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As we begin this new year, I want to thank everyone for allowing me the privilege of serving everyone in House District 32 (Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces and San Patricio Counties). It was truly an honor for me to return to the Texas Capitol as your State Representative in 2009. As many of you will recall, I served as the State Representative for District 32 from 1989-1997. Upon my return to the legislature, I recognized quickly that new times brought new challenges both for the state and for our coastal area.
During the 81st Legislative Session, I was named Chairman of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. This proved to be an important appointment for the Coastal Bend as our area had not had a leadership role as a Committee Chairman for many years. The Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee handled one of the largest workloads of any standing House committee during the 81st Session. I also served on the Insurance Committee, which was critical to affecting legislation on windstorm insurance, one of the most important issues facing the coast.
During the past year and a half I have been travelling around the district hosting town hall meetings in order to get public input on an idea which I am very passionate about – the cruise industry. Hearing from the members of our communities has been a very important part of the overall process. One of the next steps in the process is the forming of working groups. If you are interested in being a part of one of these groups, please contact either my Capitol or District Office.
On January 11, 2011 the 82nd Legislative session will begin and I want to take this opportunity to invite you to join us in Austin for the opening day ceremonies. The 82nd Legislature will be sworn in that day at noon. For those who are able to make it, we will have closed circuit television set up in my Capitol Office at E2. 808 and at the Doubletree Hotel located at 303 W. 15th Street to watch the swearing in.
As we begin the 82nd Legislative Session there are some important websites that you can use to follow the Texas Legislature, as well as the bills that are filed and working their way through the process. Those websites are:
• The Texas Legislature
• The Texas House of Representatives
• The Texas Senate
These three sites can be used to track and follow legislation, look up contact information for current Representatives or Senators, or even view live online footage of the respective chambers or committee hearings. Additional sites of interest during the session are the Governor’s office at www.governor.state.tx.us and the Secretary of States’ office at www.sos.state.tx.us , these sites can be used to follow bills as they make their way out of the Texas Legislature and head to the Governor’s office to be signed or vetoed, or the Secretary of State’s office to be placed on the November ballot.
I also wanted you to know that I look forward to working with and hearing from the people of District 32 on all the legislation that will come before the Texas House this coming session. As always if you have any questions, ideas or comments on any pending legislation, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. My offices are always available to you at any time to assist with those questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).