Otto receives three key appointments
Big Thicket Messenger - September 2007
State Representative John Otto (R-Dayton) recently announced he has been appointed to serve on three major committees, two of which have nation-wide overview.
He has been named to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Budgets and Revenue Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for 2007-2008. William T. Pound, NCSL Executive Director, appointed Representative Otto to the position of Vice-Chairman of the Budgets and Revenue Committee. NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. They provide research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. NCSL is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies.
“I am honored to be named as Vice-Chairman of the Budgets and Revenue committee of NCSL,” said Representative Otto. “The Committee studies a variety of federal and state policies with fiscal implications, including funding for services and programs, budget processes, tax and revenue systems, legislative oversight, unfunded mandates, and state local fiscal relations.”
“The idea behind NCSL is that together, as legislators from around the country, we can discuss a variety of important issues, learn what other states are doing, see what has been successful, and bring those ideas back to Texas. It’s always helpful to learn from others, then, if possible, apply those specific ideas to Texas,” added Otto.
In addition, Representative Otto was named by Speaker Tom Craddick to serve on the Select Committee on Higher and Public Education Finance. This committee has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the coordination of public and higher education policy toward the goal of improving college and workforce readiness.
“This is an important issue to me,” said Representative Otto, “and I thank the Speaker for choosing me to serve as a member. I want all young adults leaving high school to have a chance at a future, which allows for a good job at a decent wage. Whether they choose to attend a major university, a community college, enter the workforce, or do some combination of the three, every child deserves the opportunity to choose their future, and we as a state need to do our part to prepare them for that.”
The Select Committee’s jurisdiction includes examining the efficiency and effectiveness of state programs and initiatives to further student achievement, reviewing and aligning formula and non-formula funded programs with each other and with the educational goals of the state, reviewing and developing strategies for better leveraging and deploying federal funds, and reviewing and developing strategies for state obligations under the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan.
“My work on the House Appropriations Committee, specifically the Education Subcommittee, has given me a more detailed knowledge of this process. There is plenty of room for improvement, and I aim to do just that,” said Otto.
Additionally, Representative Otto was named to serve on The Energy Council, a legislative organization with membership ranging from South America to the Arctic Ocean. United by a common interest in energy resources, the elected legislators of the Council participate in the formation of energy policy at all levels.
The legislators who serve are chosen because they are leaders in energy matters and are also leaders of their legislative bodies, as well.
The themes which will be woven through the conferences are: energy plans and policies in a global economic and geopolitical contest: technological advances throughout the energy supply chain, shaping policy development, and the environmental impacts of energy use, and the value of energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, as well as carbon capture and sequestration.
“I look forward to serving with these leaders from across North America, studying energy related issues,” said Representative Otto. “We need to explore what energy options are available to us, and which make sense for Texas as we move further into the 21st century.”