Hancock gets traditional freshman razzing on Senate floor

Posted Thursday, Apr. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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AUSTIN -- Freshman Sen. Kelly Hancock was scolded, ridiculed and reprimanded by his colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday -- and he took it all with smiles and laughter.

It was the traditional hazing that lawmakers mete out to freshman members when they try to pass their first bill. After three months in the Senate, Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, faced his turn when he asked fellow senators to pass a bill to let law officers at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport use sirens and flashing lights when conducting escorts.

Hancock's North Texas colleagues hammered him with faux criticism as they complained that the former House member hadn't consulted them before trying to subject their constituents to lights and sirens.

"You're saying you don't respect your elders -- is that what you're saying?" said Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, with a prosecutorial glare.

"Absolutely I do," Hancock responded good-naturedly. "And I'm learning to do that more and more each and every day."

West asked Hancock whether he planned to speak with Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

"I look forward to her leadership on this as well," Hancock said.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, whose district also neighbors Hancock's, pointedly told the freshman senator that "we have a tradition in the Senate that we respect each other's district."

But the hazing backfired on Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, when he sought to describe Nelson as a "senior senator" but called her a "senior citizen."

Nelson quickly turned to the embarrassed Eltife.

"I was going to direct all of my wrath to the freshman, but ... Sen. Eltife, I'm saving some of that for you" Nelson said.

Dave Montgomery is the Star-Telegram's Austin bureau chief. 512-739-4471

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