He is risen! With the Easter season upon us, I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a state where your Legislature begins every day with a prayer. With all the hustle and bustle that surrounds the Capitol this time of year, it is so helpful to come to the Lord in reverence each day to implore his wisdom and guidance as we make tough decisions about the future of our state. I hope you and your family enjoy a long weekend of fellowship as we celebrate our Lord and Savior’s triumph over death. With that said, here’s an update on what’s happening in Austin…
The people’s House demonstrated our commitment to mental health this week by passing HB 13, which creates a $10 million per year matching grant program to support community mental health services and treatment. The bill allows both governmental entities and local non-profits to apply for these grants while also making provisions to ensure that these grants are available in all areas of the state. I am proud to have supported this legislation and I believe this measure will help improve mental health statewide.
I recently had the opportunity to lay out one of my bills before the House Committee on Land & Resource Management. This legislation was a cooperative effort from folks around my district and other interested parties seeking to address eminent domain abuse in Texas. Too often the process by which an entity with eminent domain authority negotiates a deal favors the condemning entity because of their ability to maneuver complex legal issues that landowners have little experience navigating. My bill, HB 3687, seeks to level the playing field between landowners and entities exercising eminent domain authority by providing common sense reform to the process by which a condemning entity negotiates a deal.
I’d also like to update everyone on another recent development. As you may remember, I filed HB 897, which would provide a sales tax exemption for religious organizations that rent or purchase trailers. That piece of legislation was passed out of committee several weeks ago and I am proud to announce that it was recently voted favorably out of the House. Although the bill still needs to pass in the Senate and be signed by the Governor, the overwhelming support of my colleagues in the House on this vote represents a strong step in making this bill become law.
The mobile office continues to be on the road in April and looks forward to seeing you around the district! Here’s this month’s schedule: April 19th from 9am – 11am at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett or from 1:30pm – 3:30pm at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton. You can also come see us on April 26th from 9am – 11am at the San Augustine Courthouse in San Augustine. 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, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.