It’s been a great August for Team Bucy! We submitted our Interim Charge requests, went to two legislative conferences, and are preparing to open our District Office. This edition of the monthly Bucy Bulletin will cover that as well as showcase community events, discuss legislative activity over the Interim, and highlight our Artist of the Month.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve you, HD 136, and the people of Texas. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments or if there is anything my office can do for you.
All the best,
John Bucy III State Representative Texas House District 136
DISTRICT OFFICE GRAND OPENING
On Thursday, September 5th at 6:30 pm we are holding a Grand Opening for our new District Office at 3016 Polar Ln, Ste. 108, Cedar Park, TX 78613. Join us for a ribbon cutting and cake to commemorate the occasion! We look forward to being able to better serve you and facilitating outreach and accessibility by offering a convenient location to have your concerns and casework addressed or discuss legislative matters. You can learn more about the Grand Opening and RSVP here.
COMMUNITY EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
HCCM Opens Thrift Store: We attended the opening of the Hill Country Community Ministries Thrift Store and presented Executive Director Tiesa Hollaway with a resolution congratulating them on the occasion and celebrating the great work they do in our community.
WilCo Veterans Treatment Court: We presented graduates of the Williamson County Veterans Treatment Court with certificates congratulating them on completing a collaborative, coordinated system of court supervised treatment that ensures accountability, while empowering veterans to become integral and productive members of our community.
2019 Future Summit: Put on by the Millennial Action Project, the 2019 Future Summit conference brought Republican and Democratic lawmakers from across the country together to create dialogue and work toward solutions to the problems we face.
NCSL Legislative Summit: The National Conference of State Legislatures convened for a Legislative Summit, with round tables and panels on a whole myriad of topics and special guest appearances from Dolly Parton and presidential historian Jon Meacham. We had a great time and are so excited to bring what we learned back to Texas.
Elections Open House: We tested out the new Voting Machines in Williamson County as part of an exhilarating election affecting the future of all of Oz. You make your selections, print and review your ballot, and then scan in it. These are easy to use and accessible machines that should help everyone have confidence in their vote.
Round Rock Chamber Leadership Class: My friend Rep. James Talarico and I hosted the Round Rock Chamber Leadership Class at the Texas Capitol. We had a great discussion about this past legislative session, the bustle of work on the House Floor, and what it’s like to serve in the Legislature.
Student Climate Action: We met with Matthew Kim, president of the Austin Chapter of Student Climate Action, to discuss their upcoming Climate Strike in September as well as what pro-climate and renewable energy initiatives they would like to see tackled next legislative session.
Volunteering at the Food Bank: We had a wonderful time volunteering at the Central Texas Food Bank! We worked on dry goods, helping process 5,850 lbs of food which comes out to 4,875 meals for our neighbors. The CTFB serves 46,000 people in need each week, a third of whom are children.
Leander Chamber Luncheon: I had a great time speaking with my fellow chamber members at the Leander Chamber of Commerce! We discussed this past legislative session, highlighted some bills affecting the business community, and previewed the interim and district events in the fall.
HD 136 ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Each month at our Capitol Office we are so proud to display and feature work from local artists. Our August Artist of the Month was Frank Robinson, with his portraits President Johnson Ponders Dr. King, Lincoln Revisited in Strange Light, and Reflections On a Dream.
Our Interim ChargesEach Interim the various committees for the Texas House are tasked with Interim Charges, or specific topics they are assigned to study, hold hearings on, and make recommendations about for when the Legislature reconvenes. As such, we submitted the following requests:
— To the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism — 1) Identify areas across Texas that have underserved arts programs with the Texas Arts Commission. Evaluate ways to promote and provide arts programs in those areas with the help of the Legislature.
2) Explore ways to promote and improve tourism, youth education, and economic development through cultural, recreational, historical, nature programs, and preservation practices.
3) Develop a long-term plan to include green space into our state park system with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
— To the House Committee on Elections — 1) Examine the impact and feasibility of allowing same-day voter registration in Texas.
2) Examine how other states ensure equal access to the ballot for voters with disabilities, including veterans with PTSD. Study costs, outcomes, and security concerns, weighing the pros and cons of various approaches, and make appropriate recommendations.
3) Study barriers to voting affecting young voters and examine proposals to alleviate them, including but not limited to the use of student IDs as Voter IDs, allowing 17 year olds to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 years old in the subsequent general election, and expanded opportunities for young voters to register to vote. Identify options which could lead to increased youth voter registration, participation, and civic engagement.
4) Study the impact of college and community college campus polling locations, including whether the current distribution meets voters needs and what barriers may be faced by the lack thereof. Identify options to expand access to polling locations as needed.
5) Study the impacts of temporary disenfranchisement due to felony conviction, including the pros and cons of various approaches taken by other states to alleviate disenfranchisement, and make appropriate recommendations.
6) Examine the ways in which the 2020 Census will affect election policy, including but not limited to election infrastructure, election security, election funding, and other matters dealing with changing populations in our state.
— To the House Committee on Public Education — 1) Study the feasibility and requirements necessary under the Texas Education Agency to make fine arts courses a part of the required, foundation curriculum.
Redistricting Hearings BeginWith 2020 and the Census around the corner, the Legislature is tasked with redistricting, or the process of re-drawing the maps for our state legislative and congressional districts in order to better reflect changes in population and communities. The first redistricting hearing has been set for Tuesday, September 10th at 1:30 pm at the Texas Capitol in room E1.030. We’ll hear from the State Demographer and other invited testimony about an overview of the redistricting process, demographic trends and changes, and the mapping efforts. The public is also welcome to attend and participate by giving testimony. We expect further hearings to be more focused on the Central Texas area to be held, as opposed to more overview and processes, but preliminary schedules do not have any until next fall. Public testimony is an important part of the process that allows for robust understandings that go beyond the Census data to paint a fuller picture of what is going on in our communities. We would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in participating to do so in order to have their concerns addressed early on.
Elections Committee HearingOn Thursday, September 12th the House Committee on Elections will be convening in Houston, TX to witness a logic and accuracy testing of the new Harris County Voting Machines as well as to take invited and public testimony around county-wide polling places and other such matters. We look forward to continuing the work on this committee to make it easier for all Texas citizens to vote and ensure the integrity and faith in our electoral process is upheld.