Capitol Office: 512.463.0707   |   District Office: 281.485.6565

Saturday, February 03 2018

Capitol Review Vol. 6, No. 2

 
Vol. 6, No. 2
 
Howdy Friends!
 
I hope your 2018 is off to a great start! It's been a busy month around the district and the Capitol. In this edition of the Capitol Review you'll find useful information on the following topics:
 
  • Summary of the First Landfill Hearing
  • Latest on Blue Ridge Landfill
  • Update on Holiday Giving
  • Move Over/Slow Down
  • The I's of Texas
  • Events happening around District 29 this month
 
With my beautiful wife Freddie at the annual Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Awards Dinner!
 
First Hearing of the Env. Reg. S/C on Air Quality & Municipal Landfills
I was honored to chair the initial hearing of our newly formed sub-committee that is studying issues regarding air quality and municipal landfills. We had a very productive discussion amongst a number of invited panelists. On the regulatory panel, we heard from TCEQ staff in the Permitting, Compliance, and Enforcement divisions. On the industry panel, we heard from Republic Services, Texas Disposal Systems, and Waste Management. On the association panel, we heard from the Lone Star Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (TxSWANA) and the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA). TxSWANA represents mainly municipal landfill operators while NWRA represents small and large industry operators. On the environmental panel, we heard from Texas Campaign for the Environment and Public Citizen.
 
If you would like to view the archived footage of the hearing, click here. We will be holding a follow-up hearing in April where we will bring these panelists back and take testimony from members of the public. I will provide more information on that hearing as the details become finalized.
 
Speaking with Alvin Community College's Process Technology Instructor Don Parvus during the ACC Advisory Council Meeting.
 
Update on Blue Ridge Landfill
TCEQ staff have completed their review of BRL's revision of their odor control plan submitted on January 18th. A TCEQ internal meeting, which included TCEQ Litigation attorneys, occurred on January 26th to discuss their remaining issues with BRL's plan. A representative of BRL was contacted by phone on January 30th to briefly discuss TCEQ's concerns. TCEQ requested a meeting with BRL representatives to attempt to resolve the remaining issues so that an approved plan can be implemented. I will be attending that meeting, which has been scheduled for February 10th.
 
Congratulating Ryan Shaw for his recent accomplishments of reaching the Eagle Scout’s Court of Honor and Quartermaster Bridge of Honor. Ryan has shown dedication, determination, and commitment and I’m grateful he was a member of my Youth Advisory Council. He is a soon-to-be Alvin ISD graduate!
 
Holiday Generosity
The Holiday Wishes program, led by the Speaker of the House, had help this year from hundreds of individuals within the Capitol community who either donated money, lent their time, or purchased gifts to meet an individual child’s wishes and needs.
We owe CPS caseworkers special thanks and admiration for all they do to make the Holiday Wishes program happen, including using personal days to deliver the gifts. Though not required to participate in this program, these volunteer efforts during the busiest time of year have touched many and brought much-needed joy to 30,615 children since 2011!
 
In House District 29, Alvin Community College partnered with Alvin ISD for their annual efforts, and Pearland ISD continued to assist children through their Angel Tree efforts. A total of 1,847 children received gifts impacting 671 families!
 
Enjoyed a mini legislative reunion with my colleagues Rep. Wayne Faircloth, Rep. Greg Bonnen, Rep. Dennis Paul, Rep. Mary Ann Perez, and Sen. Larry Taylor as we honored Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner with a Resolution for his service to the community.
 
DPS Ramping Up Move Over/Slow Down Enforcement
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is beginning enforcement efforts across the state focusing specifically on violations of the state’sMove Over/Slow Downlaw. These periodic enforcement operations by DPS Troopers are planned throughout the year at various locations in Texas, with several operations planned in February.
 
The law, originally passed in 2003, requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles – including police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles, and tow trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
 
Specifically, Texas law states that a driver must either:
 
  • Vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road (if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction), or
  • Slow down 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)
 
Drivers should only move over if they can do so safely and legally; otherwise, they should slow down.
 
Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $200; the fine increases to $500 if there is property damage. If violators cause bodily injury, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.
 
Preliminary data from 2017 shows that DPS issued more than 10,650 warnings and citations to motorists violating the Move Over/Slow Down law.
 
It was an honor to be nominated and appointed by Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta to the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Transportation Policy Council. I stand ready to serve the constituents and the organization.
 
The I's of Texas
Ever wonder what the Texas labor force looks like? Check out this Interactive Infographic created by the Texas Legislative Council on Texas' mature workforce. This infographic breaks down our state's labor force statistics by occupation, age, race/ethnicity, and sex for those over the age of 60. It also compares percentage of the workforce, median earnings, employment status, hours worked, and class of worker for those over 60 with those ages 16-59. For more information, contact the Statistical Section of TLC Research at 512-463-1143.
 
Speaking at the annual Buck Stevens Dinner benefiting Counseling Connections for Change.
 
House District 29 Events
Stay involved throughout the district with these upcoming events!
 
Trent Epperson from the City of Pearland joined me on a conference call with Texas Department of Transportation regarding the new frontage roads on SH 288 between CR 59 and FM 518.
 
If you need assistance on any state-related issue, please contact my Pearland office by phone at (281) 485-6565 or my Capitol office at (512) 463-0707, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Stay connected by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
 
Thanks for reading, and may God continue to bless Texas!
 
 
Ed Thompson
District 29

 

More in this category: « Capitol Review Vol. 6, No. 1

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