Within her first 18 days in the position, Julia Rathgeber was able to obtain the Senate’s approval.
Although Julia Jeffrey Rathgeber has only just been appointed the Texas Insurance Commissioner, she was able to do in only 18 days what the previous person in that position wasn’t able to do in her entire 140 days of the regular legislative session.
The vote was held on Friday and it has now been announced that the Senate has given its approval.
The vote was held by the Senate Nominations committee in order to move forward with Rathgeber’s nomination. This was to allow the 48 year old new appointee to become the head of the Texas Insurance Department. It was a unanimous vote, at a count of 6 to 0 in favor of Rathgeber. It took precisely 20 minutes to complete the entire process.
This has allowed the position of the Rathgeber as the Texas Insurance Commissioner to become truly official.
The home senator of the appointee, State Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) had the privilege of introducing Rathgeber to the panel. He explained that the Texas Insurance Department requires a candid and intelligent leader to regulate the industry. He added that “We need to have a good strong commissioner of insurance,” and that “Julia Rathgeber has those skills.”
At the time, State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) addressed Rathgeber and asked her about the challenges that she anticipates having to face from the Texas insurance industry. Rathgeber pointed out that both consumers and businesses in the state have been paying very high premiums and stated that she will work to make certain that the department is equipped with both the technology and the tools to keep up with the current pace of the industry.
A lawyer by trade, Rathgeber also stated that the Texas insurance department is facing some challenges internally, as the average age of the regulating agency is 46. “We have some challenges with succession planning,” she said to the senators. She also added that she plans to work alongside Deeia Beck, the consumer advocate in the state, from the office of Public Insurance Counsel, and with trade groups.