CAPITOL UPDATE
From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

May 8, 2008

MAY CAPITOL UPDATE

News from the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

Dear Fellow Texan-- For most of us, Memorial Day has long signaled a welcome end to the school year. However, Memorial Day has more meaning than just marking this transition from spring to summer. Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day - which began with the practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers of the Civil War. In 1868, the organization of Union Veterans officially designated May 30 as a day for "strewing with flowers . . . the graves of those comrades who died in defense of their country." That year, the day was first observed with the placing of flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War I, the scope of Memorial Day was broadened to include Americans who had died fighting in any war. Today Memorial Day is observed across the country on the last Monday in May - a date set by the National Holiday Act passed by the US Congress in 1971. Please take this time to remember those brave men and women who have died in defense of our country and thank those who are currently serving to keep us safe.

WHAT'S NEW

IN THE DISTRICT

INTERIM ACTION

The Senate Committees on Business & Commerce and Natural Resources met on April 15 to discuss generation and transmission in the Texas electricity market and how those sources impact air emissions. The committee heard testimony on the three components of resource adequacy - new generation, consumer tools, and transmission and market design. While state agencies focus on how energy can be produced more efficiently, they also are encouraging consumers to take control of consumption to use less electricity.

The Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations met in San Antonio on April 1 to study veteran reintegration issues, to study enhanced services that could be offered to veterans, and to assess the implementation of SB 1058. Before the hearing, committee members visited the Brooke Army Medical Center to tour the wounded warriors center to observe the rehabilitation and reintegration process. The committee focused on reintegration issues to include post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse problems, and domestic violence.

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources met on April 8 to hear testimony regarding river authorities. The focus of the meeting was whether any state entity should have oversight of river authorities and how much oversight is necessary. According to expert testimony, each river authority in the state was created by special legislation and very few are exactly alike. River authorities control a great deal of surface water in the state and play an important role in meeting our water needs.

The Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations met on April 10 to hear testimony regarding several of the committee's interim charges. First, the committee discussed the provision of fire and emergency medical services through emergency service districts. One reason given for the increase in these districts was that in urban areas, few people are volunteering to provide emergency services, while demand and funding needs are increasing. The committee also discussed the process for the creation of a municipal or special utility district to determine if standard statute language should be adopted.

CONCLUSION

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need assistance with a state agency or wish to voice an opinion on any matter before the Texas Legislature. I always appreciate hearing from you and I hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

[signature]
Troy Fraser
State Senator
District 24

HOW TO CONTACT SENATOR TROY FRASER
Austin Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
(512) 463-0124
FAX: (512) 475-3732
Marble Falls District Office
607 B Highway 281 North
Marble Falls, Texas 78654
(830) 693-9900
FAX: (830) 693-9603
Abilene District Office
500 Chestnut Street, Suite 810
Abilene, Texas 79602
(325) 676-7404
FAX: (325) 676-8060
Belton District Office
1920 North Main Street
Suite 101
Belton, Texas 76513
(254) 939-3562
FAX: (254) 939-7611
Email: troy.fraser@senate.state.tx.us

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