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These are the Texas lawmakers who will make up special committee in wake of Uvalde shooting

Governor Abbott requested that the committee discuss solutions related to school safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety.

TEXAS, USA — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday evening announced the state lawmakers who will make up a special legislative committee requested by Gov. Greg Abbott in the wake of last week's mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

“In response to Gov. Abbott’s request today, as President of the Texas Senate, I am naming the following members to the Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans:

  • Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, Chair
  • Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, Co-Vice Chair
  • Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, Co-Vice Chair
  • Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston
  • Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury
  • Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels
  • Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen
  • Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Tyler
  • Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock
  • Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas
  • Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo

“Chairman Nichols is an engineer by profession, Sen. Creighton is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Higher Education and Sen. Kolkhorst is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services," Patrick said in a press release. "These three leaders have the experience and knowledge to lead this important committee. The committee members also represent a cross section of school districts and communities of all sizes across the state."

Notably absent is State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Uvalde and interrupted a press conference the governor was giving last week to request a special legislative session to enact common sense gun legislation. 

"It's a slap in the face of the people of Uvalde. It's also a slap in the face to the people of Santa Fe and El Paso because they don't have a voice on this committee either. This is just a stall tactic from Governor Abbott," Gutierrez said. "We already know what happens we know why it happens, and we know what needs to be done to stop it from happening the next time. We don't need another Blue Ribbon committee. We need a special session so that we can start crafting common-sense solutions right now that are going to keep our kids safe."

It's important to note that this is not the special legislative session that Gutierrez requested, just a committee to discuss five different issues: school safety, mental health, social media, police training and firearm safety.

RELATED: Abbott calls for special legislative committee after Uvalde school shooting

“I have asked Chair Nichols to hold his hearing on June 23 or a date shortly thereafter," Patrick said in the press release. "I want to give the families and the community of Uvalde time to complete all funeral services before beginning hearings so those who wish to testify may take part. I have asked Chair Nichols to coordinate with the House of Representatives Chair to hold their hearings on the same date, if possible, to accommodate both invited and public witnesses."

“Before creation of this committee, last week, I sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, Mike Morath, to request an extension through the end of the next legislative session for applying for school safety grants, which were set to expire on May 31. There is still nearly $14 million in the fund that schools could still request. The letter can be found here."

“We will also be working with Attorney General Paxton’s office to ensure payments from the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, once approved, are expedited," he said. “All of us working together is the answer. Now is not the time for politics. It is all about doing all we can so that we never see another tragedy like this happen again in Texas.”

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