This past week was a busy one at your State Capitol with lots of constituent visits, office meetings, and a variety of resolutions being considered on the floor. As the House eagerly awaits committee assignments to be announced by the Speaker, here’s the latest update on what’s happening in Austin . . .
State of the State
Governor Abbott delivered his State of the State address to lay out his agenda for the 85th legislative session. In his address, he declared that the State of Texas remains “exceptional,” and expressed his optimism that the state’s economy would bounce back, as it always has, after this most recent downturn in the energy sector. The Governor also declared four issues as emergency items for legislators to take up immediately: banning sanctuary cities, overhauling the state’s child welfare system, implementing ethics reform and approving a resolution to support a Convention of the States to amend the U.S. Constitution. Designating an item as an emergency by the Governor is significant because it allows the House and Senate to immediately begin work on these items and not wait for the 60-day benchmark to elapse before a bill is considered by both chambers. I look forward to working with legislators in both the House and Senate, as well as Governor Abbott, to take action on these important issues.
Meetings and Engagements
Rural electric cooperatives from around the state made their way to Austin to meet with lawmakers and discuss their legislative priorities for this session. I had the opportunity to meet with over 20 cooperative board members from across East and Central Texas to hear more about what they’re doing to serve their communities. Although the legislative session is still in the early stages, knowing their priorities is extremely important to helping them and their cooperative members.
The Texas Farm Bureau invited me to speak as a panelist at their legislative summit to discuss private property rights in Texas. My panel consisted of members from both the House and Senate and the conversation was very productive. I enjoyed engaging in an open dialogue with both my colleagues, and members of the audience, about the importance of strengthening eminent domain laws for affected landowners.
The mobile office is back on the road in February and looks forward to seeing you around the district! Here’s this month’s schedule: February 1st from 9am – 11am at the Leon County Courthouse in Centerville or from 1:30pm – 3:30pm at the Madison County Courthouse Annex in Madisonville. You can also visit us on February 15th from 9am – 11am at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett or from 1:30pm – 3:30pm at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton. Finally, you can 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.