Summer is in full swing, but that hasn't slowed us down. We were named Best of the Best by the Hill Country News, have had more opportunities to attend events in the district, and have spent a whole lot of time talking about the 86th Legislative Session. 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
Texas House District 136
BUCY NAMED BEST ELECTED OFFICIAL
On June 6th the Hill Country News posted the results of their Best of the Best readers poll for 2019. I'm proud to have been chosen as Best of the Best for Best (Local) Elected Official. Over 100,000 votes were cast in 194 categories and I am truly honored by this distinction. You can check out the other categories and winners here.
COMMUNITY EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
Leander ISD State of the District: I enjoyed hearing about the state of public education in House District 136 from Superintendent Dan Troxell and visiting with my friend LISD Trustee Gloria Gonzales Dholakia. LISD is the 10th fastest-growing school district in the state with over 40,000 students served and 983 new students per year.
WilCo Dems Legislative Recap: I spent some time with the Williamson County Democrats providing a recap of the issues and battles of the 86th Legislative Session with my friend and deskmate Rep. James Talarico.
Hope Alliance: Molly and I had a great time at the Hope Alliance Open House. We enjoyed meeting the staff and seeing the new office space. This is a wonderful organization doing needed work in Williamson County to address family and sexual violence.
Leander Art Fest: I want to congratulate the Leander Public Art Commission and the City of Leander on their first Art Festival. It was a great event with music and entertainment, art to enjoy, and lots of talented people with goods for sale.
TEGAC Lege Recap: I spoke with the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium about education policy and outcomes and heard from advocates about the successes of the last legislative session and how we can do more to support our students.
Voting Rights Rally: We rallied in support of restoring the Voting Rights Act to ensure voters across Texas and our nation are able to fully participate in their government. Thank you to the advocates who put this event together and to Craig Moore for a gracious introduction.
Round Rock Chamber: Thanks to the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce for having me as part of their June Power Lunch. Always fun to join my friends Reps. Celia Israel and James Talarico to discuss the 86th Legislative Session. Former Rep. Larry Gonzales did a great job moderating our panel discussion.
Youth Civic Engagement: I spoke with students with Reach Beyond Mission who spent the week volunteering with various nonprofits and learning more about their government. We talked about this past legislative session, how to get involved, and finding common ground to move forward on issues.
35th Birthday Bash: Thank you so much to everyone who came out to help me celebrate my 35th Birthday. It’s been a great year; and I am excited for the things to come! Thanks to Whitestone Brewery for hosting us and Sons of the Salt Fork for the great entertainment.
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 June Artist of the Month was Paige Harrison, with her works of acrylic on canvass entitled Berry Fun and Dot Art. For her work, Paige received an Award of Excellence at the school and district level for Dot Art, which was also selected as the top Visual Arts piece in LISD in the Primary Division.
With the Interim underway, our office is busy brainstorming legislation for the next session, preparing for interim committee hearings and charges, and setting up community engagement events across House District 136. We're having meetings with other elected officials and staff to talk about how we can best serve the community's needs, talking with stakeholders and community leaders about their legislative priorities and how we can build on last session's work, and will be hosting events and initiatives of our own centered around our legislative agenda.
Medicaid Expansion - The first bills we filed were to expand Medicaid contingent upon the citizens of Texas voting to do so. While we had a lot of encouraging discussions on this matter, we were not able to make significant progress this session. We caused a vote to be held on the House Floor and it was the closest we have ever been to bringing $100 billion back into our economy, lowering all of insurance premiums, and saving thousands of our fellow Texans' lives. We will continue outreach with other elected officials and stakeholders to try and find a solution so that we can better address healthcare outcomes from maternal mortality to mental health and the opioid crisis to rural hospital closure.
Fine Arts Education - In the 86th Legislative Session, we proposed a bill that would have made fine arts part of the required, core curriculum in Texas. We heard a lot of positive feedback from other members and stakeholders throughout the process. Though this bill was voted out of committee, it did not make it through the calendars process in time to advance. With the importance of arts and extracurriculars never more clear, this is an issue we will continue to work on over the Interim and next session.
Traffic & Mobility - One of the biggest disappointments of the last legislative session was that not a single member of the Texas House Committee on Transportation was from the Central Texas region. As one of the fastest growing areas in the country, we know that traffic and mobility are huge concerns that we must work together with our cities, counties, and state agencies to address. With the Apple campus and other major developments coming to House District 136 this matter has taken on even more urgency. Over the Interim we will be having meetings and events to keep the focus on this issue and find regional solutions to the problem.
Elections Legislation - We were able to pass four election bills last session, from smaller fixes to large measures that further access to voting information and increase transparency in the electoral process. Moving forward we are going to continue to work to make it easier for Texas citizens to vote, whether its pursuing legislation we were not able to enact last session or looking at new ways to achieve that goal.
Criminal Justice Reform - While we were encouraged by some of the progress that was made especially with respect to marijuana, there is more to be done. Even having expanded compassionate use, those suffering from PTSD are still precluded from using medical marijuana. In addition, we need to continue to move toward decriminalization and away from failed policies that perpetuate mass incarceration.