ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) hosted a town hall on Monday evening in Odessa at Odessa College. During the event, Rep. Landgraf provided an update on actions taken by the Texas legislature in 2021 and fielded questions from those in attendance. This was the first of four town halls that Landgraf is scheduled to host in November and December, one in each of the four counties he serves as a member of the Texas House of Representatives.
“I’m thankful to everyone who was able to make it out to the town hall,” Landgraf said. “The turnout was great, and so were the questions and food. I want to thank Trina Moralez for providing an incredible La Margarita meal, as well as Odessa College for making this town hall one of the best I’ve ever been a part of.”
Landgraf fielded questions regarding, among other things, his work as chair of the House Environmental Regulation Committee, federal vaccine mandate concerns, broadband development, and the Leila Hernandez Act, legislation Landgraf passed to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System.
“Odessans truly care about their neighbors; we are a patriotic bunch who love our state and country. We won’t back down from a fight. After several extra months in Austin this year, it is energizing to come back home and get in front of my friends and neighbors to report back and answer questions. It is my honor and great joy to serve as the voice for my hometown in the halls of the Texas Capitol,” Landgraf concluded.
ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) will host a town hall on Monday, November 15 in Odessa at the Saulsbury Campus Center at Odessa College. During the event, Rep. Landgraf will provide an update on actions taken by Texas legislature in 2021. This is the first of four town halls that Landgraf is scheduled to host in November and December, one in each of the four counties he represents.
"These town halls are an opportunity for folks to ask questions and get a no-nonsense update on what the Texas legislature has been up to and how it impacts our lives in the Permian Basin," Landgraf said.
Ector County Town Hall
WHEN: Monday, November 15, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Odessa College, Joe Zant Room in the Saulsbury Campus Center (201 W University Blvd., Odessa, Texas 79764)
ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) provides the following schedule of upcoming Town Hall events in the four counties (Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler) he serves in the Texas House of Representatives. During these events, Rep. Landgraf will discuss the 2021 legislative sessions. Rep. Landgraf encourages his fellow West Texans to take this opportunity to share their thoughts.
"I'm glad to be back home after several overtime sessions, I've missed our sunsets, food and, most of all, my fellow West Texans," Landgraf said. "These town halls are an opportunity for folks to ask questions and get a no-nonsense update on what the Texas legislature has been up to and how it impacts our lives in the Permian Basin."
WHEN: Monday, November 15, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Odessa College, Joe Zant Room in the Saulsbury Campus Center (201 W University Blvd, Odessa, Texas 79764)
WHEN: Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Ward County Event Center (1525 East Monahans Parkway, Monahans, Texas 79756)
WHEN: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Andrews Senior Center (310 W Broadway St, Andrews, Texas 79714)
WHEN: Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Poor Daddy's BBQ (123 N Mulberry St, Kermit, Texas 79745)
AUSTIN — Senate Bill 8, legislation directing how the state will spend federal dollars allocated to Texas under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, was passed out of the House and Senate on Monday. The legislation includes $40 million for a behavioral health center that will be constructed and operated by the hospital districts of Midland and Ector County. State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) and State Representative Tom Craddick (R-Midland) worked together to ensure the funding was included in the final version of the bill.
“This $40 million to construct a new mental health hospital will improve quality of life in Odessa, Midland and throughout the Permian Basin. Russell Tippin and Russell Meyers worked together, Rep. Tom Craddick and I worked together and Odessa and Midland worked together on this. I’m thankful we were able to get this done for our region that desperately needs better access to mental health services,” Landgraf said.
The center will include 100 inpatient beds and outpatient psychiatric care facilities, along with a crisis stabilization unit, professional offices, and counseling and therapeutic spaces appropriate for all ages. Texans who live in the Permian Basin currently have to drive to Lubbock or San Angelo to access similar care.
“In the weeks and months after the August 31, 2019 mass shooting, local leaders in Odessa and Midland identified the need for additional behavioral and mental health services in our region. COVID-19 put that discussion on hold momentarily. I’m thankful that we kept the drum beat going, and that our communities have come together to accomplish this important goal. I’m proud of our work together,” Landgraf added.
Senate Bill 8 now heads to the governor’s desk for signature, the final stage in the legislative process. If SB 8 is signed into law, it is expected that the Permian Basin behavioral health center will be completed by 2024.
AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) is pleased to announce that West Texas is poised to retain its 16 districts in the Texas House of Representatives following the 2021 redistricting process. The Texas Senate on Friday passed House Bill 1, legislation containing the proposed political boundaries for the state’s 150 house districts. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
“The results of the 2020 census showed that West Texas population growth did not keep pace with growth in other parts of the state, specifically along the I-35 corridor and around Houston,” Landgraf said. “This led many to predict that West Texas could lose up to three state representatives in the redistricting process this year. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that the House district map passed by the House and Senate retains 16 West Texas-based districts.”
“We were supposed to lose, but West Texas held our ground while remaining compliant with all relevant state and federal laws,” Landgraf added.
Publication of the census results was delayed due to COVID-19, forcing the legislature to take up the redistricting process during a special 30-day legislative session rather than the regular 140-day legislative session that ended on May 31, 2021.
“Even though we make up a small portion of the state’s population, the work we do out here in West Texas benefits the entire state and nation,” Landgraf continued. “If you go to the grocery store, pump gas or wear blue jeans, you’re likely enjoying blessings from West Texas. Our voice must continue to be heard in Washington, DC and Austin.”
Following the results of the 2020 census in which the state’s overall population increased by nearly 4 million, the ideal population for each of Texas’ 150 house districts was set at 194,303, meaning that every district must be within 5 percentage points of that amount. Landgraf represents House District 81, which was one of the only West Texas districts above the ideal population level according to the 2020 census. This led to Andrews County and its population of 18,610 being drawn out of Landgraf’s district and into House District 88.
“I love Andrews County, so I’m sad I will no longer be their state representative. But HD 81’s loss is a gain for West Texas, as the population of Andrews helped to anchor HD 88 in West Texas, allowing us to keep 16 districts in the Texas House. While losing Andrews is disappointing, I’m excited to welcome Loving County and its 64 residents into the fold. I’ve represented the majority of Wink-Loving ISD for years, so adding Loving to HD 81 ensures the entire school district has a dedicated state representative. Regardless of which counties are in HD 81, however, I will never stop fighting for the interests of the Permian Basin and West Texas. I’m so thankful to have 15 other members in the Texas House to join me in that fight,” Landgraf concluded.
If HB 1 is signed into law by Governor Abbott it will be in effect for the 2022 primary elections. Under the proposed map, HD 81 will comprise the following counties: Ector, Loving, Ward, and Winkler. The state house district map proposed by HB 1 can be found by following this URL: https://dvr.capitol.texas.gov/House/4/PLANH2316
AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), who serves the people of Andrews County in the Texas House of Representatives, filed House Bill 7 to prevent the country’s high-level radioactive waste from being shipped into Texas and Andrews County. The Andrews County Commissioner’s Court voted unanimously on July 30th specifically opposing the storage of high-level radioactive waste in the county.
“This was a priority for my constituents in Andrews County and for the entire state of Texas,” Landgraf said. “I appreciate Governor Abbott for adding this issue to the agenda for the special session so that the state could take action before the NRC issues the license later this month. Thankfully, HB 7 received enough votes in the House and Senate to go into effect immediately, protecting Texas from becoming the storage site for the entire country’s high-level radioactive waste.”
The Biden Administration’s U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is poised to issue a license to compel the storage of high-level radioactive waste at a new facility in Andrews County as early as September 13, 2021. If the license is issued, high-level radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear reactors from all over the country could be stored in West Texas for 40-years. House Bill 7 received more than two-thirds support in the House and Senate, allowing the bill to go into effect immediately upon signature by the governor.
House Bill 7 bans the storage and disposal of high-level radioactive waste anywhere within state lines. Importantly, however, House Bill 7 allows nuclear reactors in Texas to continue operating as normal, storing waste they generate on site. Additionally, the bill does not impact the low-level facility that currently and safely operates in Andrews County, and which generates millions of dollars for the county and state.
“My job is to represent the people of Andrews County, who clearly support the existing low-level facility, but oppose expansion to store high-level waste that is much more radioactive. That’s why I fought to pass HB 7 into law without being amended by anyone who didn’t have the best interests of Andrews at heart. In addition to the governor, I’m thankful to Speaker Dade Phelan, Senator Brian Birdwell, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for all they did to ensure House Bill 7 got done. And of course, nothing would have ever happened if it wasn’t for all of my amazing constituents in Andrews who spoke up and demanded action,” Landgraf concluded.
On August 7th, the Texas Legislature was convened by Governor Greg Abbott for a special legislative session. Special sessions in Texas can last for up to 30 days, and the legislature is only permitted to consider legislation related to items placed on the agenda by the governor. Legislation limiting the ability to store high-level radioactive materials was one of the items on the agenda. The House adjourned on September 2nd, bringing the special session to an end pending the governor’s call.
AUSTIN – State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) and 79 other members of the Texas House of Representatives voted to authorize the civil arrest of the members of the House who have abandoned their posts in an effort to stall pending business in the Texas Legislature. By compelling absent legislators to return to the Texas Capitol, the House can have the 100 members required by the state’s constitution to take up and pass legislation.
“I was proud to vote for the authorization to arrest these runaway Democrats,” Landgraf said. “They have stalled the legislative process for far too long. It’s time to bring the debate over the issues back to the people’s House where it belongs.”
The Texas Constitution requires at least two-thirds of members to be present in order for the Texas House and Senate to conduct business during a legislative session. The House Rules allow for a majority of members present to vote to arrest absentee members if it is necessary to secure a quorum of the 150-member Texas House. Any arrests made as a result of this action would be civil, not criminal. Upon arrest under these orders, the absentee legislators wouldn’t be taken to jail, but instead to the Capitol.
The current special session is scheduled to last from August 7 until as long as September 5. If the agenda items for the session are not passed into law before the session ends, another 30-day session could be called by the governor.
AUSTIN – State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) and his fellow Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives are calling on Texas Democrats to return to work for Texas foster children. Among the items placed on the call by Governor Abbott for the current special session of the Texas Legislature is a bill to use newly-available funds to direct resources to help vulnerable children in the state’s foster care system.
Last week, more than fifty Texas Democrats fled the Texas Capitol on private jets and are staying in Washington, D.C. in a tactic to keep the Texas House of Representatives from passing any legislation, including this measure to fund the state’s foster care system.
“We have an opportunity to immediately improve living conditions for some of Texas’ most vulnerable youth and a majority of House Democrats are refusing to come to work,” Landgraf said. “They are not only wasting taxpayer dollars by stalling the legislative process, they’re putting handcuffs on the state’s ability to respond to a crisis.”
According to the state’s child protective services office, 415 Texas foster children are currently forced to sleep in office buildings or other unlicensed facilities.
Earlier this year, projections indicated that funds were not available to fully address the issues plaguing the state’s foster care system. The number of children needing to be placed in licensed foster care facilities is growing as the number of available facilities becomes fewer and fewer, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Texas economy has rebounded faster than expected and projections now show that the Texas Legislature has the opportunity to provide $91 million to foster care programs in Texas to alleviate this problem.
“We’ve been waiting for the Democrats to return for more than a week,” Landgraf continued. “But Texas foster children have been waiting for much longer than that. It’s time for the political stunt to end. We need to do the jobs Texans elected us to do.”
The current special session of the Texas Legislature is scheduled to last until August 7th. If the agenda items are not passed into law, another 30-day session could be called to begin.
AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) has been appointed to serve on the Texas House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies. The purpose of the select committee is to ensure thoughtful consideration of legislation related to constitutional issues that are expected to be addressed during the upcoming special session.
“I’m honored to be appointed to this important committee and want to thank Speaker Phelan for his leadership and trust,” Landgraf said. “As I’ve said many times before, as state representative, I take seriously my sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. I look forward to continuing to fight for our constitutional rights as a member of this select committee.”
Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) announced the creation of the House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies on Tuesday. The 15-member committee, chaired by Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to rights guaranteed under the United States and Texas constitutions, and remedies for a violation of those rights. The committee also has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to several state agencies, including the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Secretary of State, and multiple divisions within the Office of the Attorney General.
“The fundamental role of government is to protect the rights of the people,” Landgraf continued. “The creation of this select committee is only the most recent example of the Speaker’s commitment to prioritizing the constitutional rights of Texans.”
The Texas Constitution gives the governor authority to call the legislature into a special session that can last no more than 30 days. During these special sessions, the legislature can only consider legislation related to subjects designated by the governor. Governor Greg Abbott announced that he will convene a special legislative session on July 8, 2021.
ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) submitted a letter to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) demanding an explanation for the large number of offline generators that prompted a call for Texans to conserve energy for the rest of the week.
“Once again, ERCOT is leaving Texans with more questions than answers,” Landgraf writes in the letter. “In order to ensure I can answer the flood of questions I’m now receiving from my constituents, I demand pertinent information related to this most recent incident.”
On Monday, ERCOT issued a conservation alert asking Texans to safely reduce their electric usage through Friday, June 18, citing tight grid conditions due to a high number of forced generation outages.