22 February 2022

Capitol Update: Continued Economic Growth in East Texas

Recently, our office was fortunate enough to see large groups from the district in and around the Texas Capitol. I want to remind you that we are always open and willing to meet with constituents or set up a tour of your State Capitol. So, whether during spring break in the coming months or sometime during summer vacation with your family, please do not hesitate to call if we can be of assistance.

While it’s always a pleasure to have folks from the district come to Austin, I’ve been hard at work back home making my way through the district to visit with constituents about what we accomplished in the most recent sessions and receive feedback about what issues need to be addressed during the 88th Legislative Session, which begins in January of 2023.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…

Capitol Update

Fueled by small business growth, the State of Texas continues to lead by example and serve as a model for economic resurgence in the wake of the pandemic. There are more than 3 million small businesses in Texas, representing more than 90% of all businesses and employing nearly half of the Texas workforce. When the Legislature convened for last session, supporting and keeping small businesses open was a top priority of mine. Working with my colleagues, I was pleased to serve as a coauthor of House Bill 7, adding protections to the Unemployment Trust Fund Account by giving businesses time to recover from unprecedented unemployment rates. This bill, now state law, helps maintain our state’s economic growth without placing a heavy burden on our small businesses. Texas will continue to lead the rest of the nation if we continue our work to advance policies that create opportunities, maintain a consistent regulatory climate, and promote economic expansion.

USA BioEnergy recently announced that the company, through its subsidiary Texas Renewable Fuels (TRF), will construct a new $1.7 billion advanced biorefinery in Newton County. The biorefinery will convert one million green tons of wood waste into 34 million gallons annually of premium clean-burning transportation fuel including Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Renewable Diesel, and Renewable Naphtha. With expansion plans in the future, the plant is expected to double the production capacity to 68 million gallons annually. The new biorefinery will create roughly 142 new jobs in and around Newton County, as well as generate an unprecedented amount of indirect jobs and opportunity throughout the East Texas region. Not only does this new project help generate growth and provide an additional market for forest landowners, but—perhaps equally as important—it sends a message to the world that our region of the state is open for business and ripe with opportunity.

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 be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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