Editorial

29 March 2021

Capitol Update: Protecting Our Water Supply and Increasing Law Enforcement Pay

He is risen! With the Easter season upon us, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a state where your Legislature begins every day bowing our heads in 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 ask for His wisdom and guidance as we make tough decisions about the future of our state. As we prepare our hearts and minds for Easter Sunday, I hope you and your family enjoy this season and join me in celebrating our risen Savior Jesus Christ and His victory over the grave.

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

Capitol Update

I was proud to present House Bill 2201 before the House Committee on Energy Resources recently. I filed this bill with Senator Robert Nichols to address the ongoing concerns that hundreds of you have raised with my office about the proposed facility by PA Prospect in San Augustine County. This bill ensures that the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) takes recent flood history into account when determining whether the location of a commercial oil and gas waste facility is appropriate. Codifying this regulation into state law will keep the RRC accountable during the permit application process for a facility that has the potential to be affected by the heavy rainfall we can experience from time to time across East Texas. HB 2201 is another reasonable step towards further protecting our precious water resource from contamination.

This past week, I proposed a rider to the state budget which would increase the pay for all state law enforcement officers. The base salary level for these officers has not been raised in nearly a decade, creating a significant gap between their compensation and that of other peace officers, especially in our metropolitan areas and larger school districts.

To that end, I am proud of the leadership in our state for their strong support of law enforcement and their determination to prioritize public safety over petty politics. As such, the House Committee on State Affairs heard multiple pieces of legislation concerning what actions could be taken on municipalities who choose to defund their police. Any cuts will ultimately lead to more crime and unsafe neighborhoods in the communities we live. We must continue to do all we can to support law enforcement in Texas through our actions at the State Capitol.

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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