AUSTIN — Today, Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) released this statement on the conclusion of 87th Legislative Session:
Monday was the final day of what many are calling “the most conservative session in Texas history.” In 140 days we protected the sanctity of life by banning abortions when a heartbeat is detected, built upon our state’s strong foundation of supporting the Second Amendment by allowing Texans to carry a holstered handgun without a permit, and increased funding — now to over $1 billion — to protect our southern border with Mexico.
Additionally, the Legislature passed many reforms to make certain our electrical grid does not again fail to meet the needs of Texans when they need it most. These accountability measures for electric providers, combined with changes to the makeup of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), are in direct response to Winter Storm Uri and seek to ensure Texans won’t experience catastrophic infrastructure failures the next time we have a major weather event.
I was especially proud to have been the author of House Bill 5, expanding access to high-speed internet in Texas. This landmark bill will soon be signed by Governor Greg Abbott, who deemed the legislation an Emergency Item in his biennial State of the State address in February. In the state budget, I offered two key amendments that made their way into the final version of the Senate Bill 1. One will boost funding for rural hospitals by over $120 million, while the other provides a pay raise for state law enforcement officers for the first time in almost ten years. Finally, I was pleased to sponsor and pass legislation that provides sustainable funding for our state’s specialty courts, and to have worked with the Texas Forestry Association on a bill for Certified and Insured Prescribed Burn Managers so they aren’t run out of business by frivolous lawsuits.
Still, though, there’s more to be done. I look forward to returning to Austin later this summer to help pass legislation that will protect the integrity of the ballot box and guarantee dangerous criminals are not released from prison because of our broken bail system. These two priority items from Governor Abbott represent common sense reforms that should be passed quickly so Texans feel confident when they cast a vote and safer in their communities.
Trent Ashby is in his fifth term as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Representative Ashby currently sits on the House Committees on Appropriations and Transportation and represents a six-county region which includes: Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine, and Trinity Counties.