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With the primary elections around the corner, I want to remind everyone that early voting in Texas for the March 3rd Primary Election will begin on Tuesday, February 18th and end on Friday, February 28th. I always like to take advantage of the early voting period as the lines are often shorter, allowing for a quick and easy way to cast your ballot. For more information on early voting locations, what you’ll need to bring with you to the polling locations, or any other questions you may have, please call our office or visit votetexas.gov.

With that, we’ll dive back into our examination of the interim charges. . .

House Interim Charge: Agriculture & Livestock  

The House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock will have a busy interim, as the nine-member committee has been issued eight interim charges, including oversight of recently passed legislation. The House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock has jurisdiction over an array of agricultural and silvicultural matters ranging from livestock production to the development and preservation of our forests. This Committee also has purview over a number of state agencies, including the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

While the Committee has been charged with a number of issues to study, of particular interest to me and those I represent is the implementation of HB 3070, which relates to the popular grant program for volunteer fire departments. The Committee will monitor the process by which the Texas A&M Forest Service distributes grant funding to rural volunteer fire departments for emergency assistance. Volunteer fire departments provide such a critical service to our rural areas of the state, and I’m pleased that the Committee will be working to ensure that these funds are distributed fairly, equitably, and our VFDs have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.

The Committee has also been charged with evaluating TDA’s current preventative management practices concerning crop diseases and plant pests that negatively impact the financial security of farmers in this state. Members of the Committee will then make recommendations on how TDA can further aid this sector of our agricultural economy. Preventing crop diseases and plant pest infestations is of vital importance to not just mitigating financial losses for farmers, but to all consumers, as we all rely on a safe and stable food supply.

Reminders

The mobile office is back on the road in the month of February and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: 9-11 a.m. Feb. 19th at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett, or 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton. 9-11 a.m. Feb. 26 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.

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.