February 11, 2019
It is tradition in our country that the executive branch of government occasionally addresses and provides updates to the legislative branch. On Tuesday, February 5th we witnessed this annual occasion with President Trump's State of the Union Address. Here in Texas, we have a similar tradition every other year when the Governor will speak before the members of the House and Senate to provide updates and present his priorities for the Legislative Session. This biennial speech is known as the State of the State Address.
Governor Abbott delivered his State of the State Address before a joint session of the legislature on Tuesday, February 5th as well. He reported that Texas has the fastest growing economy in the country, leads the nation in job creation, and recently recorded its lowest unemployment rate. Governor Abbott also presented his priorities for the 86th Legislative Session and proposed his emergency items. These emergency items are important, because the House and Senate are unable to pass bills during the first 60 days of a legislative session. The Governor's emergency items are the only pieces of legislation that can move and be heard prior to the end of the first 60 days.
I was pleased to see Governor Abbott name school finance reform, property tax reform, increasing teacher pay, disaster response and school safety as emergency items to be taken up by the legislature immediately. All of these issues are essential to the future growth and success of Texas. I have already authored and co-authored legislation on the various emergency items addressed by the Governor. We cannot afford to forget any of these highly important issues. While the legislature still cannot move on non-emergency items, we can immediately begin working on these matters identified by Governor Abbott on February 5th. I look forward to addressing these important issues in the coming weeks.
The following day, Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court delivered his State of the Judiciary to a joint session of the Legislature. The state of the judiciary is a constitutionally mandated address used to promote better understanding of the judicial branch in Texas and to evaluate the future needs of the justice system in Texas. Chief Justice Hecht presented the successes of the judicial branch, in particular the hard work of many judicial officers to save important court documents that were threatened with destruction by Hurricane Harvey. He also proposed solutions to some of the issues faced by the Judiciary, such as judicial pay.
All Texans should be proud that our state is the top performer in our nation in many areas. We should continue policies that make Texas the best state in the country to start a business and raise a family. I look forward to tackling the important issues that Governor Abbott has identified as emergency items and continuing to represent House District 16 here in Austin.
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God Bless you, your family and the Great State of Texas!
State Representative HD-16