The Texas State Senate - Troy Fraser: SD 24 - Capitol Update
From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser
For Immediate Release
August 24, 2007
AUGUST CAPITOL UPDATE
Dear Fellow Texan--
For most students, school starts next Monday. The new school year is always a time for new beginnings - even for those of us who haven't been in school for a few years. I always enjoy this time of year because it reminds me to keep learning and exploring new things and ideas.
One new thing I've been enjoying is my third grandchild - born just two weeks ago. It is an exciting time for Linda and me to watch our children raise their children. Being a grandfather is one of the best "jobs" that I could have.
So with school starting, remember to slow down in school zones and drive safely around schools.
- The Comptroller's office launched an online research service designed to help local governments and economic development organizations analyze facts and figures. The service, known as Texas EDGE, is available at www.window.state.tx.us/texasedge. With Texas EDGE, the Comptroller's office presents an innovative tool for compiling free, in-depth economic information and analysis. Using this service, community leaders can retrieve information that is useful for revenue planning, financial analysis, economic forecasting, site location decisions and other issues affecting trade and industry growth.
- The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center's School of Pharmacy opened its doors this month at its new Abilene campus. Forty students began classes in the doctor of pharmacy program. Community leaders were successful in convincing Texas Tech to place the pharmacy school in Abilene and then raising the money necessary to construct a 40,000 square foot facility necessary to house the school. The Abilene campus will support all four years of pharmacy education and will be home to 160 students by the start of the 2010-2011 academic year.
- September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Now in its 18th year, this program promotes the benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment and recovery. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 22.2 million people were classified with substance dependence or abuse in 2004. To get information on planning your own community event or viewing events already scheduled, visit www.recoverymonth.gov and click on the 2007 Recovery Month icon.
IN THE DISTRICT
- The 34th Annual World Championship Barbeque and Goat Cook-off will be held in Brady on September 1st. This year they have added a Mystery Meat Challenge in addition to the goat competition. The Mystery Meat will be revealed to competitors the day before the cook-off.
- The 7th Annual Reunion Celebration will be held in Brownwood on September 14-16, 2007. There will be live, continuous entertainment on five stages, a carnival midway, helicopter rides, a 5K run, and arts and crafts.
The Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education met on Tuesday August 14, 2007, to hear testimony on the impact of Governor Perry's veto of $154 million in funds to pay for employee health benefits at the state's community colleges. The committee explored ways to restore the funding cuts that have left community colleges scrambling to find a way to pay for employee health insurance.
Many community colleges across the state are considering different options on how to make up this lost funding. Some colleges might have to charge for free services, like tutoring, or cut back on other free programs, like free instruction and credit for qualifying high school students. Other options discussed are tuition increases or property tax rate increases. Many community college administrators asked the committee to find a way to restore the funding that has already been cut and relieve the pressure on their beleaguered institutions.
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.
HOW TO CONTACT SENATOR TROY FRASER
Austin Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711
FAX: (512) 475-3732
Marble Falls District Office
607 B Highway 281 North
Marble Falls, Texas 78654
FAX: (830) 693-9603
Abilene District Office
500 Chestnut Street, Suite 810
Abilene, Texas 79602
FAX: (325) 676-8060
Belton District Office
1920 North Main Street, Suite 101
Belton, Texas 76513
FAX: (254) 939-7611