Editorial

08 November 2021

Capitol Update: News from Austin

After nearly 10 long months of legislative sessions, finally being home in the district is like a breath of fresh air. Since returning from Austin, I’ve been overwhelmed with a sense of comfort and community that can only be found right here at home. Whether visiting with constituents about local issues, attending cross country meets, or fixing downed fences on the farm, it’s refreshing to get back to a normal routine. To that end, I look forward to reconnecting with everyone as I make my way through the district to make up for lost time.

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

Capitol Update

The statewide constitutional amendment election has come to a close, and Texas voters overwhelmingly approved all eight of the proposed amendments. As you may know, the constitutional amendments on the ballot are the result of the State Legislature approving the measure by at least a two-thirds vote in both chambers; 100 votes in the House and 21 votes in the Senate. This year, voter turnout was about 3% lower than the previous 2019 constitutional amendment election.

On the topic of elections, Governor Abbott recently appointed a new Secretary of State, John Scott. As Secretary of the State, the position is responsible for administering elections, maintaining public filings, and advising the Governor on issues related to the Texas-Mexico border. Until the Legislature reconvenes, he will serve as interim Secretary of State, awaiting his confirmation by the Senate.

Prior to a regular legislative session, the Comptroller releases a Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE), which outlines how much money the Legislature will have available in the state’s two- year budget cycle. Upon completion of a legislative session, the Comptroller must then release a Certification Revenue Estimate (CRE), which takes into account the money the Legislature appropriated during the session. With the Legislature finally adjourned after several special sessions, Comptroller Hegar recently released the most recent CRE, which reflects an economic rebound from the negative effects of COVID-19. Even after accounting for the revenue appropriated during the 87th Legislative Session, Texas’ economy has outperformed expectations, with current estimates reflecting a $25 billion budget cushion when the biennium
ends in 2023.

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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