Editorial

19 July 2021

Capitol Update: Legislature Brought to a Standstill

With COVID restrictions lifted statewide and summer vacations still an option before school gets started next month, I sincerely hope you and your family will consider making the trip to Austin for a history and civics lesson at your State Capitol. And with the Legislature in the midst of a Special Session, there’s no better time to see your government in action. As a reminder, my Capitol office is always open to you, and my staff is more than happy to show you around. We can arrange for a tour of the State Capitol or even give recommendations of places of interest in the area, such as the Governor’s Mansion, Texas State Cemetery, or the Bob Bullock State History Museum. Hope to see you soon!

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

Capitol Update

As you have most certainly heard by now, almost all Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives left for Washington D.C. on July 12th in a rarely used procedural move to prevent the House from conducting business. The next day, Speaker Dade Phelan used his authority to ‘put a call out’ for those members to be brought back by any and all means so that the members of the House can conduct business and honor their sworn oath to faithfully execute the duties of our office.

This tactic by Texas Democrats comes on the heels of several critical pieces of legislation already being voted out of their respective committees. One such bill would have provided a 13th check to over 400,000 Texas retired teachers, while another would have provided funding for the legislative agencies that help redraw political maps—a process mandated by the United States Constitution. In addition, the committee for which I am the Chairman, the Select Committee on Constitutional Rights & Remedies, met on a Saturday and Sunday for 23.5 hours. Without a break, our committee considered, took public testimony, and voted out common sense bills that would make our elections more secure and protect citizens from dangerous criminals released on bail.

Under these unusual circumstances, the House cannot act on these items or others to provide tax relief, secure the border, or enact meaningful reforms to our foster care system. Rest assured, however, I will be at my desk in the Texas Capitol every day waiting for the rest of the members of the Texas House to return to do the job their constituents elected them to do.

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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