Capitol Comments October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017
VOLUME III, ISSUE 27
Dear Friend,

This past month, Texas has shown resilience and fortitude through its response to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.  In the short term, droves of volunteers (including staff from my own office) helped the victims of Southeast Texas with needed supplies for the victims and the first responders participating in recovery efforts.  The Texas Department of Public Safety, the Office of the Governor, and several other state agencies banded together to coordinate emergency efforts.  The longer term effects from this storm will continue to impact the state as agencies’ budgets will need to be replenished.  Undoubtedly, the debate will continue to circulate over what course of action needs to be taken to help Texas rebuild.  Whichever direction is ultimately decided upon, it is important to continue to exercise fiscal responsibility while addressing the needs of the affected areas of the state.

Read on to learn about the goings-on in House District 65 and at the Capitol during the past month.  My office will keep you informed  on my House website, Facebook, or Twitter. It is an honor representing you.

In addition, in order to continue my work and keep standing for your conservative values down in Austin I must be re-elected. If you could assist my campaign by contributing $25, $50, $75, or even $100 by clicking here it would help immensely. Or you can always send a check made out to Ron Simmons Campaign and sent to P.O. Box 117567, Carrollton, TX 75011.

Best regards,
Ron Simmons
State Representative
House District 65

CAPITOL NEWS

Interim Charges
Though the 150 members of the Texas Legislature will not all convene again until January 2019 (barring a special session), the work of the Texas Legislature never ends.  Over the next year and a half, individual committees will meet to consider new ideas and issues pertaining to their subject matter.  Toward the end of the interim (near the beginning of the next legislative session), each committee will issue recommendations for legislative action based on these interim hearings.  Ideas for what each committee will study, called interim charges, are issued by the Speaker’s office after collecting interim charge requests from members.  As a member of the House Committees on Appropriations and Transportation, I submitted interim charge requests to study several items helpful to the state, including studying the uses of the Economic Stabilization Fund “Rainy Day Fund” and the impact of tollways in the state.
Hurricane Harvey Relief
I joined my colleagues from the Denton County House delegation in collecting supplies needed for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  My district office, located at the Sandy Jacobs Government Center in Carrollton served as a drop-off location for local residents to drop off supplies.  My Communications Director, Andy Forbes, oversaw collection of these items as my District Director, Ebony Wilson, had been activated for duty in the Air National Guard to assist with hurricane relief efforts.

My Chief of Staff, Zach Flores, met with Representative Tan Parker as well as volunteers from Peterbilt Motors to assist in dropping off items at an American Red Cross location in Beaumont, Texas.

I was proud to join my Denton County colleagues in collecting supplies for relief of our brothers and sisters in Southeast Texas and was amazed by the generosity of Denton County residents!

DISTRICT NEWS

TRS to Hold Local Information Seminars

TRS, along with its health plan administrators, is meeting with retirees across the state to inform and assist them with the transition to new premiums, medical and prescription plans that will kick in beginning January 1, 2018. Retirees in District 65 can RSVP to attend an information session held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lewisville on October 9, 2017, located at 785 Texas 121, Lewisville, TX by calling 1-800-850-1992. A morning and afternoon session is available.

Hebron Hawks Football Game

I was able to attend a home game that the Hebron Hawks played here in Carrollton. It was a lot of fun to interact with the students, teachers, coaches, and players as they shared their experiences with me. We have such high caliber students and athletes here in District 65. And best of all, the Hawks beat Plano West 51-3!

Grand Opening of Applegate Recovery

I was able to attend the grand opening of Applegate Recovery in Lewisville this month and share how opioid addiction has affected my family. They shared with me how they will be able to assist constituents in my district who struggle with addiction, and help them recover through counseling and medical treatment. I am so glad that with the national epidemic of opioid addiction that people will now have a location in my district to assist those who need it. More information can be found on their website at www.applegaterecovery.com
Many District High School Students Among National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Nearly 600 high school seniors from public, private and charter schools in North Texas were named as National Merit Semifinalists on Wednesday. Those selected were among 16,000 students nationwide to be honored by the National Merit Scholarship Program, and are now eligible to compete for 7,500 scholarship awards worth $32 million. The group represents the top 1 percent of scores from 1.6 million U.S. high school students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as juniors. Many of the recipients were from our district high schools – congratulations students!

Carrollton Boy Attains Eagle Scout Rank

Landon Faulkner of Troop 714 in Carrollton will be awarded Eagle Scout rank at a Court of Honor Ceremony on October 7. I was pleased that my office could send Landon a flag flown over the state Capitol for his achievement. Good job, Landon!

DCTA Awards Train

I was honored that the Denton County Transportation Authority honored me this month for my legislative work on transportation with a model train of my own – that was pretty neat!