Earlier this afternoon, State Senator Kel Seliger held a town hall meeting at Howard College’s Center Hall Center for the Arts. At the meeting, the senator spoke on the recently completed regular and special sessions of the 85th Legislature and answered questions from the audience.
When asked what the purpose of the event was, Senator Seliger stated, “I do town hall meetings in all of the counties I represent, 37 of them, to report to the people who gave me this job and who send me to Austin to find out what they think of the job we do in Austin and to find out what they think we ought to do in the future.”
Senator Seliger is a Republican member of the Texas State Senate representing District 31, which spans 37 counties from the Panhandle through the Permian Basin. He was elected in 2004 and currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and is a member of the Senate Education Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development.
Senator Seliger has been recognized by many groups for his conservative principles as well as his dedication to small government and local control. He has been named a Fighter for Free Enterprise by the Texas Association of Business four times for his steadfast support of policies that encourage and promote a healthy business climate in Texas. Seliger is privileged to be the recipient of the Texas Municipal League Legislator of the Year Award, Texas Conservative Coalition's Conservative Champion Award, Texas Association of Counties Friend of County Government Award, Texas Wildlife Association's Conservation Hero Award, the Conservative Roundtable of Texas' Effective Conservative Lawmaker, and the Texas Parent Teacher Association Legislative Honor Roll.
During the 85th Legislative Session, as Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Senator Seliger secured an additional $1.07 million in funding for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin College of Engineering, which will be used to expand the chemical and electrical engineering programs. Additionally, $4.2 million is provided to UTPB as a hold harmless, to ensure the school does not lose more than 10 percent of its state funding. Senator Seliger also succeeded in securing $4.17 million for Texas Tech University's future Veterinary Medical School.
As part of his continued service on the Education Committee, Seliger authored Senate Bill 463, a bill that extends the option of Individual Graduation Committees for students who passed all of their courses, but failed to pass up to two state-mandated tests.
Chairman Seliger and Representative John Smithee championed House Bill 1463 to reduce frivolous lawsuits and aggressive shake-down tactics related to the Americans with Disabilities Act that harm small business in Texas. Together Smithee and Seliger also passed Senate Bill 654, which will help improve access to health care in rural and medically underserved parts of Texas.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Senator Seliger served four terms as Mayor of Amarillo and as a member of the Amarillo City Commission and the Amarillo Civil Service Commission.
He and his wife Nancy reside in Amarillo, and have two sons, Jonathan and Matthew.
(Texas State Senate Official Website)