Capitol Update

04 March 2016

Capitol Update: The Texas Border

The primary election is behind us, and Spring is now just a couple of weeks away. With the kids out of school, I know many folks will be traveling for spring break. If you will be visiting Austin or even just driving through, please don’t hesitate to call my Capitol Office to set up a tour. We will be glad to schedule you a tour of the Capitol, State Cemetery or any other state landmark in the area. Now, the latest from your State Capitol…

Important Hearings Regarding the Border
 
Over the next few weeks, there will be a couple of important hearings regarding border issues in the both the House and the Senate. On March 8th, The House Committee on Energy and the House Committee on International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs will hold a joint hearing to investigate opportunities that would encourage commerce with Mexico in the oil and gas industry. This is a critically important economic issue, as the oil and gas industry affects every sector of the Texas economy. Opening up markets for Texas energy companies to sell their products to Mexico will produce economic growth across the state and create jobs right here in East Texas.

In addition to that hearing, the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security will meet on March 23rd to study local government efforts to secure their border communities and identify areas where the state could invest to bolster local law enforcement infrastructure and activities. These types of partnerships with local governments will have an enormous impact on the issue of border security. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this hearing and working with my colleagues in the Legislature to help make our border as safe and secure as it can be.

House Interim Charges: House Committee on Corrections
 
The Committee on Corrections, which has jurisdiction over matters relating to probation, parole, and our state prisons, will be looking to improve our correctional system by eliminating inefficiencies and producing better outcomes for our state. First, they will study the major causes of recidivism, or reoffending by those who have already been through the correctional system. As the Committee studies recidivism, they will review programs utilized by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for incarcerated persons and compare these programs to those used in other states in hopes of identifying best practices across the nation. The Committee will then study inmate release policies to strengthen the transition process from prison back into the community and identify any legislative changes needed to accomplish the goal of improving this transition process.

Reminders
On March 16th the mobile office will be at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9:00 am until 11:00 am, and then at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30 pm until 3:30 pm. The mobile office will wrap up on March 23rd at the San Augustine County Courthouse from 9:00 am until 11:00 am. We hope to see you there!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. We look forward to the opportunity to hear your concerns and help you navigate state government. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762 or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

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