Biography of Jane Nelson
Jane Gray Nelson (born 5 October 1951) is a businesswoman and former teacher who represents Texas Senate District 12, encompassing parts of Denton and Tarrant counties. She was elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving two terms on the State Board of Education, where she led the fight to correct more than 5,000 factual errors in school textbooks.
Senator Nelson, the first Republican woman to chair a major Senate committee, serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, which shapes policies for the state's health care programs, protective services, the foster system, services for Texans with disabilities, public health, public hospitals and Texas' health care work force.
Senator Nelson also serves on the Senate’s Finance Committee, where her most recent legislative accomplishments include SB 7, an omnibus health care efficiency bill passed in the special session to streamline the delivery of health and human services; expand protections against fraud and abuse; and publicly report information about acquired infections, errors and preventable readmissions. This bill implemented many of the provisions needed to achieve $3 billion in savings to balance the health and human services budget.
She also championed legislation to redesign Child Protective Services; strengthen rights for wards in guardianship; protect nurses from retaliation for reporting patient safety concerns; protect drivers from exorbitant toll road fees; publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic "fracking"; establish a pharmacy school at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth; and expand protections for stalking victims in Texas.
She was named one of the Top 10 most effective legislators this decade by Capitol Inside; a Fighter for Free Enterprise by Texas Association of Business; a Legislative Freedom Fighter by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility; Big Voice for Little Texans by Texas CASA: and the Child Advocacy Award recipient by the Texas Pediatric Society.
Senator Nelson and her husband, Mike Nelson, have five adult children and four grandchildren. (soon to be 5!)