John Whitmire, ChairThis group will handle all the issues that on the House side are divided into three different panels (Corrections, Public Safety, and Criminal Jurisprudence).
Kel Seliger, Vice-Chair
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
The only change from last session: Houston Sen. Dan Patrick replaces Dr. Robert Deuell; all the other members stayed the same. Patrick's addition should liven up the festivities, since he and Sen. Carona (not to mention Chairman Whitmire) had their share of run-ins last session on the senate floor.
Though the Texas prosecutors' association named him their "Freshman of the Year" in 2007, besides proposing the occasional, pro forma enhancement, I've never noticed Sen. Patrick taking a particular interest in law enforcement beyond immigration issues, which are a personal hobby horse for him.
Deuell's departure, however, to my mind, represents a significant loss. As a medical doctor, he alone on the committee took a keen interest in correctional health care issues, which are a mess right now with the prison hospital in Galveston still closed after Hurricane Ike. He was able to question medical staff about the details of their operations in a fashion I doubt any of the other members can replicate.
With TDCJ health costs rising and medical officials telling the Lege they were already "close" to providing unconstitutionally poor care before a hurricane tore up UTMB Galveston's medical facilities, Deuell's expertise will be missed.