Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 8, 2013

Rep. Travis Clardy’s weekly Capitol update

AUSTIN — In the midst of a hectic week filled with committee hearings and budget debates, it was a welcome respite to receive the spirited delegation from Hen-derson as we celebrated Rusk County Days at the Capitol. In a place like the Capitol, where every day contains a packed agenda, it is always wonderful to see friendly, familiar faces from home and to be reminded of the reason we came to Austin in the first place: to represent the best interests of the people of Texas.

To that great end, this week was especially important because the House engaged in a thorough debate about the most important issue facing any legislature: the budget. Last session, the budget our state passed was the result of a very trying time. The faltering economy resulted in a $27 billion shortfall which called for many crucial decisions to balance the state of financial affairs. In spite of the difficult process, Texas did what it needed to do and balanced the budget without raising taxes in the midst of a recession. Those same budget cuts have helped us to weather the economic storm that has continued, and through it all, Texas has come out on top and now finds itself in a much more comfortable position. This session, we have restored many of the previous budgetary decreases because of my colleagues' dedication to cutting both taxes and spending.

This new House budget has something in it for everyone and maintains a commitment to fiscal responsibility. I am especially proud of the $264 million dollars we've provided for mental health funding and the 5.5% overall increase in spending  which will ensure that our state's services  meet the needs of its growing population.

One of the biggest budgetary issues that we face is the state's annual contribution to the Teacher Retirement System. At present, I feel that we are not doing all that we can to provide a lasting financial security for our teachers. That is why I co-authored House Bill 1383 by Rep. Keffer which raises the state's annual contribution to the Retirement System from 5.5% to 7.4%. I truly believe that this bill is the best possible option to ensure that our teachers are taken care of after they pass the torch to the next generation of great educators.       

Finally, I want to address the current state of funding for the Wildfire and Emergency Program Strategy. Our only lines of defense against rural wildfires are our Volunteer Fire Departments and the Texas Forest Service, and during the last session, funding for these brave men and women was cut by nearly $30 million -  at a time when their services were needed the most. This session, we have restored $20 million of that funding, which is the result of many long hours of work and negotiation. While this is not the greatest deal, it is the best one we were able to achieve with the current fiscal constraints, and that is something we can proudly hang our hat on.

Visit my official member page at: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=11 to view all the legislation we're working on and please reach out to my Capitol or District office to share your thoughts on the issues.


Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos