TAC is honoring Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) as a Friend of County Government for his leadership during the 85th legislative session. He was presented with his award at the Midland County Commissioners Court on Jan. 11. “I am very honored by this award. I will continue to fight for smaller government and local control,” Seliger said.
He went on to emphasize that the role of federal and state government is to support local government and that preserving decision-making authority in local communities is in fact what produces a smaller, more efficient and accountable government.
Seliger was chosen for his leadership throughout the session protecting the right of Texans to govern themselves locally. His outspoken stance against revenue cap bills in the regular and special sessions put him at odds with a number of his colleagues but was important to exposing the detrimental impact that a revenue cap could have. His efforts to preserve decision-making authority at the local level ensures counties can continue to best serve their local property tax payers.
“It’s good to have friends, and Sen. Seliger has proven himself a true friend through consistent support of local governance and local decision-making,” TAC Legislative Director Paul Sugg said. “Sen. Seliger knows that local control is about trusting local officials to be able to make the best decisions for their county and their constituents. He understands that property tax payers benefit from local control, not state-imposed one-size fits all plans for Texas’ 254 diverse counties.”
Seliger knows local government from the inside. Before his election to the Senate, he served four terms as mayor of Amarillo and was a member of the Amarillo City Commission and the Amarillo Civil Service Commission.
He was first elected to the Senate in the 2004 special election. His district, District 31, encompasses 37 counties in the Panhandle and West Texas. He is serving as the chair of the Higher Education Committee. He also sits on the Select Committee on Government Facilities, and the Education, Finance and Natural Resources & Economic Development committees.
The senator has served as vice chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice and International Relations and Trade committees. He has also been a member of the Joint Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee.