orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Government

June 15, 2013

My five cents…

ORANGE — Did you know that this week was National Flag Week? Flag Day is celebrated each year on June 14 and commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress. I enjoy observing this holiday, and hope you do as well.

Five things that happened this week at your Texas Capitol are:

• Redistricting continues

After holding public hearings the last two weeks around the state, on Wednesday the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting approved a set of maps outlining political boundaries for the Texas House, Texas Senate and U.S. Congress. The maps are identical to ones drawn by a federal court in San Antonio last year and used for the 2012 elections. As I write this, the Senate is expected to hear the bill on Friday, June 14. With any luck, we can come to a satisfactory resolution before the end of session.

• Transportation funding added to special session call

A few weeks ago I shared with you about my hope to address transportation funding during the special session. That hope became a reality on Monday when Gov. Perry added the topic to the special session 'call.'

Things progressed quickly and by Wednesday, SJR 2 was heard in the Finance Committee. This resolution, which I authored, would ask voters to approve using part of the oil and gas severance tax for the state's highway fund. I hope to see it pass out of committee soon and be heard in the Senate early next week; then it will move to the House. Because it's a constitutional amendment to be approved by voters, it must pass each chamber with a two-thirds majority. If successful, you will then see it on the ballot this November. I will make sure to keep you updated.

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