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Final day for governor to sign or veto bills

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Trent AshbyBy Rep. Trent Ashby
Representing District 9

Today is the final day for Gov. Greg Abbott to sign or veto bills passed during the 88th regular legislative session. If, after this deadline, the governor neither signs nor vetoes legislation, the bill automatically becomes law. While many legislators eagerly await the governor’s approval (or objection) to bills on his desk, I’m pleased to have earned the governor’s signature on 12 of the bills I filed, and which made it through the legislative process. For a point of reference, this past session saw members of both the House and Senate file a total of 8,046 bills, a new record. Of this staggering sum, only 1,246 ultimately passed, underscoring the age-old adage that the Texas legislative process is designed to kill bills, not pass them.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…

As I’ve mentioned previously, bolstering our state infrastructure has been a top priority during the most recent session. With our state population on pace to double by 2050, there’s no time to waste in proactively planning to meet the infrastructure needs of a growing state. Fortunately, the legislature made measurable progress this session to address both current and future infrastructure needs.

One policy initiative worth noting relates to our state’s water supply and infrastructure. This session, the legislature passed SB 28 and SJR 75, which together earmark over $1 billion to enhance our state’s water infrastructure. SB 28 goes beyond addressing immediate water needs by emphasizing the need for long-term planning strategies. The funds will support the exploration and implementation of innovative water conservation methods, incentivizing efficient water use and reducing waste. Additionally, the bill encourages the development of alternative water sources, such as desalination plants and wastewater recycling systems, to diversify our water supply portfolio and reduce reliance on traditional sources. By investing in these initiatives, Texas is not only safeguarding its water resources but also fortifying its resilience in the face of increasing droughts and unpredictable weather patterns. These infrastructure investments are an essential aspect of planning for Texas’ future, as they not only ensure we can meet the demands of future growth, but further our efforts to create jobs, attract businesses, and foster greater economic prosperity for all Texans.

Another policy area where the legislature made progress is broadband and telecommunication infrastructure. I was proud to author two pieces of legislation, HB 9 and HJR 125, which establish the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund and make a historic investment of $1.5 billion to support the expansion broadband and telecommunication infrastructure across the state. The creation of the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund underscores the critical role connectivity plays in our society and acknowledges that access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Most importantly, the allocation of these funds will help ensure that citizens and communities throughout Deep East Texas, as well as other rural parts of the state, have equal access to the technological resources needed to grow and prosper.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at 936-634-2762 and our Capitol office at 512-463-0508. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my official Facebook page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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