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Deep Cuts in the Heart of Texas? The 82nd State Legislature Examined

The LBJ School of Public Affairs and its research centers analyze policy issues likely to be hot topics of the next session in a variety of forums

AUSTIN, Texas-- December 1, 2010-- Through multiple events following the November elections, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and its research centers offered forums of analysis for media, policymakers and practitioners to lend their expertise to predictions for the 82nd Texas state legislative session.

On Nov. 4, the Center for Politics and Governance (CPG),  Citizens for State and Local Service (CLASS), and the CenTex Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) presented “Election Wrap-Up: What’s Next for Texas?” featuring political journalists offering their analysis of the Nov. 2 races and their predictions for Texas.

The panel, moderated by LBJ School Lecturer, CPG Interim Director, and former Texas State Representative Sherri Greenberg, included: Paul Burka of Texas Monthly; Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News; Elise Hu of the Texas Tribune, and Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report.

The panel was part of the Center’s State Policy and Politics Initiative, which includes coursework related to the state legislature, the Center’s internship program, and a broad range of state-specific programs and events designed to facilitate the success of Texas state policy and politics.

For an event wrap-up, visit:

On Nov. 12, Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School Lecturer, CPG Interim Director, and a former state representative, moderated the panel “Hot Topics in 2011: A Look at the 82nd Texas Legislature,” featuring Lloyd Potter, official state of Texas demographer, Michael Brandl from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, and Steve Bickerstaff, professor from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law. The panel was part of the "New Politics Forum Post-Election 2010 Debriefing and Conference," a collaborative effort of CPG, The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation, The New Politics Forum and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

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From Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, The University of Texas at Austin and the LBJ School of Public Affairs collaborated with the offices of the Texas speaker of the house and lieutenant governor on the presentation of the 20th biennial “Pre-Session Legislative Conference,” an orientation for new members of the state legislature instituted in 1970.

As part of the four-day orientation, the LBJ School of Public Affairs will hosted an open session on Dec. 3, focusing on health and transportation policy issues, each likely to be major topics during the 82nd legislative session. LBJ School Dean Robert Hutchings provided opening remarks for the Friday session.

The open session was composed of two policy panels. The first panel focused on health care and included: Senator Judith Zaffirini, Representative John Davis, Representative Lois Kolhorst, Commissioner Mike Geeslin of the Texas Department of Insurance and Commissioner Tom Suehs of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. University of Texas at Austin Professor and Vice Provost for Health Affairs William Sage moderated the panel.

The second panel focused on transportation and included: Senator Kirk Watson, Senator Tommy Williams, Representative Armando Martinez, Representative Larry Phillips, Representative Joe Pickett, John Barton of the Texas Department of Transportation and Chairman Deirdre Delisi of the Texas Transportation Commission. Randy Machemehl, the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Centennial Professor in Transportation Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, moderated the panel.

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On Dec. 3, CPG and the The Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) co-hosted “The 82nd Legislature: Preview of Hot Topics,” a panel discussion of important issues facing Texas including health and social issues, immigration, human services, the state budget, and the impact of redistricting.

The panel featured Eva DeLuna Castro, Senior Budget Analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities; Jamie Dudensing, Senior Advisor for Budget and Policy for the Office of the Lt. Governor; Sherri Greenberg, CPG Interim Director, LBJ School Senior Lecturer and former State Representative; and Representative Lois Kolkhorst, Chair of the House Committee on Public Health.

This event was the latest in CPG's State Policy and Politics Initiative and was an extension of the CHASP mission to support events that offer critical analysis of significant health and social policy issues.

For more information, visit: