House Representative

Johnson, Eric

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/25/2013

Rep. JOHNSON FILES BILLS TO HOLD STATEWIDE POLICYMAKERS DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE TO VOTERS

REPRESENTATIVE ERIC JOHNSON FILES BILLS TO HOLD STATEWIDE POLICYMAKERS DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE TO VOTERS

AUSTIN, TX – Representative Eric Johnson (Dallas) has filed legislation calling for the direct election of both the insurance commissioner and the commissioner of education. These powerful positions are currently appointed by the Governor, and thus insufficiently responsive to the will of Texans.

"Insurance rates in Texas continue to be among the highest in the nation, and our education system has been subject to dramatic and unwieldy shifts in policy," said Representative Johnson. "I believe that the direct election of those in charge of these policy decisions would provide a mechanism for the voters to be directly involved in them, which would lead to better results for our state."

House Bill 682 requires that the insurance commissioner, currently a gubernatorial appointee, become an elected position. The commissioner would serve 4-year terms.

House Bill 683 requires that the commissioner of education, currently a gubernatorial appointee, become an elected position. The commissioner would serve 4-year terms.

Both the insurance commissioner and the commissioner of education wield an extraordinary amount of power in matters affecting the everyday lives of people across the state. Despite the enormous impact the decisions of these policymakers have on Texans, they are not directly accountable to the voters. This legislation is meant to change this disconnect, so that when it comes to education and insurance policy, the leaders of our state are more responsive to the will of the people.

Eric Johnson represents District 100, which includes parts of Dallas and Mesquite, in the Texas House of Representatives. During the 82nd Texas Legislature, he served on the House Committee on Higher Education and the House Committee on Appropriations as well as the interim House Committee on Manufacturing. He also served on the Joint House and Senate Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency.

Contact: Richard Griffin
512-463-0586