3. Electric brown-outs
As the Texas summer continues to sizzle, so does a debate over how to provide electricity in future summers when the state's growth will begin to test the limits of electric generation capacity. The simple fact is our electric supply will soon not be able to keep up with demand.
Over the past year the Texas Public Utility Commission has discussed how to adjust regulations and incentivize construction of new power plants to help.
One option would be to move to a system in which generators are paid to build and maintain excess capacity for peak energy use times.
However, opponents argue this would basically amount to a subsidy for facilities that are rarely used and that those costs could ultimately be passed on to consumers.
No doubt the debate will continue, and the fact remains that something will have to change in order to prevent sudden outages as our state continues to grow.
4. The rulemaking process
After the legislative session is over and the dust has settled, the state's focus turns to implementation of passed bills.
This cannot occur without a process called rulemaking in which public input is sought by state agencies to help determine the best way to put bills into action.
A weekly publication called the Texas Register includes proposed rules and serves as the state's journal of agency rulemaking. It can be accessed through the Secretary of State's website at http://ww-w.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/index.shtml and is a great tool to help you stay involved and let your opinion be heard.
5. Audie Murphy
Most of us are familiar with Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in WWII who happened to hail from Kingston, Texas.
He earned multiple medals for his valor on the battlefields of Europe, including the U.S. Medal of Honor.
However, despite this recognition and even having his portrait hanging in the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Legislature has never managed to award him the state's highest military award.
Thankfully, on Thurs-day we seem to have taken a step in that direction when the House passed HCR 3, a resolution urging Gov. Perry to award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Captain Murphy posthumously.
The resolution makes its case by stating that Murphy "repeatedly risked his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers and to help advance their mission, and for his remarkable heroism he is most assuredly deserving of this state's supreme military award."
I could not agree more.