Summit brings political process to East Texas - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Summit brings political process to East Texas

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Three years ago Nacogdoches leaders wanted to do something new. That year, the state legislature wasn't in session.  The Lonestar Legislative Summit was born, bringing elected representatives to them.

"Right in their own backyard is where they're going to be able to meet with their legislature. You don't have to go to Austin or Washington D.C. They're coming to you," said John Ruckle, chair of governmental affairs for the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce.

This may be the only event of its kind in the state.

"As far as a community to meet one-on-one with their elected officials, I'm not aware of another community in the state that does anything like this," Ruckle said.

Panel discussions involving elected officials will include a wide range of topics.

"You're going to have farmers and ranchers that are interested in water and transportation and imminent domain," said Ruckle.

Public education is a top priority for many attending and a panel on education moderated by the chair of the house education committee will inform those interested.

"The number one employer in our district is our public school and universities and so public education is very important," said State Rep. Wayne Christian.

Plus, budget concerns are on the minds of many.

"Trying to discuss what to do in a session where you have more population growth than any other state in the nation, said Christian.

The summit's importance is gaining ground with way more attending this year than in the past.

"I just think people with what's going on in state and local government are really interested in taking an interest in their government," said Ruckle

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