, my goals are simple but vitally important, keep Texans safe and keep Texans moving,” Nichols said. “An efficient transportation system is essential to a strong economy, and nothing is more important than protecting Texas from threats to our security.”

He asked to be put on the Health and Human Services Committee in order to help develop practical answers to problems facing the state’s healthcare system.

“I requested a seat on Health and Human Services because it is important to help Texans in need without creating disincentives for independence,” Nichols said. “Texans have a reputation for hard work and independence, but we also have great compassion. My philosophy for working on Health and Human Services is to combine the best of those traits.”

His background in community medicine gives him practical insight into the state’s healthcare needs, he said.

“Reliable and accessible healthcare is important to everyone,” Nichols said.

He also looks forward to bringing his years of service as a Jacksonville mayor, city councilman and member of the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation to his appointment as vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and its newly-created Subcommittee on Evacuations and Flooding.

“Hurricanes Katrina and Rita greatly affected District 3, and we will likely face similar stress and strain from storms and evacuations in the future,” Nichols said. “That disaster reminded the Legislature of the importance of communication on all levels of government, and I plan to use my experience as a mayor and commissioner to help develop the best solutions for our region.”

© 2007 CNHI: www.athensreview.com