Capitol Update

23 January 2016

Capitol Update: House Interim Charges, Part III

 

With the March 1st primary elections right around the corner, I want to remind everyone, if you have moved recently, or not registered previously, you must register to vote by February 1st in order to participate in the upcoming election. If you need to register, you may go to VoteTexas.gov, where you can find information on the process, or feel free to call my office and we would be glad to help you. As we all look forward to that, here is an update from your State Capitol…

 

School Board Appreciation Month

The month of January is School Board Appreciation Month, and I wanted to take a moment to thank our school board members. Local school district trustees tirelessly serve our communities by committing themselves to bettering our public schools, and for that, we all are grateful. If you know someone who serves on your local school board, please take the time to thank them for their service to your community and for their commitment to our children.

 

Advocating for Rural Transportation Needs  

With our state’s population continuing to swell, the Texas Legislature has responded by providing additional funding to meet our transportation needs.  As a result, much of the conversation and focus is centered around meeting the needs of the fast growing areas of the state.  Recently, I sent a letter to the members of the Texas Transportation Commission and the Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation reminding them of the importance of our rural state highways and Farm to Market roads and the impact they have on our state’s overall economy. There are over 80,000 centerline miles of state roadways in Texas, and over 65,000 of those miles are in rural parts of the state.  My hope is this letter will serve as a gentle reminder of how essential our transportation infrastructure is across rural Texas and that funding allocation decisions by the agency continue to be distributed fairly and equitably.

 

House Interim Charges: House Committee on Appropriations, Part 2

As we continue our look into the House interim charges, here is part two of the House Appropriations Committee. The Committee will take a deep dive into state contracting, and monitor the implementation of legislation passed last session that will make state contracting more transparent and accountable to the taxpayer. The Committee will also examine historical trends in the Texas Medicaid program, and propose policy initiatives designed to deter and eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse, while reducing cost and improving the quality of care for the participants.  The Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over education funding, on which I serve as Chairman, will review public education programs and make recommendations regarding many programs based on measurable performance and effectiveness. We will also review the funding formulas for community colleges and universities. Changes to these formulas could have a major impact on the community colleges and other institutions which are educating our students, and I look forward to working to improve access and affordability for all of our graduating students who will attend an institution of higher education.

 

Reminders

On February 3rd, we will be at the Leon County Courthouse from 9:00 am until 11:00 am, and then at the Madison County Courthouse Annex from 1:30 pm until 3:30 pm. Then, on February 17th the mobile office will be at the Houston County Courthouse Annex from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and then at the Trinity County Courthouse from 1:30 pm until 3:30 pm. We will wrap up the mobile office for the month at the San Augustine County Courthouse on February 24th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.   As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. We look forward to the opportunity to hear your concerns and help you navigate state government. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762 or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

 

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