Editorial

08 March 2021

Capitol Update: Vaccines for Teachers and Recently Filed Bills

The document creating the Republic of Texas turned 185 years old this week. On Tuesday, March 2nd, 1836, fifty-nine Texas delegates signed the handwritten Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos, declaring themselves free from Mexico. As we reflect on our beginning, I’m reminded of the saying that Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Some would argue it’s a mystique closely approximating a religion. To be certain, Texans have always prided ourselves in our state’s independence, but also our personal independence. This year, Texas Independence Day will be remembered in history as the time we battled an invisible enemy, persevered through a historical storm, and stood together to help our neighbors. May we always remember and celebrate our beloved Texas by showcasing our state pride and continuing our work to make the Lone Star State the best that she can possibly be today and always. God bless Texas!

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

Capitol Update

I recently filed two bills to address the concerns expressed by numerous constituents regarding a proposed oil and gas disposal facility in San Augustine County that is currently being considered by the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC). House Bill 2006 ensures that local officials are not blindsided by commercial oil and gas disposal facilities by requiring applicants, such as PA Prospect, to provide notice of their application to river authorities and groundwater conservation districts in the affected area. The next bill, House Bill 2201, codifies current RRC practices so that the agency can take recent flood history into account when considering applications for commercial oil and gas disposal facilities. This is necessary because the current law only requires examining the 100-year floodplain.

In recent news, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directed states to expand vaccine eligibility to teachers and others who serve the children in our school system. Many teachers and administrators have contacted my office urging the state to include them, along with others in the education system, for vaccine allocation and distribution. I am very pleased with this announcement as our teachers and staff should never have to put themselves at risk in order to educate and care for our youth.

Finally, as you may know, Governor Abbott announced that Wednesday, March 10th will mark the end of the mask mandate and state restrictions on Texas businesses. I have heard from many in our district on both sides of this issue. No matter your position, I encourage everyone to remain thoughtful and conscious of your health, as well as the well-being of those around you, as we move towards fully reopening Texas for business.

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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