By Rep. Trent Ashby
Representing District 9
The wheels on the bus go round and round! With another school year upon us, please be on the lookout for schoolchildren boarding or exiting our buses or in school crosswalks. The safety of our children should always be a top priority and we all have a role in helping keep them safe from harm. Also, I want to recognize the hard work, dedication and passion of our dedicated teachers and support staff that work tirelessly to enrich, educate and inspire our next generation. I hope you’ll join me in supporting and encouraging our school employees, as well as praying for a safe and successful school year.
With that, here’s this week’s Capitol update …
The Secretary of State’s Office recently drew the ballot order for the 14 proposed constitutional amendments that were passed by the legislature during the 88th Legislative Session. Texans will have an opportunity to vote on these amendments in the upcoming November 7 election. After getting several questions already, I felt it would be informative to provide a synopsis of each constitutional amendment in the columns leading up to the November election. With that, we’ll take them in order and start with Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.
Proposition 1 offers a constitutional amendment to establish the protection of an individual’s right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture and wildlife management on property they own or lease. As our Texas population continues to grow and the demand for food increases, it’s important to prevent the overregulation of agriculture production by political subdivisions. The urbanization of our state has led to several cities enacting onerous and nonsensible restrictions that jeopardize the livelihoods of those who are engaged in farming, ranching and timber production within their boundaries or extraterritorial jurisdiction. I was proud to joint-author the legislation that created this amendment and I look forward to supporting it on the November ballot.
Proposition 2 would allow the governing body of a county or municipality to exempt child-care facilities from all or part of their annual property taxes. Recent studies indicate that the State of Texas lost nearly a quarter of its child-care providers between March 2020 and September 2021, making child-care increasingly hard to find across the state. With laws in place to accurately define a “child-care facility,” this amendment would alleviate the burden of property taxes, allowing additional resources to be directed to hire and retain the critical staff who play a transformative role in our children’s early education and well-being.
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: August 16 at Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9-11 a.m. or at the Trinity County Courthouse 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. 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/.