NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Clardy veranda outside his downtown loft has already been used by Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, who is ready for a little R & R.
"Yes, a little tired, but I am very happy," Clardy said.
Happy because the accomplishments were done in the allotted time.
"Not only is there no talk of a special," Clardy said. "The governor has come out and said there won't be no special."
So it's time for a reflection. Critics, both Democrats and Republicans, have called the 84th session less efficient than the last and the worst ever.
"We did what we wanted to do which was have a balanced budget, address the immediate needs of the state, and to look for ways to cut taxes, so I'm happy with what we did," Clardy said.
The Republican acknowledged the far-right Tea Partiers are the most vocal critics. He must listen, but he said he hears anger that can lead to poor legislation.
"It's the bad bills that we change and push off the side of the table because we don't need them," Clardy said.
Clardy good humoredly shared that he received the first ever veto by Governor Greg Abbot over wording on a mental health bill. Yet more than 20 of Clardy's bills that he says were driven by district needs passed into law. Hotel Fredonia will receive designated hotel occupancy tax monies. So will similar services in other cities which were tacked onto the bill.
"Monies generated from that facility, not from other taxes, not from other hotels or other restaurants," he said. "Money generated there will stay there."
A Tyler junior college won approval for a four-year medical program and Stephen F. Austin State University received long-awaited construction funding. Looking toward the future, Clardy said he'll run for another term and has no sights on other state offices.
"Other levels might not be so satisfactory," he said. "Might be somewhat frustrating, so right now I'm exactly where I need to be."
Right now, it's veranda sitting in the cool of an East Texas summer evening.
Clardy said he anticipates the hot topic over the next two years will be discussion on private property rights. The issue frequently surfaces in transportation, energy, and water infrastructure discussions.