I’d like to start this week’s column by highlighting a group that brightened my week by inviting me to their legislative conference in Austin. I had the opportunity to speak in front of over 1,000 retired teachers at a luncheon this past week and I cannot express to you how encouraged I was by their energy and enthusiasm. The Capitol was flooded with retired teachers the following day, all engaging with legislators and urging them to support our schools and teachers. On that note, here’s what’s happening in Austin…
I recently had the opportunity to lay out one of my bills before the House Committee on Higher Education. The bill helps our local community colleges by clarifying common practice and would help promote workforce continuing education programs. I was pleased to have my dear friend and President of Angelina College, Dr. Mike Simon, come to Austin to testify in front of the committee to help drive home the importance of continuing education in preparing students to enter the workforce. The bill was left pending in committee and I anticipate that it will be voted on in the very near future.
I’d like to briefly mention that the House Appropriations Committee took a big step this week by unanimously passing our version of the budget out of committee. As a member of the Committee, and after two full months of countless hours of hearings, I can personally attest to how hard my colleagues and I have worked on preparing a thoughtful and responsible budget. The budget will be brought to the House floor next week, where undoubtedly hundreds of amendments will be offered, and then it will be voted on by the entire body. Stay tuned!
Texas Hospitality Scholarship
I’d also like to make everyone aware of a scholarship opportunity that the Texas Hospitality Association (THA) is promoting. THA will award a total of $10,000 in educational scholarships to four 2017 Texas High School Graduating Seniors who submit the winning artwork for posters to be used in the fight against underage drinking. THA will reproduce, display, and distribute the posters as part of its statewide alcohol awareness page. For complete details on the poster contest, visit www.TexasHospitalityAssociation.com or contact my office.
The mobile office is back on the road in April and looks forward to seeing you around the district! Here’s this month’s schedule: April 5th from 9am – 11am at 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 April 19th 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 April 26th from 9am – 11am at the San Augustine 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.