Interim committee continues work


During the month of February, our office was fortunate enough to see several large groups from the district in and around the Texas Capitol. As I do periodically, I want to remind you that we are always open and willing to meet with constituents or facilitate a tour of your beautiful State Capitol.

So, whether during spring break, or sometime during summer vacation with your family, please do not hesitate to call if we can be of assistance.

Back home, we have been extremely blessed with measurable amounts of rain over the previous couple of weeks.

As planting season approaches, this moisture will hopefully yield a good start to our spring gardening season. With that, here's what's happening at your capitol.

Environmental regulation

To kick off our look at the work being done by interim committees leading up to the 86th Legislative Session, we will examine the House Committee on Environmental Regulation. As with many other standing committees, their work has already begun, and there has been special attention paid to how the state reacted - and will react in the future - to a natural disaster.

Of key interest in the Harvey-related discussion was the need for increased communication to first responders when they're answering the call, as they could be exposed to extreme levels of certain types and levels of pollution in the air and water.

While these brave men and women are doing all that they can to remove citizens from danger, those at the state level should continually monitor and ensure the effectiveness of our current infrastructure so that we can help them, and our affected neighbors, understand the hazardous conditions they'll face in a crisis situation.

As the interim moves forward, I'm looking forward to hearing the discussion my colleagues will have regarding the public's role in approving, or rejecting, municipal solid waste landfills. As the state continues to grow, current landfills are reaching capacity and the need for new projects is creating some angst, especially in rural Texas, where the larger cities may be looking to take their waste.

Each proposed landfill must work with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to obtain a permit and meet certain standards, but the state should always ensure that members of the surrounding communities are notified well in advance, and have a chance to voice their opinion. The committee will study, and make recommendations, on how the public and the state can work together and ensure a safe environment that meets the needs of a growing Texas.


The mobile office is on the road for the month of March and looks forward to seeing you in the following locations, on the following dates: on March 7 at the Leon County Courthouse in Centerville from 9-11 a.m., or at the Madison County Courthouse Annex in Madisonville from 1:30-3:30 p.m.; on March 21 at the 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.; finally, on March 28 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9-11 a.m.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

Trent Ashby represents District 57, which includes Madison County, in the Texas Legislature.