With only 140 days in a regular legislative session in Texas, time is precious. This week, we pass the 40-day mark leaving less than 100 days to complete our business for the 28 million plus citizens who are blessed to call themselves Texans. Though each session is always a marathon, the first few weeks seem like a sprint, as lawmakers familiarize themselves with new committees, members, and issues. That said, with the amount of work we have ahead of us, the adjustment period is over and it’s full steam ahead.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol. . .

Meetings, hearings, and East Texans at the Capitol: This week, I met with Governor Abbott for an in-depth discussion about reforming our broken school finance system and providing much needed relief to skyrocketing property taxes across the state. We had a very productive discussion, and both agreed that these issues should be at the forefront of the work we do this session. While the devil is always in the details, I’m encouraged by the conversations that are taking place. It’s refreshing to hear the bipartisan support for improving our public schools and enacting reforms to our existing property tax system.

The House Committee on Public Education was hard at work this week, spending more time in the hearing room than any other committee in the Legislature. We heard testimony from various experts and superintendents from across the state about the distinct challenges that face the 1,000+ different school districts across Texas. I was delighted to have one of the Superintendents from House District 57 – Lacy Freeman of Buffalo ISD – come before the committee to share his unique perspective on what the state can do to promote greater equity in funding and academic success statewide.

The highlight of my week though was getting to see so many constituents make their way to our State Capitol. I had the pleasure of meeting with teachers, students, nurses, business owners, ranchers, and industry representatives from every corner of House District 57. It always warms my heart to see folks from back home come to Austin to advocate for the issues they’re passionate about. As I’ve always said, the best way for me to know that I’m representing my district is to have constituents call or come by my office to voice their opinion. I’m hopeful that I will get to see many more familiar faces over the coming weeks and months.

Reminders: The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: February 20th at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9:00-11:00am, or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30pm; and finally, on February 27th, at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9:00- 11:00am.

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.