As our nation observes the nineteenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that stole thousands of American lives, I hope we reflect on the selfless courage of the first responders who rushed into harm’s way to save countless others. Though we mourn the fearless men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice that solemn September morning, we must reaffirm our gratitude to all of the brave men and women who wear the badge today. Together, we can reclaim the spirit and unity that followed 9/11 and honor those who lost their lives. God bless their sacrifice; God bless their memory; and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
With that, here’s this week’s Capitol update. . .
With hunting season finally underway, sportsmen and women across the state can finally head to the field to enjoy one of our state’s most cherished pastimes. As folks started to obtain their hunting license for this year, my office received numerous calls from constituents who were required to provide an email address in order to purchase their license. While this was thought to be a consequence of recently passed legislation allowing hunters and anglers to purchase and obtain their license online or on their phone, many folks don’t have an email address and have never needed one in order to obtain a hunting license. My office promptly contacted Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) about this issue, as this requirement does not align with the spirit of its enabling legislation and places and undue burden on those wishing to obtain a valid license. I’m pleased to report that after expressing my concern with the new requirement to TPWD Executive Director, Carter Smith, TPWD has issued clarifying correspondence to all authorized license issuers in Texas so that sportsmen and women may continue purchasing hunting licenses without providing an email address.
If you’ve been keeping up with my columns, you know how strongly I feel about increasing access to broadband internet in underserved areas. Never has access to broadband been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has underscored the disparities between those households near broadband infrastructure and cellular service, and the over 800,000 rural Texans without access to either. As such, I’m proud to lead nearly 90 other state legislators in a bipartisan effort to establish a statewide broadband plan. By creating clear and achievable objectives, we can develop the infrastructure to increase broadband access for all Texans — particularly those who have been left behind thus far.
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.