FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2009
Austin — Yesterday, state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) welcomed citizens visiting the Capitol for Southeast Texas legislative days. Participants came from Hardin, Jasper, Newton and Tyler counties. This is the first year these counties participated in a joint legislative day at the Capitol.
"It's a great time for citizens to learn more about how their state government works while giving legislators an opportunity to hear directly from Southeast Texans," said Nichols.
Nichols spoke to the group about what to expect this session, specifically regarding transportation. Nichols, a former transportation commissioner, stressed the importance of making sure Southeast Texas gets a fair share of transportation funding.
"Right now the question is how to fund Texas' growing transportation needs," said Nichols. "Once we build a consensus on funding , the next step is making sure all areas of the state, including Southeast Texas receive the funds they need."
Nichols also talked about the importance of protecting water rights.
"We have it and they want it," said Nichols "As demand for water grows in other parts of the state, it becomes even more important to protect the water rights of East and Southeast Texans."
Participants in the legislative days spent today learning about different issues from state leaders, including Rep. Jim McReynolds (D-Lufkin) and Rep. Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton (R-Mauriceville). Today participants will visit with legislators in their office, watch the House in session and hear the State of the State address from Governor Perry.
Nichols prepared a special senate resolution declaring Monday and Tuesday Southeast Texas legislative days.
"It's an honor to represent all four of these counties," said Nichols.