As we near the 30-day mark on a government shutdown in Washington D.C., the Texas Legislature is gearing up for another productive legislative session. As I drove into Austin for opening day, I was reminded of how fortunate we are in Texas to have a part-time Legislature that must work together over only 140-days to address the critical needs of our state. It is truly an honor, and one that I do not take lightly, to serve as your elected voice in Austin.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…
The 86th Texas Legislature Convenes
As we do each January in odd-numbered years, the Texas House and Senate recently met in Austin to begin another legislative session. With the first week out of the way, people from all across Texas convened at their State Capitol to celebrate the second inauguration of both Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Leading the swearing-in ceremony was newly elected Speaker of the Texas House, Dennis Bonnen of Angleton. Held on the north side of the Texas Capitol, the celebration of this occasion included a fighter jet flyover, a performance by The Fighting Texas Aggie Band, an appearance by Chuck Norris, and an array of policy proposals from our state leaders.
With so much division seeping into politics in recent times, it was refreshing to hear Texas’ chief executives speak of unity as a means to achieving our common goals. At the top of everyone’s list: the need for lower property taxes and reformation of our broken and inequitable school finance system. In addition, Abbott and Patrick noted the need for better roads, skilled workers, streamlined regulation to help complete critical water projects, and increased funding for trauma services in rural areas – something I hope to address with legislation of my own this session.
No matter which party is in control, the leaders of the Texas Legislature have proven that governance can and should come before petty politics. During the ceremony, members of both the Republican and Democratic Party highlighted the need to work together, and reiterated their trust in the current leadership to let them vote in a manner that puts the unique needs of their districts first and foremost. This, to me, is what serving in the Legislature is all about – the opportunity to be a voice for those in my district who elected me to promote and protect their interests.
The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following date, in the following location: January 23rd at the San Augustine County in San Augustine from 9-11am.
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.