Capitol Office: 512.463.0707   |   District Office: 281.485.6565

Friday, October 07 2016

The Capitol Review Vol 4, No. 10

Hello Friends!

 

Busy, busy, busy; That is how the past five weeks can be described and I would not have it any other way! We had a great September hosting constituent town halls, putting up campaign signs throughout the district, and traveling to Austin for committee hearings, just to name a few things. Here is what we are covering for the month of October:

 

        ·   Events held throughout HD 29 and Texas

        ·   Keep House District 29 RED!

        ·   Preparing for the Upcoming Election

        ·   Successful House District 29 Town Halls

        ·   Halloween Safety Tips 

        ·   The Rainy Day Fund

        ·   Summary of Committee Hearings

        ·   Save the Dates

 

During the month of September and first week of October, we attended an abundance of events, including the Pearland Congressional Veteran Town Hall, Brazoria County Superintendent Monthly Meeting in Angleton, Pearland International Festival, Texas History Class Presentation at Harby Junior High School in Alvin, West Pearland Republican Women's Networking Event, Brazoria County Transportation and Infrastructure Summit in Lake Jackson, House District 29 Town Halls in Alvin and Pearland, Texas House of Representatives Republican Caucus meeting in Bastrop, and Brazoria County Cook-Off in Pearland.

 

On September 27th, I hosted a Town Hall at the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. Moderated by Council member Tony Carbone, we had a great turnout and the opportunity to answer several important questions concerning the future of House District 29 and the State of Texas.

 

We also attended the Brazoria County Cities Association meeting in Pearland, Liverpool Fall Festival, Shadow Creek Ranch Residents' "Walk the Talk" in Pearland, Alvin-Manvel Chamber of Commerce's VIP Iced Tea with your State Representative, Alum Homecoming Game in La Porte, Silverlake Lions Club "Uncorked" in Pearland, University of Houston vs. Oklahoma University football game in Houston, Bayou Republican's Soup Kitchen Luncheon in Alvin, Republican Headquarters Grand Opening in Pearland, Welcome reception for CEO David Wagner at the Pearland Medical Center, 2016 Brazoria County Business Hall of Fame in Lake Jackson, Official Coin Toss for the Manvel vs. Pearland High School football game at Oiler Stadium, Alvin-Manvel Chamber of Commerce's Monthly Luncheon, and First Church of Pearland: 9/11 Remembrance Service. 

 

   

I had the opportunity to visit with residents from Shadow Creek Ranch during our "Walk the Talk." We spent time discussing local issues during an early morning stroll in the neighborhood.

 

Keep House District 29 RED!

Friends! Election Day is on November 8th, and it will be here sooner than you think. We all know about the two presidential candidates running for office, and no matter how unpopular they may be, it is extremely important to go out and vote because state and local races are equally important.

 

As you may all have heard, I have a Democrat opponent running this election cycle. It is vital to have all the support we can get to keep our community in safe, conservative hands. That is why I am running again, to continue being your voice at the State Capitol in Austin. As a small business owner, former Mayor Pro-Tem of Pearland, and former member of the Pearland School Board, I know this community and understand the issues that are important to us.

 

With that being said, I hope you all will support my re-election by contributing to the campaign by clicking on the link below; any amount is appreciated. You can also show your support by picking up a campaign sign at the Republican headquarters on 3706 East Broadway St., Pearland, Texas 77581. I will also be block walking in various neighborhoods in the days and weekends leading up to Election Day. I hope to visit with as many of you all as possible; Let’s go out and WIN this November!

 

Want to get involved? Want a yard sign? Want to endorse me? Sign up here!

 

 

 

 

Preparing for the Upcoming Election 

With Election Day just around the corner, I am sure you have noticed the political campaign signs popping up all over town. Shortly after Labor Day, a team of hard-working, dedicated volunteers helped me put up signs all over the district. We had a great time driving through Pearland, Alvin, Manvel, Liverpool, and everywhere in between! I would like to thank everyone that came out to help and a special thank you to the business owners that gave their permission to have a sign installed onto their property!

 

In addition to installing the signs, two fundraisers were held in September. On September 12th, I hosted “Tee Time with Thompson” at TopGolf in Webster. We had many constituents and public officials show up to play a few games of golf. Thank you to everyone that showed up and made the event a success! On September 18th, I hosted a Meet & Greet at Billy’s Hall in Pearland. I had the pleasure of meeting with new constituents and revisiting with familiar faces. We had a great time; thank you for spending your afternoon with me!

 

Lastly, I would like to leave you with some useful information from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). If you need to pick up an Election Identification Certificate (EIC), which can be used for voting purposes, they are available year-round at all Texas driver license offices. To ensure that Texans have an EIC, DPS is offering Saturday hours from 10 AM - 2 PM for October 22nd and October 29th at select driver license offices. You can obtain an EIC at any of the more than 220 driver license offices in the State or through these select offices. You can apply for an EIC at no charge and it is just one form of identification that can be used to vote, but if you already have any of the following forms of identification, you are not eligible for an EIC:

 

        ·         Texas driver license - unexpired

        ·         Texas personal identification card - unexpired

        ·         Concealed Handgun License (CHL) or License to Carry (LTC)

        ·         US passport book or card - unexpired

        ·         US Military identification with photo - unexpired

        ·         US Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo

 

To qualify for an EIC, an applicant must:

 

          ·         Bring documentation to verify US citizenship and identity

        ·         Be eligible to vote in Texas

        ·         Be a Texas resident

        ·         Be 17 years and 10 months or older

 

The EIC is free of charge for qualifying applicants and is valid for 6 years. There is no expiration date for an EIC for citizens 70 years of age or older. The EIC is only used for voting purposes, not personal identification. For more information on the requirements and process for obtaining an EIC, please visithttp://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/electionID.htm.

 

The 2016 General Election is November 8th, and early voting begins October 24th and ends November 4th. If you need to vote by mail, the last day to request an application is October 28th. For more information on voting in Texas, visit the Secretary of State’s website:www.votetexas.gov. If you need to find out if you are already registered to vote or if you need an application to register to vote, please click here. You must register 30 days before the election, so the last day to register is October 9th.

 

  

On September 12th, I hosted "Tee Time with Thompson" at TopGolf in Webster to support my re-election campaign. I am pictured here with Tucker Anderson from Neighbors ER, State Representative Faircloth from Galveston, and State Representative Dennis Paul from Clear Lake. We had a great turnout and I would like to thank everyone for coming!

 

 

A collection of photos from the Meet & Greet at Billy's Hall on September 18th. Thank you to everyone that came out!

 

Successful House District 29 Town Halls

On September 26th and 27th, our office hosted two town halls in House District 29. The Alvin and Pearland town halls had a great turn out and we were able to partner with organizations such as the Texas Department of Transportation and Blueridge Transportation Group, which provided information on the 288 toll way project. In addition to answering questions from the public, we gave constituents the opportunity to interact with us through our social media platforms if they were unable to attend in person. Some of the questions and concerns that were brought up included the funding formula for the public school system, transportation, community colleges, and border security. I want to thank everyone that participated in the town halls and remind you all that I am available to hear your concerns throughout the year.

 

One of the concerns that was mentioned most often was the SH 288 toll lane expansion project, and I would like to address it in greater detail here in the Capitol Review. After years of planning and community input, the SH 288 toll lane project is scheduled to begin this season. The project is estimated to cost $815 million, and when complete, motorists will have the opportunity to use Express Toll Lanes for a quicker, smoother commute. The project will include the construction of 4 new tolled lanes within the existing median, 8 new tolled direct connectors providing a connection with the Sam Houston Tollway, new tolled direct connectors connecting SH 288 to Holcombe Boulevard near the Texas Medical Center, and the reconstruction of 8 direct connectors at IH 610. The project is anticipated for completion sometime in 2019. For more information on the project click here.

 

 

Mayors Paul Horn, Tom Ramsey, Tom Reid, and I attended the Transportation and Infrastructure Summit hosted by Brazoria County Chambers.

 

 

Halloween Safety Tips

The mystical spirit of Halloween has returned for another year of frights and fun. The spooky holiday is enjoyed by people of all ages, with many children dressing up as their favorite characters in popular culture. Halloween falls on a Monday this year, and when the sun finally sets, children, accompanied by their parents, will go trick-or-treating for the best candy the neighbors have to offer. It is extremely important to remember safety tips when going door-to-door. I have included some safety tips from the National Security Council below:

 

           ·         Parents or guardians should always accompany young children, even in the neighborhood

        ·         Teenagers going alone or with friends; plan and review a route that is acceptable

        ·         Determine a time for children to return home

        ·         Only walk up to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or vehicle for candy

        ·         If you are driving, take extra caution at night and lookout for pedestrians

 

With these safety tips in mind, everyone will be able to have a fun and memorable Halloween!

 

The Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County is a great organization that sends care packages to our military overseas. This photo was taken at the Bayou Republican Women's Soup Kitchen Fundraiser at the Alvin Senior Center on September 14th.

 

 

The Rainy Day Fund 

We have all noticed the decline in oil and gas prices over the past year, meaning the state has been generating less revenue than in recent memory. Topped with a decrease in sales tax collections, Texas is facing a budget that will contain nearly $3 billion less than the last biennium when the Legislature returns in January 2017.

 

Oil and gas production has always been critically important in Texas, so in 1988 after a harsh economic recession, Texans approved a constitutional amendment and created the economic stabilization funds, or ESF for short. Now commonly known as the "Rainy Day Fund", Texas has a financial back up of almost $11 billion. 46 states in the country have some sort of rainy day fund, but everything is bigger in Texas, including our Rainy Day Fund. Texas has the largest account, mainly due to the extreme growth in oil and gas collections attributed to hydraulic fracturing that began late in the last decade.

 

Changes to the Rainy Day Fund have been made as recently as 2014 when voters approved a constitutional amendment to shift half of the ESF's share of oil and gas revenue to the State Highway Fund because of the need to take action on important transportation issues. If no further action is taken, the funds shifted will return to their normal 75 percentage at the end of fiscal year 2025.

 

Looking to the future, some of the big issues next session will include school finance, foster care reform, employee pensions, and the financial squeeze. Lawmakers will need to show fiscal restraint next session, even with the added comfort of the Rainy Day Fund, but those funds should only be used as a last resort. These discussions will be exceptionally important, so please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns or questions you may have.

 

 

 

I had a great time giving a presentation on the differences and similarities of the State and Federal government to students at Harby Jr. High in Alvin.

 

Summary of Committee Hearings

Over the past several weeks, the State Capitol has been holding numerous committee hearings on an array of issues. As the Vice-Chair of the Land & Resource Management committee and a member of the Select Joint committee on State Real Property Data Collection, Reporting, and Assessment and the Joint committee to Study a Coastal Barrier System, September and October were very productive months. Here is a summary of what was discussed at each of the hearings:

 

Land & Resource Management - On September 21st, the committee met in Austin to discuss current annexation policies and regulatory authority available to municipalities in their extraterritorial jurisdictions. The committee heard both public and invited testimony from citizens all over the State. Fun fact: 1,400 people move to Texas every day. We also learned that a few public officials will be filing legislation pertaining to annexation; I will keep an eye on this important issue during the 85th Legislative Session.

 

State Real Property - On September 28th, the committee met in Austin for an update from state agencies on the status of the report required by HB 3750 that will ensure all real property owned by the state is adequately insured. We learned that the total value of assets reported is estimated at $80 billion, but only $30 billion is actually insured. The discussion of a comprehensive database was also deliberated, which would require a collaborative, multi-agency partnership to collect all the necessary information to be added to a centralized location. During the hearing, I brought up the idea of adding a historical value for some of the buildings. For example, the Capitol Complex in downtown Austin is estimated to be worth $200 million, but the historical value of the building was not taken into account. For this reason, the replacement costs being reported could actually be higher than we think. This was the last hearing for this committee, but rest assured, any legislative issues that arise during the next session pertaining to this committee will receive my utmost attention.

 

Coastal Barrier System  - On October 5th, the Coastal Barrier System committee met in Austin to further discuss the plans to protect the Gulf Coast from future major hurricanes. The Coastal Barrier, or "Ike Dike," is the most popular plan being studied to protect the Port of Houston and the petro-chemical industrial complex. Texas is one of just a few states that does not have a coastal master plan, which is unacceptable, given we are the 2nd largest state in terms of both size and population. Assistance is also being sought at the federal level, with Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Randy Weber filing bills and seeking additional funding for the project. Please know that I find this issue extremely important, and want the Texans that do not reside near the coast to know that even though this may seem to be a regional issue, a major hurricane like the one we experienced in 2008 can and will have a reverberating effect throughout the entire state. Stay tuned for future updates in the coming months.

 

 

 

Pictured with Chancellor and President of the University of Houston, Renu Khator, I had the pleasure of attending the UH vs. OU game. The Cougars defeated the Sooners 33-23 and still continue to show the nation the might of the H-Town Takeover!

 

 

Save the Dates

Here are some important dates that are right around the corner:

 

            ·   October 18, 2016 - 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM: Elected Official Meet and Greet (Pearland Chamber of Commerce, 6117                           Broadway St., Pearland, TX 77581)

 

            ·   October 24, 2016 - November 4, 2016: Early Voting

 

            ·   November 8, 2016 - 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM: Election Day

 

 

The State Fair of Texas in Dallas is officially open! From September 30th thru October 23rd, bring the entire family to the Fair and try some fried food, listen to live music, ride the largest Ferris wheel in Texas, and so much more!

 

 

Can I help you with a state issue you are facing? Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 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. Visit our YouTube channel for monthly videos as well! 

 

Thanks for reading, and God Bless Texas!

Ed Thompson

District 29

 

P.S. To contribute financially, click the red contribute button below to pay by credit card. You can also mail a check payable to Friends of Ed Thompson and send it to P.O. Box 3453, Pearland, Texas 77588. Questions? Email me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you so much for your help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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