- We may not have seen any Texas teams play in the Super Bowl, but Texas did have a hand in the halftime show. Kaufman native Nick Florez choreographed the dance routine for Katy Perry and her two-legged shark friends.
- The Senate Finance committee has started its daily meetings in order craft its version of the budget. Chair Jane Nelson has implemented a vigorous timeline with the intent to wrap up the committee’s work in the next four weeks.
- Committees have not been named in the House as of the writing of this memo. Depending on your perspective, this is terrific news-or not.
- Governor Abbott announced the restructuring of the divisions of Economic Development and Tourism. The Texas Film Commission, the Texas Music Office, the Women’s Commission and the Workforce Investment Council will now report to the Director of Economic Development. The following appointments in those offices were also announced:
- Bryan Daniel, Economic Development and Tourism Division Director
- LaChristian Taylor, Women’s Commission Director
- Brendan Anthony, Music Office Director
- Associate Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Kirk Cole has been named Interim Commissioner as the state searches to replace Commissioner David Lakey. Dr. Lakey has accepted a position with the University of Texas System and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.
- The University of Texas endowment surpassed Yale University as the second-wealthiest institution in U.S. higher education. According to an annual survey the endowment for the UT System topped $25 billion. Other Texas schools like A&M and Texas Tech also top the list.
Only in Austin:
The Capitol is hosting some cold-blooded characters this week. The Sweetwater Jaycees are in town for their annual visit to the Capitol, bringing over a dozen venomous friends with them! The Jaycees aim to promote their yearly rattlesnake round up and teach visitors about one of Texas’ most iconic animals. Ssssssss……