The beautiful Piney Woods of deep East Texas was the setting for a recent Luncheon with Legislators event in Kennard with State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin). Houston County Judge Jim Lovell hosted the luncheon at Larry Bruce Gardens and welcomed more than 35 county officials from five of the counties in House District 57.
TAC's Senior Legislative Manager Rick Thompson played an audio recording from Rep. Ashby's remarks on the House floor during last session's debate on the provisions of Senate Bill 29 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) prohibiting "taxpayer-funded lobbying."
Rep. Ashby had argued against the measure, asserting that he wanted the city and county officials in his district to have a voice in Austin, and that was accomplished by organizations like TAC. He offered an amendment to exclude counties with a population of fewer than 250,000, which passed by a vote of 90-54. The bill, as amended, was ultimately defeated in the House.
At the luncheon, Rep. Ashby shared his perspective on other legislation of importance to counties and urged officials to take an active role in the upcoming census. He explained the impacts population shifts have on county funding and representation. Rep. Ashby expressed concerns that the East Texas area could lose one or more State Representative districts in redistricting.
Luncheon events are currently being scheduled with Sen. Bryan Hughes in Jefferson and Rep. Drew Darby in San Angelo. To schedule a Luncheons with Legislators event in your county, contact TAC Core Legislative Group Coordinator Rhita Koches at (800) 456-5974.