Capitol Update: Veteran Bills
Memorial Day is upon us, and I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of our veterans. Your sacrifice and dedication to our country has enabled us to continue to pass the torch of liberty and freedom. In light of the Memorial Day season, I thought it would be appropriate to update you on some of the legislation passed last session benefiting veterans and to take a dive into the House Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
During the last legislative session, a major priority for the Texas House was House Bill 19, which created a network of state mental health services for veterans and their families. The bill was designed to create a collaborative program between state health agencies, the Veterans Commission, and local and community healthcare providers to meet the needs of our veteran population. I believe this state network will ultimately be a welcome relief to those seeking services, and who might be struggling with the VA.
Another important bill for veterans was HB 721, which allows disabled veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent or more to receive a waiver for the cost of a state hunting and fishing license. This common sense bill is just another way to help our veterans, and I was proud to support this legislation.
House Interim Charges: House Committee on Defense and Veterans Affairs
This week in our series on the House interim charges we will be covering the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs. Over the course of the interim, the Committee will explore how environmental, technological and architectural encroachment impacts the vital missions of our Texas military bases and how the state can protect these bases’ core missions while maintaining respect for private property rights and economic growth.
The Committee members will assess ways the State of Texas can further aid federal military installations and their communities to minimize any negative consequences of a potential Base Realignment and Closure round by the federal government. In addition to this, the Committee will analyze and identify any unnecessary, redundant or punitive barriers that exist for Texas veterans pursuing higher education or occupational careers upon completion of their military service. It will then study and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to allows veterans to receive maximum college credit for their service related training.
The mobile office will hit the road for the month of June starting on June 1st at the Leon County Courthouse from 9:00 am until 11:00 am and then at the Madison County Courthouse Annex from 1:30pm until 3:30 pm. After that, on June 15th, we will be at the Houston County Courthouse Annex from 9:00 am until 11:00 am and then at the Trinity County Courthouse from 1:30pm until 3:30 pm. The mobile office will wrap up the month at the San Augustine County Courthouse from 9:00 am until 11:00 am on June 22nd. We hope to see you there!
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.