Senator Ellis has passed more than 630 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, amongst 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, providing more than 650 young people the opportunity to develop hands-on skills while making a difference in Texas politics and public policy.
Senator Ellis is a member of the Senate Committees on State Affairs, Business & Commerce, and Transportation. In past sessions, he chaired the Senate Committees on Finance, Jurisprudence, Government Organization, Intergovernmental Relations, and Open Government.
In 1999 and 2000, Ellis served as Acting Governor of Texas for a record fifty days whenever then-Governor George W. Bush and then-Lt. Governor Rick Perry were both out of the state at the same time. Ellis also served as the official Lieutenant Governor of Texas for 7 days, 7 hours and 31 minutes after Governor Bush resigned and Lt. Governor Perry became governor.
Ellis is a senior advisor in the Public Policy and Regulation practice group for Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Ellis 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 chairs the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project and co-chairs the National Conference of State Legislatures Task Force on International Relations. He also serves on the National Conference of State Legislatures Executive Committee, the LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees, the University of Texas School of Law Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Council on Foreign Relations.