By Rep. Trent Ashb
District 9 Representative
As the days grow increasingly shorter with the change in seasons, many East Texans wonder why it’s necessary to change our clocks back an hour around this time every year. Over the last several weeks, my office has received numerous phone calls regarding the observation of Daylight Savings Time in Texas. While some support changing the clocks back, many others simply don’t understand why we must “fall back” every year only to see the sunset before supper time. While there are two sides to every issue, you might be interested to know that during the most recent legislative session, the Texas House overwhelmingly passed HB 1422, which would authorize the observation of Daylight Savings Time year-round so that Texans would never have to change their clocks again. Though this bill ultimately failed to make it through the Senate, I believe this issue merits further consideration from the voters of Texas to decide whether we stay on Standard Time or observe Daylight Savings Time year-round.
With that, here’s this week’s Capitol Update …
As you may know, the legislature is in the final weeks of the third called special session. I’m pleased to report that the Texas House recently passed several key bills aimed at addressing our ongoing border crisis. Given the federal government’s failure to secure our southern border, the State of Texas has taken matters into its own hands by enacting policies to deter the surge of illegal activity occurring at the border.
House Bill 4 creates a state-level offense for a person who is found to have entered our country illegally, which allows Texas peace officers with the statutory authority to detain migrants and order them back to the nation from which they came. Since illegal entry is not currently a crime under state law, law enforcement officers can only arrest migrants for the offense of criminal trespass when permitted by landowners. By allowing illegal entry to prosecute at the state level, HB 4 would enable state authorities to use discretion in detaining migrants without having to rely on the cooperation of landowners. HB 4 is one of the strongest border security bills in our state’s history and will provide law enforcement officers with the tools and authority necessary to keep Texans safe.
House Bill 6 appropriates $1.5 billion for the construction, operation and maintenance of barriers and fencing at our southern border. The State of Texas cannot wait on Washington, D.C. to deliver the resources necessary to construct physical barriers along the Rio Grande. With drug and human trafficking surging across the country, the State of Texas has taken bold and decisive action by providing the necessary investments to fund the construction of a permanent barrier.
Since the start of 2023, the Texas Legislature has dedicated a historic $6.5 billion to border security operations. Though the issue of border security is far from resolved, rest assured that the State of Texas will continue to lead the way in the ongoing effort to secure the border.
The mobile office is on the road again and our district director will look forward to seeing you on the following dates in the following locations: Nov. 8 at the Polk County Commissioners Courtroom in Livingston from 9-11 a.m. or the Tyler County Commissioners Courtroom in Woodville from 1:30-3:30 p.m., Nov. 15 at the Houston County Commissioners Courtroom in Crocket from 9-11 a.m. or at the Trinity County Commissioners Courtroom in Groveton from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
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/.