Representative Ashby visits Groveton, discusses Texas issues

The Republican Women of Trinity County hosted an event on Aug. 9 where Texas State Representative Trent Ashby visited Groveton to speak to Trinity Co. about pressing issues concerning the upcoming 85th session of the Texas Legislature.

“The thing about Trinity County, and I just can’t get away from this – every time I’m over here it’s almost like family,” Ashby said. “And I hope that you never take that for granted here… I see the love in this room, I see the support in this room, and as much as I would love to tell you that you see that everywhere you go, you know and I know that doesn’t happen. Y’all have a very, very special community here in Trinity County.”

Ashby mentioned the particularly distinguished crowd he found himself speaking to in Groveton, which consisted of SREC members, Republican volunteers, and county, state, and city officials; he introduced his family, then transitioned to speaking about pressing political matters.

“I want to touch on just a few issues… I would be doing you a disservice to sit here tonight and talk about all the rosy issues, because we are blessed with Texas, but we have some challenges on the horizon,” Ashby said.

The first topic Ashby brought to the crowd’s attention was education funding.  He said he had been handed the gavel to Chair a subcommittee over all higher and public education in Texas.“One of the biggest challenges we’re gonna face in looking at our budget next cycle, is for the first time since I’ve been representing you, we’re not going to have a rosy forecast,” Ashby said. “There won’t be these giant surpluses… we’re going to have some real questions about how we spend that money.” More specifically, he continued, the lack of funds are expected to affect TRS Care, which is essentially healthcare for retired teachers.

For over a dozen years, Ashby said, Texas has known there was a, “looming fiscal cliff when it comes to funding the longer-term solvency of TRS Care.” Despite that, he said retired teachers would be taken care of, but that TRS Care would need to be reformed.

The next troubling issue facing Texas concerns the state’s foster care system. Ashby said there currently is a lack of skilled workers, a lack of funding, and a shortage of beds. It is recommended, Ashby said, that each caseworker not exceed 17 cases; however, caseworkers on average are currently responsible for 30 cases each. To make matters worse, Ashby continued, Texas is expected to lose 200 beds next September. He labeled Texas foster care as a, “priority issue.”

Ashby also spoke about issues concerning emergency leave pay and Texas water laws, and mentioned border security, but offered a fairly positive report.

He concluded by mentioning that the number of attendees at Republican events in Trinity County had drastically increased in recent years, and that for Republicans to accomplish their goals, everyone needs to get involved.

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