East Texas state representatives speak about special session's success, failures

East Texas state representatives speak about special session's success, failures
State Rep. Trent Ashby (Source: KTRE Staff)
State Rep. Travis Clardy (Source: KTRE Staff)
State Rep. Travis Clardy (Source: KTRE Staff)

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - The special session concluded with the Governor's wish list of legislation only halfway checked off, missing out on bills that would de-fund Planned Parenthood as well as implement the bathroom bill. However, State Rep.Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), said that East Texans shouldn't be disappointed.

"There was a provision in one of the bills that I have been fighting for since I've been in the legislature which would essentially undue the small school district penalty that many of our school districts across East Texas and the state of Texas face," Ashby said.

The public education theme continued with a signing of House Bill 30.

"I was really excited to see a bill that I had been working on throughout the special session to help our retired teachers make it to the governor's desk," Ashby said.

Ashby, along with State Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) saw the special session as a good effort, on all sides.

"It's hard to move everything in 30 days," Clardy said. "There still is a deliberative process to move legislation through committees, along the floor, through the calendars, through the votes, reconciling with the Senate and that."

Clardy stands strong behind the bathroom bill for Texas even though didn't pass this time around.

"It's a good, reasoned approach to this issue," Clardy said. "It establishes the primacy of Texas on this issue, not the federal government's."

Both representatives commented on reports from "The Economist" and other media outlets that said Abbott kept daily tallies on who voted on which issues.

"I didn't sense a lot of tactics that were being employed by the governor's office to try to intimidate or force us to try to do anything that we didn't expect to do," Ashby said.

"All I ever felt from Governor Abbott was a whole lot of love," Clardy said. "And, the feelings are reciprocated, so I feel good about it. If there's a score card, I bet I do okay."

As of Friday, Governor Abbott had no plans to call lawmakers back for yet another special session, something he had previously said he might do.

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