It’s been a very busy week at the Capitol, so let’s jump right into what’s happening at your State Capitol. . .
Lufkin – Angelina County Day
Recently, we celebrated Lufkin/Angelina County Day in Austin. Many of you made the long drive to Austin to be with us for this special occasion, and I can’t thank you enough for making this day such a huge success. Recognizing this distinguished group of constituents from the floor of the Texas House was a highlight of the session thus far, and I want you to know how proud it makes me to be your State Representative.
I hope that all of my constituents in House District 57 know how much we appreciate seeing you in Austin and we encourage you to make your way down to actively engage in the political process. If my office can ever be of any assistance – coordinating a tour of the Capitol, helping set up meetings with other members, or any other request – please reach out to us and we’d be more than happy to help accommodate you.
Budget Hearings Begin
Budget hearings started bright and early this past week, as my colleagues and I made our way into the House Appropriations Committee room for the first hearing of the 85th legislative session. The Appropriations Committee met three days this past week and heard from a number of agencies about their budgeting priorities and requests. While the first few meetings will start with a high level view of available resources and suggested expenses, the weeks and months to follow will narrow in focus and scope.
As the Appropriations Committee breaks down into smaller subcommittees, it is my distinct honor to continue serving as the Article III Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman for this session. Article III is tasked with constructing the public and higher education portion of the Texas budget. Although our available funds are much tighter than we have had in previous years, I am confident that my fellow legislators and I will produce a responsible and balanced budget that reflects the priorities of our great state.
Meetings and Engagements
Over the past several weeks, I have participated in a number of talks with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Texas Farm Bureau regarding strengthening private property rights. This past week those conversations moved forward as we continue looking into various courses of action that the Legislature may take to ensure that we are strengthening eminent domain laws for affected landowners. The dialogue has been very productive and I appreciate having the opportunity to discuss issues that are so close to home.
The mobile office continues to move around the district this month. Come see us on February 22nd from 9am – 11am at the San Augustine County 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.