As we approach the 183rd Texas Independence Day on March 2nd, it’s important to take a moment to appreciate how fortunate we are to live in a state that cherishes the values and beliefs we all hold dear. I recently had the pleasure of joining with hundreds of my fellow legislators, and many others, for our annual Texas Prayer Breakfast where we joined together in fellowship to pray that God continues to impart His infinite grace upon the Lone Star State. This breakfast served as a timely reminder of how blessed I am to serve, and how blessed we are as Texans, to live in a state that embraces our common values throughout the test of time.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol. . .
Meetings, hearings, and East Texans at the Capitol
The House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs had our first committee hearing this week, as we heard testimony from the Texas Military Department, the Texas Veterans’ Commission, and the Meadows Mental Health Institute. We had a very productive dialogue with leaders from each of these organizations, and discussed a number of issues we will seek to address, including operational improvements, increased access to mental healthcare, and better cooperation between the state and federal government.
We were delighted to once again welcome a number of constituents to their Capitol this week, including this year’s Leadership Lufkin class, FFA students from Madisonville and other schools from across East Texas, and lots of visitors representing the Texas Forestry Association and the Texas Farm Bureau. It was such an honor to recognize these groups from the floor of the Texas House with a resolution, and help facilitate meetings with other lawmakers to promote policies that are important to their cause and our region of the state.
On the legislative side, I recently filed a bill aimed at streamlining the water rights permitting process. This bill, House Bill 1964, will allow for landowners seeking to amend their existing water rights, to bypass burdensome application hearings if the requested change does not adversely impact other water right holders or the environment. This bill will not only allow for a more efficient amendment process, but will also help reduce the number of captious contested case hearings.
The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: February 27th at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9:00-11:00am.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.