News

Capitol Comments February 6, 2018

February 13, 2018

The latest edition of my Capitol Comments is available for your viewing now: http://bit.ly/2EyNbXq.

Capitol Comments January 2, 2018

January 26, 2018

The latest edition of my Capitol Comments is available for your viewing now: http://bit.ly/2kJaZhx.

Capitol Comments December 5, 2017

December 5, 2017
VOLUME III, ISSUE 29
Dear Friend,

We have had much to be thankful for over the past month as we take stock of all that 2017 has brought. At the Capitol, the House Republican Caucus has approved rule changes on how the next Speaker will be elected. I am also thankful for the resilience of our state as we have weathered Hurricane Harvey and the worst mass shooting in Texas history. Lisa and I continue to pray for those victimized by these events.

Read on to learn about the goings-on in House District 65 and at the Capitol during the past month. You can also find information about events going on during the upcoming holiday season. My office will keep you informed on my House website, Facebook, or Twitter. It is an honor representing you.

In addition, in order to continue my work and keep standing for your conservative values down in Austin I must be re-elected. If you could assist my campaign by contributing $25, $50, $75, or even $100 by clicking here it would help immensely. Or you can always send a check made out to Ron Simmons Campaign and sent to P.O. Box 117567, Carrollton, TX 75011.

Best regards,
Ron Simmons
State Representative
House District 65

CAPITOL NEWS

Christmas 2017

This past week the Christmas season officially came to the capitol with the arrival of both the House and Senate Christmas trees! The spouses of the members decorated the tree this past weekend with 150 ornaments from each state representative highlighting their district. It is a beautiful sight to behold once it is complete!

Speaker’s Race
Since the end of the special session I have been at the forefront in urging that changes be made to the House Republican Caucus bylaws in order for us to nominate a conservative Republican Speaker candidate from our caucus that all the members will support. I am happy to report that our caucus unanimously adopted just such a rule this past week in our caucus meeting. This is how the process should work, and how it already works in many other states and at the national level in the US House of Representatives. Each party caucus will nominate their candidate for Speaker and a vote will take place on the floor of the House immediately after we are sworn in to elect one of these individuals as our next Speaker in accordance with the Constitution of Texas.

DISTRICT NEWS

Campaign Interns Needed

We are seeking highly motivated young people to intern for our campaign for any length of time between now and the primary in March. Interns will get to experience the inner workings of a campaign and have the opportunity to interact with campaign professionals and local leaders. Please send resumes to andy@ronsimmons.com or call Andy at 202-253-7288.

Lewisville Christmas Parade

Simmons for State Representative volunteers walked in the Lewisville Christmas Parade sponsored by Huffines Auto Dealerships this past weekend having fun and giving out Simmons swag while officially kicking off the Christmas season!

Campaign Yard Signs

Yet again campaign season is rolling around. My campaign will be putting out yard signs the end of December through early January, so please let us know if you’d like one in your yard! Also if you have a property or business that would like to host a large sign you may email my political director at andy@ronsimmons.com. We have a new logo, so even if you’ve saved one from previous years, let us know so we can bring you the new and improved version!
Year End Donations
As the year draws to a close, many choose to make donations to lower their tax burden and help those less fortunate out. As the parents of an autistic son, Lisa and I have benefited from the work of the Autism Society, and would urge you to donate to them.

Holiday Events in HD 65

The holiday season is here once again! Many exciting events are happening to celebrate in House District 65, and we have compiled a few of them below.

Carrollton Snow Globe – December 9, 2017, 11:00 AM
Brookhaven Bell Choir – December 9, 2017, 3:00 PM
Lewisville Christmas at the Cabin – December 16, 2017, 10:00 AM
Harry Potter Yule Ball – December 29, 2017, 6:30 PM

Lady Hawks State Champions Once Again

Since the UIL began crowning state volleyball champions in 1967, only 14 programs have ever completed a three-peat. Lewisville Hebron joined that exclusive club this past month at the Curtis Culwell Center, capturing a 25-17, 25-14, 25-15 victory over Katy Seven Lakes. It marked the fifth state title for the Lady Hawks (41-7) in six trips to the tournament and secured the first three-peat for any program since Lucas Lovejoy won four straight in Class 3A from 2008 to 2011. Congratulations to all the young ladies for their accomplishment!

Capitol Comments November 6, 2017

November 6, 2017
VOLUME III, ISSUE 28
Dear Friend,

During the past month, momentous change has occurred in the Texas House. The Speaker of the House, Joe Straus, has decided to retire after five terms as Speaker. We have also been grappling with the aftermath of Harvey. I have been out and about at many events in my district as well, listening to constituents and hearing your opinions.

Read on to learn about the goings-on in House District 65 and at the Capitol during the past month. You can also find information about events going on during the upcoming holiday season. My office will keep you informed on my House website, Facebook, or Twitter. It is an honor representing you.

In addition, in order to continue my work and keep standing for your conservative values down in Austin I must be re-elected. If you could assist my campaign by contributing $25, $50, $75, or even $100 by clicking here it would help immensely. Or you can always send a check made out to Ron Simmons Campaign and sent to P.O. Box 117567, Carrollton, TX 75011.

Best regards,
Ron Simmons
State Representative
House District 65

CAPITOL NEWS

Interim Charges

The Texas House released a list of interim charges for House committees to take up and study throughout the interim.  Interim charges highlight issues that should receive study and discussion ahead of the upcoming legislative session; each committee will study each assigned charge and report back to the legislature with recommendations before the session begins in January 2019.  In total, the House issued more than 230 interim charges; in light of Hurricane Harvey, almost every House Committee has received at least one interim charge related to Hurricane Harvey and disaster relief efforts. The work done by these committees throughout the legislative interim will help guarantee that we remain conservative stewards of our state resources and that we are meeting the needs of our State’s robust private sector.  A full list of the House interim charges, sorted alphabetically by committee, can be found here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/_media/pdf/interim-charges-85th.pdf.

I look forward to working on the interim charges for the committees I serve on, the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on Transportation.

Hurricane Harvey 
Leadership in the Texas Legislature has been hard at work since Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the Texas coast.  The House Committee on Appropriations met in Houston on October 2 to analyze and discuss the use of federal funds by state agencies in responding to emergency situations during Harvey and recovery efforts following the storm.  Additionally, we explored various opportunities the State and local governments can leverage to maximize the effective use of federal and state funds.  State funding was critical in the immediate short term following the storm to aid in flood mitigation, debris removal, and the rebuilding of utility infrastructure.  Over the long term, the State will shift its focus from funding immediate emergency management needs to funding long term recovery efforts such as the rebuilding and remodeling of homes, the rebuilding and repairing of critical infrastructure, and the construction of new flood mitigation projects.  The long term-cost will indeed be significant.  To date, Congress has approved close to $30 billion in emergency spending authority related to Hurricane Harvey.  On Tuesday October 17th, Governor Abbott presented the federal government with a request for up to $61 billion in funding – the funding would be used for rebuilding roads, public facilities, schools, and major flood prevention infrastructure projects.   Recovery activities related to Hurricane Harvey continue to be a tremendous effort and one that I expect will take years; rest assured the legislature continues to remain engaged in recovery efforts throughout the process with a primary focus on preventing affected Texans from slipping into poverty, losing personal assets, or becoming homeless as a result of the storm.
Speaker’s Race
On October 25, after serving as Speaker of the House for ten years and five legislative sessions, Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus announced that he would not seek re-election for his House seat in the 2018 election.  The announcement was unexpected and has served as the source of much speculation regarding the future management of Texas’ House of Representatives.  Thus far, two of my Republican legislative colleagues, Representative Phil King and Representative John Zerwas, have announced and filed for their intention to run for Speaker of the House in the 86th Legislative Session.  While I’m sure that more are actively considering making the run for Speaker and more will certainly file for the race between now and session, it is important to remember that the next legislative session remains 14 months away.  In the meantime, my efforts concerning the House Speaker race remain focused on working within the House Republican Caucus to ensure that the Republican Caucus selects and unanimously supports a Republican Speaker candidate.  I believe this to be the best method in guaranteeing that House leadership is the most representative of Texas and our constituents.  A committee formed by the Republican Caucus recently issued recommendations to the full Caucus on processes and mechanisms that could serve to nominate a Republican Speaker candidate; I look forward to working with my Republican colleagues in continuing the work necessary to implement these procedures.

DISTRICT NEWS

Local Student Paints HD 65 Christmas Ornament

Each year for Christmas each state Representative is given a clear glass ball for them to decorate or have decorated in any way they wish to represent their district on the official House of Representatives Christmas tree which is set up in the center of the House floor. This year Natalie Buchanan of Creekview High School did an amazing job painting our ornament with scenes from Old Town Carrollton. I want to thank Natalie for her hard work and amazing talent – be sure to check the ornament out on the House tree in the Capitol if you are in Austin during the holiday season!

Senior Source Legislative Update

Our older citizens are among our most cherished and also the most vulnerable among us. I gave a legislative update this past month to the good folks at the Senior Source about accomplishments we had made in this past legislative session.

LISD To Honor Veterans

Each Veterans Day, schools across Lewisville ISD proudly recognize the men and women who bravely served our country in the United States Armed Forces. This year many LISD campuses are opening their doors and welcoming veterans at their Veterans Day ceremonies. While all LISD campuses observe Veterans Day in some way, many campuses are holding public events and want to extend an invitation for veterans to attend. A complete list of LISD campuses set to host community Veterans Day celebrations either Nov. 9 or 10 can be found at lisd.net. I am proud to honor our veterans, and myself and my staff will be travelling the district to celebrate with our honored warriors past and present this Veterans Day.
Carrollton Thanksgiving Food Drive
For the sixth year in a row, Joe’s Pizza in Carrollton will be feeding the less fortunate on Thanksgiving Day. You can help by donating supplies like canned corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, boxed potato flakes or frozen turkeys at 1904 E. Beltline Rd. in Carrollton anytime from 10 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday.

Holiday Events in HD 65

The holiday season is here once again! Many exciting events are happening to celebrate in House District 65, and we have compiled a few of them below.

Lewisville Old Town Holiday Stroll – November 18, 2017, 5:00 PM
An Old Fashioned Carrollton Christmas – December 1, 2017, 6:00 PM
Carrollton’s Santa on the Square – December 2, 2017, 8:30 AM
Lewisville Christmas Parade – December 2, 2017, 12:30 PM
Carrollton Snow Globe – December 9, 2017, 11:00 AM
Brookhaven Bell Choir – December 9, 2017, 3:00 PM
Lewisville Christmas at the Cabin – December 16, 2017, 10:00 AM
Harry Potter Yule Ball – December 29, 2017, 6:30 PM

Highland Village Ranks #5 in Texas Towns Study

A recent study evaluated economic levels of Texas residents in 340 cities and towns, and Highland Village ranked number 5! Zippia, a website that provides career advice, studied the median household income, poverty level and unemployment rate for 340 cities and towns across Texas, and ranked the top 100 most successful.

Metrocrest Chamber Legislative Update

I had the pleasure of giving the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce a legislative update this month on the 85th Regular and special sessions along with my friends and colleagues Senator Don Huffines and Representative Matt Rinaldi.

November 7, 2017 Constitutional Amendment Election

October 18, 2017

Constitutional Amendment Election 2017 Information

Latest TEXpress News

October 9, 2017

Check out the latest news on the I-35E TEXpress lane openings and closures with this handy graphic: http://bit.ly/2fW91bL.

Capitol Comments October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017
VOLUME III, ISSUE 27
Dear Friend,

This past month, Texas has shown resilience and fortitude through its response to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.  In the short term, droves of volunteers (including staff from my own office) helped the victims of Southeast Texas with needed supplies for the victims and the first responders participating in recovery efforts.  The Texas Department of Public Safety, the Office of the Governor, and several other state agencies banded together to coordinate emergency efforts.  The longer term effects from this storm will continue to impact the state as agencies’ budgets will need to be replenished.  Undoubtedly, the debate will continue to circulate over what course of action needs to be taken to help Texas rebuild.  Whichever direction is ultimately decided upon, it is important to continue to exercise fiscal responsibility while addressing the needs of the affected areas of the state.

Read on to learn about the goings-on in House District 65 and at the Capitol during the past month.  My office will keep you informed  on my House website, Facebook, or Twitter. It is an honor representing you.

In addition, in order to continue my work and keep standing for your conservative values down in Austin I must be re-elected. If you could assist my campaign by contributing $25, $50, $75, or even $100 by clicking here it would help immensely. Or you can always send a check made out to Ron Simmons Campaign and sent to P.O. Box 117567, Carrollton, TX 75011.

Best regards,
Ron Simmons
State Representative
House District 65

CAPITOL NEWS

Interim Charges
Though the 150 members of the Texas Legislature will not all convene again until January 2019 (barring a special session), the work of the Texas Legislature never ends.  Over the next year and a half, individual committees will meet to consider new ideas and issues pertaining to their subject matter.  Toward the end of the interim (near the beginning of the next legislative session), each committee will issue recommendations for legislative action based on these interim hearings.  Ideas for what each committee will study, called interim charges, are issued by the Speaker’s office after collecting interim charge requests from members.  As a member of the House Committees on Appropriations and Transportation, I submitted interim charge requests to study several items helpful to the state, including studying the uses of the Economic Stabilization Fund “Rainy Day Fund” and the impact of tollways in the state.
Hurricane Harvey Relief
I joined my colleagues from the Denton County House delegation in collecting supplies needed for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  My district office, located at the Sandy Jacobs Government Center in Carrollton served as a drop-off location for local residents to drop off supplies.  My Communications Director, Andy Forbes, oversaw collection of these items as my District Director, Ebony Wilson, had been activated for duty in the Air National Guard to assist with hurricane relief efforts.

My Chief of Staff, Zach Flores, met with Representative Tan Parker as well as volunteers from Peterbilt Motors to assist in dropping off items at an American Red Cross location in Beaumont, Texas.

I was proud to join my Denton County colleagues in collecting supplies for relief of our brothers and sisters in Southeast Texas and was amazed by the generosity of Denton County residents!

DISTRICT NEWS

TRS to Hold Local Information Seminars

TRS, along with its health plan administrators, is meeting with retirees across the state to inform and assist them with the transition to new premiums, medical and prescription plans that will kick in beginning January 1, 2018. Retirees in District 65 can RSVP to attend an information session held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lewisville on October 9, 2017, located at 785 Texas 121, Lewisville, TX by calling 1-800-850-1992. A morning and afternoon session is available.

Hebron Hawks Football Game

I was able to attend a home game that the Hebron Hawks played here in Carrollton. It was a lot of fun to interact with the students, teachers, coaches, and players as they shared their experiences with me. We have such high caliber students and athletes here in District 65. And best of all, the Hawks beat Plano West 51-3!

Grand Opening of Applegate Recovery

I was able to attend the grand opening of Applegate Recovery in Lewisville this month and share how opioid addiction has affected my family. They shared with me how they will be able to assist constituents in my district who struggle with addiction, and help them recover through counseling and medical treatment. I am so glad that with the national epidemic of opioid addiction that people will now have a location in my district to assist those who need it. More information can be found on their website at www.applegaterecovery.com
Many District High School Students Among National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Nearly 600 high school seniors from public, private and charter schools in North Texas were named as National Merit Semifinalists on Wednesday. Those selected were among 16,000 students nationwide to be honored by the National Merit Scholarship Program, and are now eligible to compete for 7,500 scholarship awards worth $32 million. The group represents the top 1 percent of scores from 1.6 million U.S. high school students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as juniors. Many of the recipients were from our district high schools – congratulations students!

Carrollton Boy Attains Eagle Scout Rank

Landon Faulkner of Troop 714 in Carrollton will be awarded Eagle Scout rank at a Court of Honor Ceremony on October 7. I was pleased that my office could send Landon a flag flown over the state Capitol for his achievement. Good job, Landon!

DCTA Awards Train

I was honored that the Denton County Transportation Authority honored me this month for my legislative work on transportation with a model train of my own – that was pretty neat!

Hurricane Harvey Relief Round 2

September 14, 2017

Ready for round 2 of the Harvey Relief supply drive?

With such great success from our last donation drive, all four Denton County State Representatives, Lynn Stucky, Pat Fallon, Tan Parker, and myself, along with Sheriff Tracy Murphree are continuing to collect donations for those affected by Hurricane Harvey along the coastline.

Now that the recovery process is underway, we are specifically seeking cleaning supplies. Below are the most requested items they need.

Face masks
Paper towels
Cleaning Gloves
Bleach
Clorox wipes
Contractor Trash Bags
Mops and Buckets
Big Floor Squeegees
All Purpose Cleaner

You can drop off supplies now through NOON on Monday, September 18th at any one of these locations:

Rep. Ron Simmons
1029 Rosemeade Pkwy #108
Carrollton, TX 75007

Rep. Pat Fallon
5533 FM 423 (Mondragon Memorial Hwy)
Frisco, TX 75034

Rep. Lynn Stucky
2490 Milam Road East
Sanger, TX 76266

Rep. Tan Parker
800 Parker Square #245
Bldg 800
Flower Mound, TX 75028

Thank you and God Bless!

Capitol Comments September 5, 2017

September 5, 2017
VOLUME III, ISSUE 26
Dear Friend,

As you’ve no doubt witnessed over the past week, Hurricane Harvey has had a lasting effect on our fellow Texans along the Gulf Coast.  An outpouring of support has come in from all over the state to assist our brothers and sisters south of us.

Denton County played its part as I joined fellow Denton County State Representatives Tan Parker, Pat Fallon, and Lynn Stucky in organizing a supply drive to assist the victims and first responders of Hurricane Harvey.  Multiple trucks were filled with supplies to send down to the victims in Southeast Texas.

Read on to learn about the bills that went into effect this past Friday, as well as news from House District 65.  My office will keep you informed  on my House website, Facebook, or Twitter. It is an honor representing you.

In addition, in order to continue my work and keep standing for your conservative values down in Austin I must be re-elected. If you could assist my campaign by contributing $25, $50, $75, or even $100 by clicking here it would help immensely. Or you can always send a check made out to Ron Simmons Campaign and sent to P.O. Box 117567, Carrollton, TX 75011.

Best regards,
Ron Simmons
State Representative
House District 65

CAPITOL NEWS

Many Bills Went Into Effect September 1, 2017
A majority of the bills passed during the 85th Legislative Session went into effect this past Friday, the start of the new fiscal year for the state.  While some of the most impactful bills are listed below, you can find a full list here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Reports/Report.aspx?LegSess=85R&ID=effectivesept1

•    HB 62 – House Bill 62 stipulates that reading, writing, or sending an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle is illegal unless the motor vehicle is stopped.  Drivers who are caught texting while driving will face a fine between $25 and $99 for their first offense and a fine between $100 and $200 for any subsequent offenses.  HB 62 does not preempt any existing local statutes or ordinances related to texting while driving.

•    HB 2908 – House Bill 2908 affirms Texas’ commitment to do all that we can to support our law enforcement.  HB 2908 classifies an attack on a police officer or judge as a hate crime and increases the penalty associated with making terroristic threats towards peace officers from a misdemeanor to a state jail felony.

•    HB 300 – House Bill 300 reduces the fee required to obtain a License to Carry a handgun in the State of Texas.  Currently, Texans must pay $140 to obtain their License to Carry after completing a firearms safety instruction course.  Beginning September 1, 2017 that fee will be set at $40, the lowest in the United States.

•    SB 179 – Under Senate Bill 179, people who engage in targeting others online and engage in cyberbullying could be charged with misdemeanors.  Additionally, SB 179 allows school districts and education officials intervene in cyberbullying cases and allows victims of cyberbullying to potentially recover civil damages from the bully’s parents.

•    HB 1935 – House Bill 1935 ensures that every Texan has the right to carry a knife regardless of the knifes’ length.  Under previous law, Texans were limited to carrying knives that are 5.5 inches or shorter; that limitation will no longer apply beginning September 1.  The carrying of such knives will still be illegal when visiting schools, hospitals, places of worship, sporting events, amusement parks, bars, or prisons.

•    SB 7 – Senate Bill 7 addresses the growing number of cases in Texas involving inappropriate relationships between students and educators.  The bill ensures that teachers engaging in inappropriate relationships with students, and administrators who are aware these situations, are held criminally responsible for their actions.  Additionally, educators who are convicted of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student will lose their state funded pension.

DISTRICT NEWS

Lady Hawks Eye Third Consecutive State Championship

The title defense for Hebron’s volleyball team is underway. The Lady Hawks are out for a third consecutive state title and are seeking to become the first team in the largest classification to complete the feat since Amarillo claimed four in a row from 2006-09. Hebron has big shoes to fill after graduating last year’s Gatorade Texas Volleyball Player of the Year and Oregon State signee Kylee McLaughlin and other key pieces, but many members of last year’s squad will be back on the court. Leading the way is senior outside hitter Adanna Rollins, who was named MVP of the state championship match last season. We look forward to cheering them on!

Simmons District Director Deployed to Help Harvey Relief

Not only have we served as a drop off point in my District Office for Harvey relief supplies, but my own District Director, Ebony Wilson, has been activated as a member of the Texas National Guard and is deployed helping assist the relief efforts. Thanks to Ebony and the entire Guard for your service!

National Association for Mental Illness to Host Carrollton Event

A NAMI course, Peer-to-Peer, will be offered for the first time in Denton County and will be hosted by Carrollton Springs Hospital at 2225 Parker Road in Carrollton. The 10 sessions of Peer-to-Peer will be held at 2-4 p.m. Saturdays, beginning Sept. 9. Taught by a team of trained Peer Mentors who are living in recovery, the Peer-to-Peer class will include information about mental health conditions and their biological aspects; treatment and recovery considerations; problem-solving and finding local resources, and personalized relapse prevention plans.For more information and to enroll, contact generalinfo@namidenton.org or call 469-248-8789.

Lewisville Helps Harvey Victims

As the Texas Gulf Coast region copes with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with its resulting flooding and devastation, first responders from across the state have gone to the region to assist.  By Wednesday morning, Lewisville had 15 firefighters and five vehicles deployed to the area. While locals left for the region to help, Lewisville has absorbed at least 400 evacuees, who are staying at local hotels.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

August 29, 2017

In Denton County and looking to help Harvey victims? Our Denton County House delegation is helping:

URGENT!! URGENT!! URGENT!!

Fellow Texans looking to assist those in need due to Hurricane Harvey and the ongoing flooding:

All four Denton County State Representative’s District Offices will be used for supply drop offs (see the Constable’s or Commissioner’s office for where to drop off stuff for our office). Here are the supplies most needed right now:

Toiletries
Bottled Water
Individually Packaged Food
Unopened Packages of Underwear and Undershirts for First Responders

You can drop off supplies now through 3pm on Friday Sept 1st at any one of these locations:

Rep Ron Simmons
1029 Rosemeade Pkwy
Carrollton, TX 75007

Rep Pat Fallon
5533 FM 423
Frisco, TX 75034

Rep Lynn Stuckey
400 West Oak #106
Denton, TX 76201

Rep Tan Parker
800 Parker Square #245
Bldg 800
Flower Mound, TX 75028

The situation in Houston is still perilous, with 4-8 more inches of rain is expected tonight. Houston has received more rain in 3 days than it normally does all year. Yesterday it was nearly impossible for law enforcement to maneuver around the city with weather preventing helicopter rescues. The 9-1-1 system has been entirely overwhelmed at times. Shelters are running low on supplies so ANYTHING you can do will help. Let’s show our Texas heart!

You can also donate here: The Salvation Army
Text STORM to 51555, visit helpsalvationarmy.org, or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY

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