Update from the State Capitol

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As I often say in this column, I love seeing folks visit their State Capitol during the session. This past week I once again had the pleasure of welcoming a number of constituents, including a group from Leon County who made their way to Austin for their first ever Leon County Day at the Capitol. Our office helped facilitate meetings for this group with representatives from Texas Parks and Wildlife, experts in public education, advocates for private property rights, as well as a number of other interesting speakers. Part of my responsibility as your State Representative is to make sure any person or group from our district understands that your beautiful Texas Capitol belongs as much to you as any other Texan. If you or someone you know would like to visit during this session, please feel free to contact our Austin office and we would be honored to assist in facilitating a visit.

With that, here's an update from your State Capitol. . .

Meetings, hearings, and East Texans at the Capitol:

We had another busy week in the House Public Education Committee, as we spent over six hours in committee and heard over 20 bills regarding everything from PreK to advancing technology in our schools. Though we didn't vote on any of these bills, this is the first committee hearing where members were given the opportunity to ask questions about specific pieces of legislation, and hear from the authors, as well as expert witnesses, on their intent behind their proposals. As we move deeper into session, the duration of these committee hearings will only get longer while we consider the many bills aimed at improving our education system throughout the state.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with a number of county judges who were here with the Association of Rural Communities. We had a productive discussion about the importance of local control and visited about the various ways our state can help preserve the vitality of our rural communities. As a rural Texan, I have a deep appreciation for the work our rural community leaders do to preserve our way of life, and I will continue to do my part to defend and help support these communities in any way that I can at the state level.

Two of my colleagues and I had the honor of joining representatives from Sam Houston State University for a reception commemorating Sam Houston's 226th birthday. We were graciously recognized and given an award for our assistance in helping the University establish their College of Osteopathic Medicine. I'm delighted that this new program is moving forward as it will ultimately benefit our entire region by providing increased access to quality medical care throughout East Texas.

Trent Ashby represents District 57 in the Texas House of Representatives, which includes Madison County.

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