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Lufkin, Texas – Every other year officials and organizations from Deep East Texas hold a “get acquainted” reception for their newly elected legislative delegation and state officials.  “This year it is especially important the region show its unity and get acquainted with newly elected state officials and legislators because of the turnover in Austin,” said President of the Deep East Texas County Commissioner’s and Judges Association, Jasper County Judge, Mark Allen. “The large number and variety of sponsors for the Deep East Texas Reception is an indication of the unity of our local governments, non-profits, the private sector, regional associations and social service organizations in our region.”

The 2015 Deep East Texas Reception is scheduled for the evening of Monday, January 12th at the Downtown Omni Hotel in Austin.  The legislative session begins the next day with swearing in ceremonies for legislators and state officials.

“After the state not imposing unfunded mandates on the counties and cities, one of the most pressing issues continuing to face East Texas is protecting our water and other natural resources,” said Angelina County Judge, Wes Suiter.  “With past droughts and population growth of Houston, Dallas and the Austin to San Antonio corridor, our region will need to work together to preserve our water rights!”

“The reception is a really good opportunity for us to network with statewide officials, legislators and agency heads,” inserted Lufkin Mayor Bob Brown.  “Lufkin is fortunate to have Trent Ashby representing it in the Texas House of Representatives.  He’s on some key committees and we need to keep the lines of communication open with him.”

“The legislative process in Texas is intense because it only meets for five months every two years and it starts the state’s two year budget cycle,” said DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles.  “A record number of bills have been pre-filed for this session so we will have to work hard to see that those promoting the growth and development of Deep East Texas get considered.”

Officially the reception is to honor the State Officials and Legislators from the Deep East Texas area.  A special presentation of “Deep East Texas Legislator of the Year” is scheduled to be made to U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert for his work on behalf of the people of Deep East Texas.  State Senator, Robert Nichols, a past recipient of the award, will make the presentation.

The sponsors for the 2015 reception include the Deep East Texas County Commissioners and Judges Association; the Deep East Texas Council of Governments; the Burke Center; the Texas Forestry Association; East Texas Support Services; Polk County; Jasper County; Tyler County; Houston County; Nacogdoches County; Angelina County; Shelby County; San Augustine County; Newton County; Trinity County; the City of Lufkin; the City of Nacogdoches; the City of Jasper; the City of San Augustine; Stephen F. Austin State University; the Lower Neches Valley Authority;  First Bank & Trust East Texas; Deep East Texas Foundation; David J. Waxman, Inc.; Ray Van & Associates; McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC; Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLC  and the Acadian Ambulance Service.

The Deep East Texas Reception is scheduled for Monday, January 12th from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Omni Downtown Hotel at 700 San Jacinto Boulevard in Austin.  Everyone from Deep East Texas is invited to attend.  Anyone needing information concerning the event may contact the Deep East Texas Council of Governments in Jasper at 409-384-5704.

Photo:  Representatives of some of the sponsors of the Deep East Texas Reception talked about the issues of interest in the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature.  Getting to know the new Governor and Lt. Governor, water rights, unfunded mandates for cities and counties, transportation and education topped the list.  Shown are (from left) Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) President, Angelina County Judge, Wes Suiter;  Lufkin Mayor Bob Brown; Linda Parker, Aide to State Representative Trent Ashby and President of the Deep East Texas County Commissioner’s and Judges Association, Jasper County Judge, Mark Allen.


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