Ashby, Clardy back home after productive legislative session - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Ashby, Clardy back home after productive legislative session

Leaders are waiting on word of a special session (Source: CNN) Leaders are waiting on word of a special session (Source: CNN)
Ashby praised the work on Mental Health reform (Source: KTRE) Ashby praised the work on Mental Health reform (Source: KTRE)
Clardy did not believe a protest should have taken place on the final day of the session (Source: KTRE) Clardy did not believe a protest should have taken place on the final day of the session (Source: KTRE)

State Representatives Trent Ashby and Travis Clardy are back at home after a productive 85th legislative session at the state capital.

The two have been busy traveling from the Pineywoods to the capitol over the past 5 months voting on almost 800 bills that became law.

"I enjoyed Austin, but we're sitting here, enjoying time with our friends and family," Ashby said.

While both are back in town settling down, they are also waiting on word from the governor's office on the possibility of a special session.

"Unlike my first time in session, we knew it was coming but it was a really long special session," Clardy said. "I think it is going to only be a couple of days, if at all."

The session was busy with many laws being passed that affect East Texas. One law that could be big in East Texas is the one that will bring tougher punishments on administrators that do not report allegations of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students. Over the past year, several teachers in East Texas have been arrested for the crime. The numbers are also up across the entire state.

"There is never, ever any type of excuse on that type of behavior and I was really pleased to see us put some teeth into that law to try and arrest that type of behavior but there is more work tat can be done so we will monitor the law over the next two years," Ashby said.

The session also ended on a heated note with a large immigration bill protest in the gallery and legislators getting into a physical altercation.

"I respect everyone's right to protest and freedom of speech and assembly and all that but that's Memorial Day and that's a day we should respect our fallen dead that respect our freedoms," Clardy said.

Ashby also pointed out that many people in East Texas will see positive changes from the session when it comes to the balanced budget that was passed.

"We got a big victory with more funding for the mental services here with Burke and the state hospital in Rusk," Ashby said. "We also are getting jail diversion which is big."

Clardy agreed with Ashby.

"It is a really growing problem and you hear that with your mayors, your hospital administrators, from your sheriffs and from your jailers," Clardy said.

The two also pointed out more funding for educational programs at community colleges including Angelina College.

Now the two sit back and check emails and news about any word on a looming special session.

"If the governor decides to call us back to special session, I will honor that obligation," Ashby said.

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