SENTINEL                  ALERT

HD 18 News

Dear Neighbors, 
During this interim, our focus continues to be on the people of HD18. Our work on property tax relief is encouraging as we gather input which will help drive future legislation. We are also involved in committee hearings in Austin and continuing to tackle the complex issues of TRS pensions. There is positive news to report from my recent trip to Washington, D.C. and an update from Governor Abbott over Hurricane Harvey relief funds. Next week, I will provide an update on what is happening at your State Capitol.

Recently, Representative Bailes traveled to Washington, D.C. to discuss several federal issues that are impacting us here in House District 18. In addition to meetings with several members and agencies, he also had meetings with Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08), Department of Transportation (DOT), and policy analysts at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to discuss issues including the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Act and the Federal Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. The results were positive. An update:

Secure Rural Schools (SRS):  The SRS Act addresses income generated through timber harvested for sale on federal forest lands. In HD 18, both Walker and San Jacinto County have federal forest lands and are impacted by the SRS Act. The SRS program provides payments to counties based on historic timber sales, rather than current revenues. Following months of collaborative work, Rep. Bailes and other members of the Texas Legislature submitted a joint resolution to Congress to reauthorize the SRS Act. The reauthorization of the SRS Act successfully passed. As a result, desperately needed revenue will come back into our district. To read more, click here.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELD):  Earlier this year, Representative Bailes began the process of working to address the unintended/unforeseen consequences of a recent Federal ELD Mandate which requires the use of ELD’s by commercial drivers. In February, Rep. Bailes held a town hall meeting in Huntsville to discuss the impacts of the ELD mandate. Considering the weight of pickup trucks has increased since the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirements were created, many CDL holders are legitimately concerned that they will be caught up in this ELD mandate. Rep. Bailes took their concerns to the Federal Transportation Committee in D.C. Rep. Bailes is encouraged that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), announced on 03/19/2018 an additional 90 day waiver for agriculture related transportation while the issues are sorted out. “This will help as we all work to make sure those involved in agriculture don’t suffer any unintended consequences. This mandate is a prime example of well-intentioned legislation which had unforeseen problems. I am appreciative of the members and agencies for opening their doors and hearing our concerns. By having a seat at the table, we can make sure our voices continue to be heard,” concluded Rep. Bailes. To read more, click here.


Hurricane Harvey Recovery

While we continue to address flooding and draining in and around HD 18, just recently, Governor Abbott visited Kingwood, Texas, where he took an aerial tour to survey damage along the San Jacinto River. During his visit, he met with various community leaders and elected officials to discuss Hurricane Harvey recovery and flood prevention efforts. During this meeting in Kingwood, Governor Abbott announced Texas will be taking action to aid in the prevention of future flooding through the use of Hazard Mitigation Funds. This is a tremendous step in the right direction to provide adequate draining and other prevention measures for future natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey. To read more, click here

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