January 13, 2007
Freshman state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, got a plum assignment late Friday as vice chairman of the influential Senate Transportation Committee.That puts him in a key position to help guide Austin’s transportation solutions during the next six years, a plum spot for a first-time senator.It also means that both of Austin’s senators now sit on the committee. The transportation committee has oversight over all transportation planning and policy issues, and is considered a key legislative pane.Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, is the chair. Other members include Sens. Kim Brimer, R-Fort Worth; Rodney Elllis, D-Houston; Robert Nichols, R-Houston; Florence Shapiro, R-Plano; Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso; Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio (including parts of western Austin and Travis County), and Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands.Other committees to which Watson was assigned: Business and Commerce, Jurisprudence, Nominations, plus the Subcommittee on Emerging Technology and Economic Development.