From the newsletter dated February 15, 2021
With last week’s chair appointments and committee assignments, the 87th Legislature has now begun to slowly pick up steam. Committees have about two weeks to get staffed and organized as hearings will begin towards the end of February. I’ve mentioned it before, but committees are where the sausage is made in the Texas Legislature. I’ve included an explainer on the legislative process, with particular focus on how a bill works its way through a committee.
While I get most of the credit (and all of the blame) for things that happen in my office, I have an amazing, if small, group of staff who keep things running. I thought while things were still slow, I could introduce (or reintroduce) them to you. This session, I’m blessed to have several returning staff as well as a couple who are new to the team. I’ve included a photo (that everyone was very excited to take) below.
Also, I had the opportunity this week to give remarks at an event put on by the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services. This group is made up of child placing agencies, shelters, and other organizations that directly help Texas children and families. We discussed their priorities and some of mine in the child welfare arena as well as the opportunities that exist to improve foster care and help eliminate unnecessary removals. I always appreciate the chance to talk with the folks who are the boots on the ground in helping children, and I am grateful for their invitation.
Finally, while I love snow as much as anyone, I’m ready for some warmer weather. I can’t remember the last time I saw negative temperatures in Wichita Falls. Usually around this time I’m itching to be back home, but for once I’m happy to be in Austin. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and warm this weekend.
May God bless you and your family,
James B. Frank