Update from the Capitol - February 7, 2023

It's 111 Days until Sine Die (last day of the 88th Legislative Session)!

Hi Kronda,

Warmer temperatures are returning statewide after Winter Storm Mara. Thankfully, the bulk of HD-65 went without power outages. I spent the week in Austin -- where the House of Representatives ended up not being able to convene either Tuesday or Friday for lack of quorum (most members were not able to travel into town due to the winter road conditions). We will reconvene today, Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 2:00 p.m.

I'm excited to share we are kicking off our monthly "Legislative Coffee" this Saturday at 9 am! Check out the details below. This is an opportunity for me to visit directly with you and provide some Capitol updates.

We are so pleased to welcome Elena Glassman to our staff as HD-65 District Liaison! You probably already see Elena around the community a lot, but she wants to connect even more. So, if you have an event or know of something going on in Denton County that we might not have on the radar... please get in touch so we can be there!

All my best,

This Saturday! ☕️ Coffee with Kronda

Our first Legislative Coffee in the district is this coming Saturday, Feb. 11, 9:00-11:00 am at the Queen Margaret Community Center (2501 Queen Margaret, Lewisville).

Our office will be giving a legislative update on what we are working on, and what we are planning in the weeks ahead. Come and go as you are able.

We will also have some special guests joining us to provide community updates:

Commissioner Kevin Falconer

Lewisville Mayor TJ Gilmore

Carrollton Mayor Steve Babick

Justice of the Peace Blanca Oliver

Can't make this Saturday?

🗓️ Save the date for the next one!

The next Legislative Coffee will be Saturday, March 11, 9:00-11:00 am at Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell's Precinct 3 Government Building (400 N Valley, #2068, Lewisville 75067).

Legislative Update

The HD-65 team continues to work on legislation that has been brought forth by our local cities and community members. We have several bills currently in review with the Texas Legislative Council (TLC). State agencies are hit just like our businesses by the labor shortage, and TLC has seen a 20% increase in bills filed, over last session -- but with fewer resources to manage that intake and get those bills reviewed. As a result, legislators have been advised that 2/17 is our final deadline to get new drafts in to Lege Council. Our office is burning the midnight oil to submit!

Committee assignments could come out in the next week; they are usually distributed around Valentine's Day. Once committees are set, bills can be referred and the hearing process can get underway. The pace will pick up in our Capitol office then!

Legislative Process 101: For many of us, it's been a minute since Schoolhouse Rock and HS civic class! Along this journey, I have answered a lot of questions about what is happening at different points of the process; stay tuned for some resources to help you understand what exactly is going on in the 88th Legislature.

Helping Stop the Fentanyl Tragedy - HB 1581

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is devastating Texas. It is pouring across the border and being mixed with other drugs to increase the user's drug dependency.

And this tragedy is already in our backyard:

"3 teen fentanyl deaths, 7 more overdoses tied to Carrollton drug house near schools"

~ WFAA, Feb. 6, 2023

"We can never replace the three teenagers whose lives were lost, nor can we heal the psychological scars of those who survived their overdoses. But we can take action to ensure these defendants are never allowed to hand a pill to a child again,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton.

But it's hard to prosecute on this crisis because of how fentanyl gets mixed in with other drugs and how fast it works on the body: fentanyl can kill someone so quickly that it's hard for the authorities to detect fentanyl's presence in the bloodstream of the victim at the time of the autopsy. Current statute can be complicated in this scenario.

One of the first bills that our office has filed is HB 1581, which would make the delivery of a controlled substance causing serious bodily injury a second degree felony, and the delivery of a controlled substance causing death a first degree felony. This would create a clearer path for prosecutors to press charges successfully when fentanyl is a factor in an injury or death.

It is important to me to provide more resources to our law enforcement agencies and district attorneys, to prosecute the drug dealers that are harming our families.

We will keep you posted about the progress of HB 1581!

Capitol Artwork Program

Before I was even elected, I knew I wanted to have student artwork in my office if I made it to the Capitol. Seeing the student art displays regularly was one of my favorite parts of being a school board trustee and I wanted to share that with the whole Legislature. We've made several featured places for display in the Capitol office, and soon we will be sharing individual pieces of art from students across HD-65.

Superintendent Dr. Lori Rapp, Lewisville ISD

Ari Kinney, Harmony Charter Schools, Carrollton

Principal Erin Vennell, Adkins Elementary, Denton ISD

HD-65 Happenings

The Colony Mayor Richard Boyer and staff visited our office to talk about issues affecting residents.

Brookhaven College students visiting our office

Students gave a presentation for a piece of legislation they worked on in class.

Visited with Chrissy Rettig at the TFRW Legislative Conference 2023

TFRW hosted a Freshman Meet & Greet during the Conference.

Grand Opening Ceremony for K-Plaza in Downtown Carrollton

Coppell City Councilman John Jun

Magic Korea invited guests from across the district for the opening ceremony

Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Legislative Tour

The Rio Grande Valley Partnership hosted a tour for legislators to learn more about the region, which provides over $3 billion annually to the Texas economy. Our visit included a tour of one the largest ports in Texas - the Port of Brownsville. We also went across the channel for a brief visit to the Space X facility at Boca Chica Beach.

For many years, the largest nationality represented in Texas border crossings was Mexico, then it became Central America. Today Nicaraguans are the largest nationality crossing borders in the RGV.

Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez discussed Operation Lone Star with us. Last year U.S. Border Patrol had 468,000 encounters, with El Paso being the largest entry point. So far this year, Border Patrol agents have had 95,000 encounters with illegal immigrants, and at this rate will be on track to have over 500,000 encounters this year.

Chief Patrol Agent Chavez relayed to us that drones have increasingly become a problem at the Texas border -- with over 24,000 detections of drones in the Rio Grande Valley alone.

With the Pentagon revealing yesterday that China is flying -- not just the one we shot down, but a whole fleet of -- surveillance balloons over the Western Hemisphere right now, I am concerned about the implications of this news about thousands of unexplained drones at our border. It's just one more reason that we absolutely must increase security and stability there.

The Texas border is the gateway to all of the U.S. and national security issues are clearly in play. I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues, our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and Governor Abbott to help secure our southern border.

Proclamations & Resolutions

We want to celebrate important events in our community -- student accomplishments, business milestones, and significant dates and anniversaries -- with you. Please get in touch with our office to inquire.

And please let us know if you have an event you would like our office to attend!

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