AUSTIN, Texas – More than a dozen issues will be covered by leading lawmakers and recognized experts from across the political and ideological spectrum when the Fourth Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature kicks off on Monday.

Hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the event draws large crowds interested in discussing the pressing concerns before the state.

The Policy Orientation will be January 9 and 10, and a limited number of seats are available. Online registration and a complete schedule of events is available at

Highlighting the Policy Orientation will be keynote addresses, in order of appearance, by:

  • House Speaker Tom Craddick,
  • Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell,
  • Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst,
  • Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and
  • Texas Tax Reform Commission Chairman John Sharp.

    The issues being covered this during this year’s panel discussions include: tax fairness; spending limitations; education spending; school choice; teacher pay; eminent domain; telecommunications; homeowners’ insurance; Medicaid; health care; transportation; criminal justice; and, water.

    Among the legislators serving on panels are:

  • Sen. Florence Shapiro
  • Sen. Jeff Wentworth
  • Sen. Ken Armbrister
  • Sen. Kyle Janek
  • Sen. Steve Ogden
  • Sen. Tommy Williams
  • Rep. Beverly Woolley
  • Rep. Bill Keffer
  • Rep. Carl Isett
  • Rep. Dan Gattis
  • Rep. Dianne Delisi
  • Rep. Harold Dutton
  • Rep. Jerry Madden
  • Rep. Jim Keffer
  • Rep. John Smithee
  • Rep. Mike Krusee
  • Rep. Phil King

    Other panelists include:

  • Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams
  • Texas Department of Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson
  • Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin
  • Texas Public Utility Commission Chairman Paul Hudson
  • Dallas County Judge Margaret Keliher
  • Dr. James Leininger
  • Michael Stevens, Governor’s Business Council
  • J.E. “Buster” Brown
  • John Fund, Wall Street Journal
  • Scott McCown, Center for Public Policy Priorities
  • Barry Poulson, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Scott Bullock, Institute for Justice
  • Larry Casto, City of Dallas
  • Kevin Ward, Texas Water Development Board
  • Ron Kaiser, Texas A&M
  • Ann de Llano, Texas ACLU
  • Rob Kepply, Texas District and County Attorneys Association
  • Michael Cannon, Cato Institute
  • Jim Frogue, Center for Health Transformation
  • Alan Levine, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
  • Charles Van Eaton, Bryan College, Tennessee
  • John Goodman, National Center for Policy Analysis
  • Donna New Haschke, Texas Classroom Teachers Association
  • Jay Greene, University of Arkansas
  • Brock Gregg, Association of Texas Professional Educators
  • Ray Gifford, Progress and Freedom Foundation
  • Jerry Ellig, Mercatus Center
  • Pascal Forgione, Austin Independent School District
  • Eric Hanushek, Hoover Institution
  • Patrick Brockett , University of Texas
  • Ernst Csiszar, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America