Dear House District 24 constituents,
We have just kick-started another busy week in the legislature. We have been hearing testimony in the Appropriations Committee on the financial status of different state agencies and looking at the emergency supplemental healthcare spending bill which was voted out of committee yesterday. Also yesterday, I joined my colleagues on the Appropriations subcommittee for education to begin reviewing our state's education finance policies and to organize the section of the state budget which funds our public schools, colleges, and universities. Over the next few weeks the Insurance Committee will also begin hearings on the state's various insurance policies, all of which are highly important to everyone in Galveston County.
I am also excited to announce that I have been elected to serve on the Policy Committee for the House Republican Caucus, where I will be actively involved in crafting Republican policy strategies and coordinating the development of a unified, cooperative approach to the legislative session's major agenda items. This will be a great opportunity for me to influence the direction in which the House Republicans guide the legislative agenda. Furthermore, my membership in the bicameral TEA Party Caucus will present me with the opportunity to work with Representatives and Senators alike who will join me in advocating for a limited-government, limited-spending, limited-regulation approach to governance during this legislature.
I was also happy to meet with several constituents last week. Suzanne Gschwind from Friendswood stopped by to talk about higher education funding while we celebrated Texas A&M and the University of Texas on Orange and Maroon Day at the Capitol. Students from the 4H Club in Santa Fe visited us on Wednesday to learn about the legislative process, and visit with me about my own experience in the House. Carmen Harrity, Kiley Ziegleman and Logan Ziegleman are an impressive group of students, and I was honored to have had the opportunity to speak with them during their visit.
Please feel free to contact my Capitol office with any concerns you may have regarding legislation or policy.
Representative Greg Bonnen, MD Join House Energy Caucus
AUSTIN -- State Representative Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) has been named a Vice-Chair of the newly created House Energy Caucus (HEC), a legislative caucus of the Texas House of Representatives, to focus on energy production and the issues facing affected communities.
"Texas's energy industry is the economic engine of the state, and is consequently the driving force behind our unmatched rate of employment growth and increased tax revenues," said Representative Bonnen. "The establishment of this caucus will provide a focus group through which our state can continue to cultivate innovative solutions and common sense safeguards for the continued development of our energy sector, resulting in an increased focus on the impact this burgeoning industry is having on our state's infrastructure."
"Energy production is a critical part of our state's economy and vital to our national security," the HEC Chair State Representative Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) said addressing the members during the organizational meeting. "The importance of this production is never lost on the communities supplying the men, women, and businesses supporting the oil patch, the mine, or renewable fields spread over most of our state."
The HEC will provide educational opportunities and information on policy issues regarding traditional energy production such as oil, gas, and coal, as well as alternative energy including biomass, wind and solar power, and emerging technologies like clean coal/coal gasification. In addition, the HEC will also identify, research, and build coalitions to help resolve social and infrastructure issues faced by areas of the state experiencing significant impacts from increased activity related to the energy industry.
Representative Greg Bonnen, MD Appointed to House Committees on Appropriations and Insurance
AUSTIN -- State Representative Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) has been appointed to the influential Appropriations Committee as well as the House Committee on Insurance.
The Committee on Appropriations oversees the allocation of all state funds, controls state spending programs and is responsible for balancing the state's budget. The Insurance Committee is responsible for setting policy on matters pertaining to insurance and the insurance industry, including the Texas Windstorm Insurance Agency.
"I am honored and excited that I have been appointed to the Appropriations and Insurance Committees." said Representative Bonnen. " This appointment allows me to play and important role as we address funding for public school and higher education, Medicaid, and water and transportation infrastructure. The insurance committee will tackle TWIA, one of the most important issues facing our community. I will work to ensure that we have affordable and reliable windstorm insurance along the Texas Gulf Coast."