Capitol Update

04 December 2015

Capitol Update: House Interim Charges

 

Too often during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and focus our attention on material gifts. This year, I hope you will be mindful of the one gift that everyone desires, and yet, only you can offer. Your time.  Make it a priority this Christmas season to invest some of your time in a child, a neighbor, a coworker, or even a complete stranger.  Take time to offer help to someone in need. Go visit a shut-in or a nursing home.  True joy comes from giving and loving one another.  Here is a quick look at what’s happening in your state capitol…

 

Texas House Hearing on Sanctuary Cities

This month, the Texas House of Representatives State Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing to investigate sanctuary cities in Texas. Sanctuary cities are those that do not enforce federal immigration laws. There has been much discussion, both in Austin and across the country, regarding this issue and what role the states play in making sure our immigrations laws are not being selectively ignored by certain municipalities.  Our country is a nation of laws, and it is critical that every governmental entity upholds the laws of the land. I believe that through this hearing both the Legislature and the public will gain a better understanding of the reality of the current situation, as well as be able to discuss ideas for meaningful solutions to address this problem.

 

House Interim Charges: House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock

After every session, the Speaker of the House releases the interim charges, which give direction to each House committee to study various issues leading into the next legislative session. These studies will be critically important for the Texas House as we prepare for the coming session. In light of how important these studies are, I will be starting a new series walking through the various interim charges that the House Committees will be studying. We will start our series looking at the House Interim Charges for the Agriculture and Livestock Committee. First, the committee will evaluate policy challenges to the state’s agriculture and livestock industry, including the long-term impacts of price declines in oil and natural gas; the availability of water necessary to conduct agricultural operations, and how to prepare for potential future natural disasters, such as drought or disease.   Another critical task for the committee will be to determine the sources of water used in agricultural production, and to examine the current water delivery methods and water conservation goals for agricultural use. The committee will evaluate whether there are more efficient and effective water-usage management practices that could be employed in the industry. Another interesting study for the committee will be to evaluate ways Texas can continue to promote our domestic agricultural products, both nationally and internationally, and to strengthen our state’s international ties for the purpose of exporting these products. In addition to these studies, the Agriculture and Livestock Committee is tasked with overseeing and monitoring all of the state agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction, and to oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature.

 

Reminders

The mobile office will be taking the month of December off during the Christmas season. If you are in need, please know that my office is always just a phone call away, and we always appreciate your input and are ready for the opportunity to help you navigate state government. 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.

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