Fall is officially here, many communities have festivals around the corner, and it seems most of us have completely settled into our autumn routines. Further west, the Capitol crowd is anxiously awaiting the release of the House and Senate interim charges in the next couple of months, as these determine what issues each committee will be studying as we prepare for the next legislative session. As we look towards this, here is an update from your Texas Capitol…
A Bill and Some Change
The State of Texas has faced a drought for the majority of the past 5 years, which in turn has strained the water supplies of large metropolitan areas like Dallas and San Antonio. During this past legislative session, we saw a number of bills filed which were aimed at addressing this urban water shortage. Unfortunately, several of these bills would have had dire consequences for East Texas and other rural areas of the state. For example, one bill would have undermined our regional water planning process by having a statewide water grid developed in Austin, and another would have completely eliminated the main protection in the law that East Texas has for protecting our existing water rights. These bills would have laid the ground work for large, urban areas coming to rural Texas and taking water from our river basins, without ensuring the communities along that basin and region are adequately compensated and treated fairly. I am proud to say our efforts to kill these bills were successful, but we must remain vigilant on these type issues as water is absolutely critical to our future growth, economic development, and success in this region.
Constitutional Amendments: Part 5 of 7
Continuing our seven part series, we will be taking an in-depth look at the fifth proposed constitutional amendment leading up to the constitutional amendments election on November 3rd, 2015.
Proposition 5 on this November’s ballot authorizes counties with populations of 7,500 or less to construct and maintain private roads if the counties impose reasonable charges for the work. This money received from private road work would then be used for construction and maintenance of public roads within the county. This added flexibility will help some of the most rural counties in Texas overcome their funding challenges and meet their transportation needs.
Additionally, it is important to note that if you have moved, or are not registered to vote, the deadline for voter registration is in less than two weeks on Monday, October 5, 2015. Early voting will be from October 19th through October 30th. If you have any questions regarding any of the proposed amendments, or on how to register to vote, please call my office at (512) 463-0508. We will be glad to help you navigate the process.
As September draws to a close our mobile district office has wrapped up for this month. Please stay tuned for the future dates when the mobile office will be coming to your county for the month of October. We look forward to seeing you!
Please do not hesitate to contact us at (936) 634-2762 or (512) 463-0508 if we can ever be of assistance, and remember that our door is always open.