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  • Trent Ashby

Capitol Update: Interim Charges

Following each legislative session, the Texas Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House assign interim charges for corresponding committees to study topics and develop strategic plans to guide future policymaking in the Texas Legislature. Recently, the Texas House received interim charges, and committees will soon begin holding hearings to monitor the implementation of legislation passed during recent sessions, gather input from interested parties and citizens, and make policy recommendations for the next session.


Given the recent release of interim charges, I thought it would be informative to dedicate a portion of my subsequent columns to a brief examination of each House Committee and the work they’ll be doing over the interim leading up to next session.


With that, our first two committees will be the House Committee on Business & Industry and the House Committee on Land & Resource Management.


House Interim Charge: Business & Industry

The House Committee on Business & Industry has jurisdiction over several state agencies, including the State Office of Risk Management, the Division of Workers' Compensation of the Texas Department of Insurance, and the Texas Mutual Insurance Company Board of Directors. Over the interim, members of this Committee will study the impact of increased housing prices and rent caused by private companies purchasing residential properties and examine the rising number of fraudulent property deeds.


Additionally, the Committee will monitor the implementation of House Bill 4, the Texas Data Privacy and Security Act, which strengthens the right to privacy protections against data and technology companies. HB 4 also requires companies with access to personal data to provide an opt-out provision for users and further requires companies to delete any individual data they retain.


House Interim Charge: Land & Resource Management

The House Committee on Land & Resource Management has jurisdiction over the School Land Board, the Board for Lease of University Lands, and the General Land Office. Over the interim, members of this Committee will study factors affecting the availability and affordability of housing in Texas. As part of their study, they will examine state and local laws impacting supply and demand for housing, barriers to construction resulting from zoning practices, and the availability and costs of housing inputs.


Additionally, the Committee will monitor the implementation of legislation passed during the 88th Legislative Session related to building codes, property development, and zoning ordinances.


Tyler County US HWY 69 Expansion

The Texas Department of Transportation has scheduled two upcoming public meetings to solicit feedback on the US 69 expansion project in Tyler County. Be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • Tuesday, June 4, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kirby Gymnasium, on the Wheat Elementary/Woodville Intermediate Campus of Woodville ISD, located at 507 Kirby Drive in Woodville

  • Thursday, June 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Campus of Warren High School, in Warren


Input from the community is a critical part of the planning process, and will ultimately be used to determine the route and location of the project. I want to encourage all Tyler County residents to participate in the public comment process by attending one of the upcoming meetings, or by submitting comments online. You can submit your comments by emailing bmtproject@txdot.gov or through the online portal at https://engagetxdot.mysocialpinpoint.com/us-69-woodville-colmesneil


The mobile office is on the road again in June, and our District Director looks forward to seeing you on the following dates at the following times: June 5 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9-11 a.m.; June 12 at the Polk County Commissioner's Courtroom in Livingston from 9-11 a.m. and the Tyler County Commissioner's Courtroom in Woodville from 1:30-3:30 p.m.; and June 19 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9-11 a.m. and the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30 p.m.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762 and my Capitol office may be reached at (512) 463-0508. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what's happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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