WHAT'S NEW . . .
• The Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, which I chair, will meet on May 3 in Houston to discuss the following interim charges:
- Charge 1 — Congestion and air quality
- Charge 8 — Overweight vehicles
- Charge 12 — Hurricane preparation, response and recovery
To read the full text of these interim charges, please go to http://www.ltgov.state.tx.us/ and click on "Senate Interim Charges for the 81st Legislature" in the Features column on the right side of the page.
On May 26, there will be a joint hearing with the Senate Finance Committee to hear invited and public testimony examining transportation funding concepts. This meeting will be held at the Capitol and can be viewed live on the Internet.
Other interim committee hearing schedules can be found at these House and Senate links.
• Earlier this month, the Comptroller's office administered an Appliance Rebate Program for Energy Star Appliances that was funded by federal stimulus money. Although they are investigating what appears to have been a Web attack that may have flooded the online reservation system early in the day, still 100% of the rebate allotment was reserved and a waiting list was established by mid-afternoon on the day it opened. Of the 38,864 guaranteed rebates, 32,283 reservations were made online and 6,581 were made over the phone. Unfortunately, Texas was allocated only $23 million for a state of our size/population, so it stands to reason that many Texans would be left out. However, if you were not able to secure one of these reservations, I recommend you visit TexasPowerfulSmart.org to learn more about other incentive programs, such as the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday.
FOCUS . . .
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state's agency for historical preservation. This important state agency was first established by the Texas Legislature in 1953 as the Texas State Historical Survey Committee. The initial mission of the agency was to identify historic sites around the state. In 1973, the Legislature changed the name of the agency to the Texas Historical Commission, and along with this change in moniker, the role of THC was expanded to include leadership and educational responsibilities.
In order to achieve its vision of historical preservation and education, the agency is organized into six different divisions. These divisions are: Archaeology, Architecture, Community Heritage Development, Historic Sites, History Programs and Marketing Communications. The Texas Historical Commission employs around 100 staff to maintain these various divisions. The Texas Historical Commission is currently led by 17 citizen members. These members are appointed by the Governor and serve staggered six-year terms.
Following are just a few of the services the Texas Historical Commission offers:
- Administers the state's historical marker program
- Operates 20 historic properties around the state
- Offers preservation consultation
- Operates the Texas Main Street Program
- Preserves historically important military sites
Additionally, the Texas Historical Commission provides us with a calendar of events, press releases and monthly news briefs. This agency is a great resource for educational information, as well as fun and interesting activities all around the state.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
• The Governor has proclaimed May 8 - 16, 2010, as Texas Travel and Tourism Week to promote the economic impact the tourism industry has on our state's economy. There is a lot of wonderful information that you could use to plan your own "Texas vacation" this summer by rediscovering all that Texas has to offer. From the top of the Panhandle Plains to the Gulf Coast beaches, to the piney woods of East Texas to the Big Bend Country, as a Texas traveler you can find everything from unique historical and cultural attractions to scenic natural wonders. To find out more visit TravelTex.com.
• May has been declared Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month in Texas. More than 63,000 people in Texas have driver licenses that qualify them to operate a motorcycle and the number is growing everyday. During the 81st Legislation Session, I worked with a number of stakeholders in the motorcycle, health, and law enforcement community to pass SB 1967, a comprehensive motorcycle safety bill. The bill increases awareness programs for motorcycle safety and requires first time motorcycle license applicants to take a motorcycle training course.
STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES . . .
• The Texas Education Agency, in conjunction with the College Board, is offering the SAT free to high school juniors this spring. Students must register by May 5 to participate in the June 5 test. To learn more about this great opportunity, go to http://www.host-collegeboard.com/sat/freeintexas/.
• TxDOT is accepting applications for its Summer Employment Program. This program is designed to give high school and college students on-the-job training, specifically in the areas of maintenance, engineering and technical positions. Interested students must be at least 17 years old and enrolled as a full time student in high school, technical student, university or college, as well as meet a few additional requirements. To apply, please visit www.txdot.gov/careers/summer.htm.
IN CLOSING . . .
May 2 - 8 is Teacher Appreciation Week and many PTA's will be sponsoring activities to demonstrate support for our teachers. I hope you can participate or find a simply way to say "thank you" to a teacher that you know.
State Senator - District 16
|P.O. Box 12068|
Austin, TX 78711
|8080 N. Central Expy.
Suite 1440, LB 44
Dallas, TX 75206
|5401 N. Central Expy.
Dallas, TX 75205