Capitol Update: Budget Writing and Committee Assignments
It was a busy week at your State Capitol, as the House and Senate worked diligently to make up for the previous week’s work that was missed due to icy conditions in Austin. One highlight from the week was seeing some familiar faces from House District 9 at the State Capitol. I had the pleasure of welcoming friends from our local electric cooperatives, members of the Texas Farm Bureau and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and a number of local community leaders from Tyler County. I also had the opportunity to present a resolution honoring the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas and recognized the tribe from the House Floor for their day at the Capitol. It’s such a privilege to help make constituents feel welcome at their State Capitol and having the opportunity to interact with folks from back home while working on their behalf at the Capitol is one of the most fulfilling parts of the job.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…
The workload at the Capitol is starting to increase, as members of the Senate Finance Committee began the budget-writing process by inviting state agencies to provide testimony on their Legislative Appropriation Requests (LARs), which outline each agency’s “wish list” of programs and initiatives for which they’re requesting funding. Members of the Committee have the opportunity to ask questions of each agency to help inform the Senate’s final budget proposal, and this process will be repeated in the House Appropriations Committee in the coming weeks.
As you may have heard, the Speaker recently released his highly-anticipated committee assignments for the 88th Legislative Session. I was fortunate to be appointed as the Chair of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism, which has jurisdiction over our state parks, the regulation of hunting and fishing, historical sites, and the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office. The Committee also oversees a number of state agencies, such as Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Commission on the Arts, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the State Preservation Board. The Speaker also sought fit to reappoint me to the House Transportation Committee, where I will have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of rural Texas to improve our roadway infrastructure and ensure that we’re receiving equitable infrastructure funding from the state.
I’m grateful to the Speaker for providing me with the opportunity to serve House District 9 through two committees that specialize in policy areas that are vitally important to our region. I look forward to working on your behalf in both committees, as well as through my work in other policy areas, to deliver meaningful results that will allow the folks in my district to continue to thrive and prosper.
The mobile office is on the road again and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: February 15 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9:00-11:00 am, or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30 pm. March 1 at the San Augustine County Courthouse from 9:00-11:00 am; March 8 at the Polk County Commissioner’s Court Room in Livingston from 9:00-11:00 am, or at the Tyler County Courthouse in Woodville from 1:30-3:30 pm;
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.