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Interim Update – In the Capitol and In the District

July 7, 2016

IN THE CAPITOL

My team and I are staying focused on a number of key issues that affect you and your neighbors in Senate District 4, including:

85th Legislative Session – What is Most Important to You?

We’re just over 200 days away from the start of the next legislative session and I want to know what challenges you’d like us to tackle when we assemble in the Capitol in January. So please hit “reply” to this note and let me know what’s on your mind so my team and I can put together a well-researched agenda.

TexCom’s Threat to the Conroe Oil Field

Just a few weeks ago, I joined my fellow legislators from the area in sending a letter to the Texas Railroad Commission detailing our concerns about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s decision to grant a permit to TexCom Gulf Disposal so they could inject industrial waste into the Conroe Oil Field. This just can’t happen, so we’ve asked the Texas RRC to intervene and overturn this decision on a project that could contaminate our groundwater supply. I will continue to fight this project to ensure the health and safety of my constituents.

High Speed Rail

I have heard from many of you regarding the High Speed Rail project and I have serious concerns as well. Private property rights will be taken through eminent domain as the rail company attempts to construct a project that will permanently mark Texas counties. Farm and ranch land, often held by a family for generations, will be divided, creating a loss in access and revenue for those who rely on agricultural operation for a living.

My office is working hard to bring federal, state and local officials together, along with community leaders, to stay engaged and involved in this issue until our community can be assured this project will be beneficial to the families of Southeast Texas or stopped in its tracks.

IN THE DISTRICT

Conroe ISD Recognized

As you may know, I’ve filed a bill in every session since 2007 that would require the top 50 school districts in the state to put their finances online as a way to encourage transparency. Every time, that bill has been voted down, but you can bet I’ll be filing it again during the 85th Legislative Session. In the meantime, it’s awesome to see Texas Comptroller, Glenn Hegar, recognize Conroe ISD for becoming the first entity to meet his exacting transparency standards. Way to go, Conroe Independent School District!

When It Rains, It Pours

Our district has been hit hard by flooding during some of the heaviest rains we’ve seen in years. Fortunately, a federal disaster declaration for Montgomery County was issued and 11 others that will clear the way for federal aid to start flowing to residents and local governments. This process was triggered by Governor Abbott’s request and facilitated by our Congressional delegation in Washington including U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady and Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management is taking the lead in coordinating with FEMA on assisting residents. If you need assistance in storm recovery, I encourage you to visit www.mctxoem.org.

Preparing for the Next Storm

As we say in Texas, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it’ll change. That’s especially true in summertime as big storms can do even bigger damage.

That’s why I’m supporting the request that Montgomery County and the City of Conroe made to the Texas Water Development Board for a flood mitigation study. Once completed, we will know the proper actions to take for better results.

Also, I directed my team to attend a series of workshops intended to help our district prepare even better for emergencies like this. Here is the Reader’s Digest version of best practices for storm preparation that they’ve compiled:

  • Have a list of emergency contact numbers ready
  • Have an evacuation plan
  • Pack an emergency kit
  • Have copies of all of your insurance policies with you
  • Know who to call, including:

FEMA

  • For disaster survivors: 800-621-3362
  • General operator: 202-646-2500

Texas Counties

  • Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management: 713-881-3100
  • Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management: 936-523-3900
  • Jefferson County Emergency Management: 409-835-8757
  • Chambers County Emergency Management: 409-267-2445
  • Galveston County Emergency Management: 281-309-5002

Our Office Locations

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I want to be the most responsive legislator in the Capitol and that starts with being available. In addition to updates like this, my team and I spend a lot of time in each of our three office locations so you can connect with us. They are in:

Beaumont (on Edison Plaza)

  • 350 Pine Street, Suite 1450, Beaumont, TX 77701
  • Phone: 409-838-9861

The Woodlands

  • 2829 Technology Forest Boulevard, Suite 240, The Woodlands, TX 77381
  • Phone: 281-292-4128

The Capitol

  • P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station, Austin, TX 78711
  • Phone: 512-463-0104

Regardless of location, I can be reached at Brandon.Creighton@senate.texas.gov.

Best,

Brandon Creighton
Senator
District 4