Senator Ellis has passed over 600 pieces of legislation and is recognized nationally for his leadership on increasing greater access to college for high-achieving Texas students, championing criminal justice reforms to protect the innocent and hold the guilty accountable, and fighting to provide quality affordable health care to the most vulnerable Texans, and many other issues.
Senator Ellis is the proud founder of the Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP). Since TLIP’s inception, it has become the largest legislative internship program in the state and has provided over 500 young people the opportunity to develop hands-on skills while making a difference in Texas politics and public policy.
Senator Ellis is the current Chairman of the Senate Committee on Open Government, which investigates how to improve the transparency of state government. He is a member of the Senate State Affairs, Natural Resources, and Transportation committees. In past sessions, he chaired the Senate Finance, Jurisprudence, Government Organization, and Intergovernmental Relations committees.
In 1999 and 2000, Ellis served as Acting Governor of Texas for a record fifty days and was the official Lieutenant Governor of Texas for 7 days, 7 hours and 31 minutes.
Senator Ellis is also successful in the world of business and international relations. He is a partner in Rice Financial Products, Inc., and has been a pivotal leader in assisting many African nations as they continue to transition from the regimes of the past to more modern, responsive governments. He also played a key role in helping Mexico ratify the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Senator Ellis currently serves on the University of Texas School of Law Foundation Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Board of Directors, and the board of the Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation. He also chairs the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project, Inc. of New York, and co-chairs the Commission to Engage African Americans on Energy, Climate Change, and the Environment.