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First Glance at Priorities for 82nd Legislature

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The Texas Legislature may only meet in regular session for 140 days every other year, but your lawmakers are continuously studying the issues important to Texas. Recently, House Speaker Joe Straus released his list of interim charges, which are topics divided amongst 31 different House Committees to be further studied so that new laws can be crafted that will improve upon Texas’ well being.

Interim charges are critical because they set the stage for what issues will be at the forefront of the next legislative session.  House committees will now begin meeting regularly and working diligently at examining these critical policy areas while looking for ways to better attain Texas’ goals and objectives.  One look at this list of interim charges reveals that your lawmakers will be spending the next year engaged in many issues that are of significant importance to you.  Here are some examples:

Examine ways to keep Texas’ Workforce and economy competitive – House Committee on Technology, Economic Development and Workforce.

Texas is home to perhaps the healthiest state economy and an unemployment rate that is a full two points below the national average.  However, during these challenging times, now more than ever Texas needs to focus on improving upon our current economy by creating new jobs and readying our workforce to meet Texas’ employment needs.  As the Vice Chairman of the Technology, Economic Development and Workforce Committee, you can be assured that these are the goals I will be working toward.

Examine ways to increase the creation of jobs in the Texas manufacturing industry – House Committee on Business and Industry.

The United States has lost more than 4 million manufacturing jobs since 2000.  Texas itself has lost over 200,000 manufacturing jobs.  It is incumbent upon the Legislature that we enact policy that will reverse this trend and revitalize the manufacturing base that is so vital to our economic prosperity.  I have previously filed legislation to incentivize the creation of manufacturing jobs and I look forward to continuing to work on this important issue.

Monitor the implementation of the pubic school accountability, college readiness, and other education reforms enacted by the 81st Legislature and recommend adjustments as needed – House Committee on Public Education.

Education is the key to readying tomorrow’s workforce.  It is imperative that we maintain a strong public education system that is accountable to taxpayers, is focused on fostering individual students’ talents and produces high school graduates ready to either attend college or directly enter the workforce.  So much of our current prosperity and our goals for the future hinge on a strong and effective public education system, and I am pleased that the Legislature will be looking closely at how to improve upon the system currently in place.

Evaluate the effectiveness of state operations at controlling drug-related crimes and other violence along the Texas-Mexico border – House Committee on Public Safety.

I have personally toured segments of our international border and assessed the resources available to secure this vulnerable region.  I can firmly say that while our brave law enforcement officers are working hard to secure our border and stop the flow of drugs and violence, more attention and resources are needed to achieve this goal.  That is why I have supported additional funding for border security operations historically, and why I am pleased this initiative will stay at the front of lawmakers’ minds.

For a complete list of interim charges, please visit www.house.state.tx.us.  As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I welcome any questions or comments you may have on this or any other critical state issues.  Please feel free to call my capitol office at 512.463.0688 or call the district office at 972.724.8477.  You can also send me an email at tan.parker@house.state.tx.us.  Additionally, please feel free to call and schedule an appointment with me or the first Saturday of every month I hold open office hours from 8 – 10am at my district office located at: 800 Parker Square, Suite 245,
Flower Mound, Texas 75028

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