Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst on Monday named State Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa to the Legislative Budget Board.

Created in 1949, the LBB is primarily responsible for developing a draft appropriations budget at the beginning of each legislative session. The board also establishes a constitutional spending limit each session.

As a permanent joint committee of the Texas Legislature, the LBB develops budget and policy recommendations for legislative appropriations for all agencies of state government. Hinojosa's appointment bodes well for South Texas.

He is currently vice chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

This appointment enhances Hinojosa's already significant influence on the state budget-writing process.

Hinojosa expressed his appreciation for the appointment and stressed the need to improve fiscal discipline in Texas.

"Governor Dewhurst continues to place his trust in my judgment and capacity to be a part of the Senate's finance team," he said. "This appointment, along with my vice chairmanship of Senate Finance, brings a Coastal Bend and South Texas perspective to Texas' fiscal management. The current economic picture requires us to be even more prudent in how the state's wealth is invested.

"I plan to continue Texas' dedication to a disciplined approach to maximize the return on the taxpayer's investment."

Hinojosa also sits on the Sunset Advisory Commission.

The Commission reviews state agency performance, making recommendations to improve efficiency or abolish agencies that are no longer fulfilling their core missions.

This latest appointment to the LBB rounds out Hinojosa's top-to-bottom view of state government.

"Being vice chair of Senate Finance and serving on the LBB gives me direct access to crafting the state's budget," Hinojosa said. "My seat on the Sunset Commission gives me the opportunity to reshape key state agencies.

"I'm truly fortunate at this point in my career to be entrusted with so much responsibility."