The powerful Senate Finance Committee that writes the Texas budget will be chaired by a woman for the first time.
Republican state Sen. Jane Nelson received the appointment Thursday. She has served in the Senate for two decades and takes over the budget at a time when spending is already looking to be a major issue in the Legislature next year.
Tea party-backed Republicans who dominated primary races this spring have promised less spending and property tax relief. But lawmakers are also confronting calls for more money to boost border security and build new roads.
Nelson replaces Tommy Williams, who left the Senate last year to take a job at Texas A&M University. She remains chair of the Health and Human Services Committee until a replacement is named.