It's the month of May, and we are moving full speed ahead this year! It's been another great month in House District 29 and at the Capitol in Austin. In this edition of the Capitol Review, we are covering the following topics:
· Events held throughout HD 29
· Beat Summer Rush with Online License, ID Renewals
· Foster Care in Texas
· Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program
· Student Leadership Advisory Council
· Pearland Rated as a Best City for Young Families
· National Mental Health Awareness Month
We had a very eventful month, attending events such as the Houston Ship Channel Clay Shootout, Team Industries Tour, Liverpool City Council meeting, Pearland Chamber’s BizConnect Luncheon, Pinwheel Project Ceremony, Alvin-Manvel Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, Pearland Chamber’s Business Showcase and Taste of the Town, ACC Community Advisory Committee Meeting, FIRST Robotics Competition, West Pearland Republican Women's (WPRW) Meeting, Pearland Chamber’s Government Relations Meeting, and the Joint Interim Committee hearing on a Coastal Barrier in Galveston.
We also attended the Alvin-Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Pearland, Alvin, and Manvel Candidate Forums, Pearland's Earth Day Celebration, Alvin Live Concert Unveiling, Alvin Community College (ACC) Upward Bound Bingo Night, Demi's Difference 2nd Annual Fundraiser, ACC Education Fair, the City of Alvin's Volunteer Announcement Ceremony, Pearland Lions Club, Fairview Jr. High Youth and Government Presentation, ACC President's Tea, WPRW Supporting the 2nd Amendment Event, Lower Brazos River Coalition Spring Meeting, Texas Public Policy Foundation Breakfast, an Internal Medicine Ribbon Cutting, Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Funds Grant Ceremony, Alvin Rotary Club's Frontier Day Parade, and a House Committee hearing on Environmental Regulation.
I joined State Senator Larry Taylor, Alvin Community College (ACC) President Dr. Christal M. Albrecht, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar, and other esteemed members from the community to commemorate the partnership between INEOS/TEAM Industrial Services and ACC.
Online License Renewal
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging residents to get a head start on their summer to-do lists by renewing their license or identification (ID) card early or online. The summer months tend to be one of the busiest times of the year at driver license offices, and many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office completely via online renewal of their license, identification card or change of address at Texas.gov.
“DPS offers a variety of convenient options that allow eligible residents the opportunity to conduct Texas driver license or ID card transactions without coming into the office, and we encourage customers to take full advantage of these options – especially during the summer months,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “If an office visit is required, customers should visit offices that offer additional technology or capacity, if one is available near them.”
Although you may renew your driver's license online, Texas requires driver's licenses to be renewed in person every 12 years, so an updated photo can be taken and eyesight can be tested. If residents need to come into the office to renew, they can do so up to one year before the expiration date, which means they can pick a time that is convenient for their schedule.
To find out more about online renewal services, visit:http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/OnlineServices.htm.
Foster Care Issues
We have experienced heartbreaking news in Texas recently: our most vulnerable children are not receiving the care they require, and some are even dying on our watch. This is unacceptable and we must commit to solving this crisis.
The Texas House of Representatives has been directed by Speaker Joe Straus to make improving the foster care system in Texas a top priority for the 85th Legislative Session, and I am looking forward to playing an active role in these improvements. If we do not work together to help and protect abused children, they are the ones that continue losing this fight. I would like to get your input in how best we can fix the gaps in our foster care system so that we can protect as many children as possible. Please contact me if you have any suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you!
For more information on protecting our children, please visit the Child Protection Services Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services here.
I had the pleasure of giving a presentation on Texas Government to a 7th grade class at Fairview Junior High School. They learned some useful knowledge such as how a bill is introduced and how to work with other legislators.
Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program (TASSP)
Back in April, I announced that I am accepting applications for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program (TASSP) for the 2016-2017 school year. The TASSP is a unique opportunity for students to build their leadership skills while earning college credit. I am grateful for the young men and women who commit to serve in our Armed Forces and I am looking forward to reviewing the qualified applicants and supporting this influential program for another year. In order to be considered for the TASSP, a student enrolling in college straight from high school must meet two of the following four academic criteria at the time of application:
· Be on track to graduate, or has graduated high school with the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) or the International Baccalaureate Program (IB);
· Have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
· Achieve a college readiness score on the SAT (1070) or ACT (23);
· Be ranked in the top one-third of the prospective high school graduating class.
If you would like to be considered for nomination for the TASSP, please email your resume to
no later than June 1, 2016. Each member of the Legislature is authorized to nominate one student. For more information on specific requirements, please visit http://www.hhloans.com/ and click on the “Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program (TASSP)” link.
Rep. Thompson pictured with students in the Student Leadership Advisory Council and members of the Pearland City Council. The students presented bill ideas to be submitted during the 85th Legislative Session. These bright, young leaders will no doubt be active members of our community.
Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC)
On Saturday, April 23rd, 5 of our SLAC students presented their bill proposals to a panel that included community leaders such as Pearland City Council Members. The purpose of presenting the bill proposals was to provide the student the ability to write, research, and deliberate a bill that they were passionate about. Upon completing their presentation, each student deliberated and testified on their peers’ proposals. The panel of experts provided beneficial feedback to each student and posed questions for them to ponder. Family and friends participated in this final meeting as each student received his or her Certificate of Participation for the Student Leadership Advisory Council inaugural class. These students are remarkable: not only in their studies, but also in their public service. I am extremely proud to serve this district and the talented students we are blessed to have. We look forward to hearing of all the great things they will accomplish in the near future. To watch a short video from the event, click here.
I decided to practice my aim with the West Pearland Republican Women at their 2nd Amendment event!
Pearland Rated as a Best City for Young Families
Exciting news for Pearland! According to the apartment search website known as Apartment List, Pearland was ranked 10th out of more than 400 cities in the country to be named one of the best cities for young families for 2016. As usual with any best ranking list, Texas dominated the list with five of the top ten best cities, with Pearland being the only city ranked in the top ten in the Greater Houston Area. More information on the list can be found here.
Apartment List's analysis focused on four factors they identified as being the most important to families: safety, housing cost, school quality, and child friendliness. Well done, Pearland, and the fine residents of our community!
National Mental Health Awareness Month
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) system is working to raise awareness of mental health and the effect it has on the lives of all Texans.
"When you treat someone with a mental health condition, you improve the quality of their life and the quality of the lives of their family, friends and co-workers as well," HHS Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor said.
HHS has instituted Mental Health First Aid training for its employees and first responders across the statewide HHS system. The training helps people recognize the signs of someone who needs help and provides guidance on what actions to take to assist. The HHS system is also working with other state agencies to promote awareness of programs and make sure Texans who need help from different agencies get help. To get help or learn more about mental health symptoms and risks visit mentalhealthTX.org. To view a list of upcoming activities with HHS, please visit http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/hhsc_projects/omh/index.shtml.
Can I help you with a state issue you are facing? Please email me at
, call my District Office at 281-485-6565, or my Capitol Office at 512-463-0707. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated and stay in touch.
Thanks for reading, and God Bless Texas!