JACKSON – Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves today announced the appointment of new chairmen for two of the Senate’s top committees by naming Sen. Terry Burton to lead the Energy Committee and Sen. John Polk to lead the Universities and Colleges Committee.

“I appreciate the service of these senators as they take on additional duties in these new roles,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said.

Sen. Burton, R-Newton, will lead the 15-member Energy Committee, which oversees legislation related to the oil and gas industry, public utilities and other energy needs. The committee was created by Lt. Gov. Reeves in January to emphasize the state’s focus on energy-related economic development. Sen. Burton replaces Merle Flowers, who resigned July 11 from the Senate District 19 seat.

“The energy sector is a critical growth area in our state’s economy, and Sen. Burton brings legislative and economic development expertise to this new role,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “I appreciate his service as Chairman of the Energy Committee.”

“Mississippi is well-positioned to be an energy leader with our strong resources in natural gas, biomass and new technologies, including solar industry manufacturing,” Sen. Burton said. “I look forward to leading the Energy Committee and playing an aggressive role in shaping the state’s energy future.”

Sen. John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, will move to chairman of the 13-member Universities and Colleges Committee, as current chairman Sen. Burton takes on his new role. Sen. Polk previously served as vice chairman of this committee.
“In his first year in the Senate, Sen. Polk has proven to be a knowledgeable leader who is eager to tackle any issue,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Through his experience as a successful businessman, he understands the role our universities and community colleges play in attracting better jobs and shaping the state’s future.”

“Our universities and community colleges are the backbone of Mississippi’s economic success because they train our workforce,” Polk said. “As chairman, I will continue to strongly support universities and community colleges so they can meet the demands of a high-skilled labor market.”

Other committee vacancies will be filled after the Nov. 6 election to fill Senate District 19.

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves