Landgraf to Education Commissioner: Approve Ector M.S. Plan

ODESSA— State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) delivered a letter to Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath expressing his support of the proposed partnership between Ector County Independent School District (ECISD) and Ector Success Academy Network for the operation of Ector Middle School.

The ECISD Board of Trustees this week unanimously approved the agreement and now needs the approval of the Texas Education Agency, which Morath oversees.

"I am proud to support ECISD in this endeavor for the enrichment of West Texas students," Landgraf said. “I encourage the Texas Education Agency to approve this agreement.”

"I believe that this new partnership will allow Ector Middle School to achieve a higher accountability ranking," Landgraf said. "Our state's young people are undoubtedly our greatest resource, and any opportunity to improve the quality of their education should be considered a priority."

Landgraf discusses Texas Legislature with Ector County Hospital District Board

ODESSA — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) attended the Ector County Hospital District board of directors meeting at Medical Center Hospital on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature with the hospital’s board members and administrators. 

“Medical Center Health System is the flagship hospital in the Permian Basin,” Landgraf said. “This board and this administration are working diligently to overcome recent challenges, and I think we can be proud of the hospital they’re leading.”

Landgraf, who represents Ector County in the Texas House of Representatives, met with the board to offer any assistance the hospital may need from the state.

“To be a good state representative and a good legislator, I need to meet regularly with local officials here in Ector County to learn about the issues they’re facing and to make sure they’re getting the state resources they need to serve our fellow West Texans,” Landgraf added. 

Landgraf is attending this and other local government meetings across the Permian Basin to prepare for the next session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes at the Texas Capitol in January 2019. 

Landgraf attends Andrews County Hospital District Board meeting

ANDREWS — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) attended the Andrews County Hospital District board of directors meeting at Permian Regional Medical Center on Monday to discuss the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature with the hospital’s board members and administrators.

"I’m always excited to visit PRMC,” Landgraf said. “These board members are a hardworking group, and Russell Tippin leads a great team that really has this facility firing on all cylinders.”

Landgraf, who represents Andrews in the Texas House of Representatives, met with the board to offer any assistance the hospital may need from the state.

“To be a good state representative and a good legislator, I need to meet regularly with local officials here in Andrews to learn about the issues they’re facing and to make sure they’re getting the state resources they need to serve our fellow West Texans,” Landgraf added.

Landgraf is attending this and other local government meetings across the Permian Basin to prepare for the next session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes at the Texas Capitol in January 2019.

Landgraf pushes for oilfield highway improvements

AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) this week participated in two legislative committee hearings charged with evaluating the effects of oil and gas production on Permian Basin highway infrastructure.

"An increase in oil and gas production is always a good thing for Texas, but with it comes significant challenges to local infrastructure in the oil patch," Landgraf said. "There is a significant strain put on our roads that create huge repair costs and public safety concerns, so I'm glad that my colleagues were able to hear about these issues that really aren't faced in other parts of the state."

The Texas House Committee on Transportation met Tuesday to evaluate the impact energy exploration and production have on state and county roads and make recommendations on how to improve road quality in areas impacted. The Texas House Committee on Energy Resources, of which Landgraf is a member, met Wednesday to evaluate the evolution of frac sand mining in the Permian Basin and how it may impact county infrastructure and oil and gas development.

"Increased oilfield and sand mine activity means that more traffic is traveling on Permian Basin highways. Our region has two percent of the state's population, but we have ten percent of the fatal automobile accidents. That has to change, and I took the lead in these hearings to improve our highways to save lives, make travel safer and to keep West Texas open for business," Landgraf added.

Among those providing testimony before the committees were Winkler County Judge Charles Wolf and officials from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Landgraf pledges to re-file "Monica's Law"

ODESSA — Today, at a luncheon hosted by the Ector County Victims Coalition, State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) announced his intention to re-file a bill during the upcoming 2019 legislative session aimed at preventing domestic violence. "Monica's Law," as Landgraf has dubbed it, would create an online, searchable and public database listing protective orders issued by Texas courts as a result of domestic violence.

Monica Deming, the inspiration behind the legislation, was murdered in an act of domestic violence. Monica, a 32 year-old mother, was shot and killed in her Odessa home by an abusive ex-boyfriend on November 29, 2015. Two protective orders for domestic violence had previously been issued against him, but he was easily able to keep them secret.

“Monica’s Law cannot go back and save her life, or take away her family’s grief, but it can help prevent others from entering into tragically abusive relationships that can lead to physical violence, and worse, death,” Landgraf said. “That's why I used every legislative tool available to get Monica's law passed out of the Texas House last session and will do so again next session.”

Landgraf began crafting this legislation after being approached by Monica’s father, Jon Nielsen, a former Odessa police officer. Nielsen pleaded that, had a database been available, he and Monica would have been able to know that her abuser had a history of domestic violence.

Monica’s Law, filed as House Bill 2315 during the last legislative session, establishes a statewide registry where certain redacted information can be accessed by the public, but also one where law enforcement and the courts have access to all of the information provided by protective-order applicants. Information is only available after due process has been given to the abuser in a judicial proceeding. Monica's Law was passed by the Texas House, but was stalled in the Texas Senate.

Landgraf joins Abbott to honor five injured OPD officers

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott in honoring five Odessa police officers injured in the line of duty with the Star of Texas Award on Monday morning in a ceremony Monday morning at the Texas Capitol.

Detective Whitney Branch, Sgt. Pedro Gonzalez, Officer Donaciano Rocha, Cpl. Cory Wester and Officer Anthony Rossman, all with the Odessa Police Department, were each critically injured while serving in the line of duty in recent years. Each of these Star of Texas recipients survived their injuries and continue to serve Odessa on the police force.

The Star of Texas Awards are given each year to recognize first responders across the state who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

In presenting the Odessa officers with the Star of Texas, Landgraf noted that the award represents the deep debt of gratitude that Texas has for their service and sacrifice. When your life was threatened, you heroically put the safety of others ahead of your own," Landgraf told the recipients. "Odessa and Texas are better and safer places because of your selfless bravery."

State Rep. Landgraf seeks re-election with focus on tax relief

Brooks_Landgraf_2017.jpgODESSA, TEXAS --- State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) announced Thursday that he will seek re-election to continue serving his fellow West Texans in House District 81, which consists of Andrews, Ector, Ward and Winkler counties.

Landgraf’s announcement comes after he completed months of successful work in the Texas House of Representatives to balance the state’s budget, without raising taxes, while passing landmark pro-life legislation among many other conservative measures.

“Many of the West Texans I’m proud to serve have encouraged me to continue my hard work,” Landgraf said. “After prayerful reflection, my wife, Shelby, and I decided that I will again ask the voters to elect me as their state representative.”

Landgraf, who was born and raised in Odessa, is part of a family that has been ranching in West Texas for five generations. He and his wife, Shelby, continue to live and work in Odessa while raising their 2-year old daughter, Hollis Rose. Landgraf has served as state representative since 2015, taking pride in being an effective conservative who also gives West Texas a strong voice at the state’s Capitol.


“I’m proud of Texas,” Landgraf boasted. “But I also realize that if we want to keep Texas the best state in America to live, work and raise a family, we must ensure government operates within its means, performs its limited functions efficiently, and stays out of people’s way.”

When asked what he will focus on if re-elected, Landgraf indicated property-tax reform will be a top priority. “For as long as I've served as a state representative, I’ve fought for taxpayers,” Landgraf noted. “However, high property taxes on homes and businesses are threatening our wallets and the Texas economy. I will work to cut the need for higher property taxes by working to fix the way we finance schools in Texas.”

“I’m confident we can kill two birds with one stone: provide property-tax relief to Texas property owners and improve education for Texas students,” Landgraf said.

Landgraf to host town hall in Odessa

State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) will host a town hall in Odessa on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 in Odessa. The town hall, which is open to the public, will be held from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Odessa College in the Zant Community Room in the Saulsbury Campus Center, 201 W. University Blvd.

The town hall will serve as an opportunity for West Texans to share their views with their state representative about the upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature.

"I encourage everyone to come to the town hall to discuss the many issues we successfully resolved earlier this year, as well as the items the governor has asked us to address in the special session," Landgraf said.

Gov. Greg Abbott has called legislators back to the Capitol for special session that will convene on July 18th, and last for up to 30 days. The governor alone may place items on the agenda for the special session, and Gov. Abbott has listed 20 items, including bathroom/privacy legislation, property tax rollback-election reform and mail-in ballot fraud prevention.

WHO: State Representative Brooks Landgraf
WHAT: Hosts public town hall
WHEN: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Odessa College -- Zant Community Room in the Saulsbury Campus Center (201 W. University Odessa, TX 79764)

Texas energy highlighted with a win in the Legislature

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) secured a win for Texas energy with the passage of the Texas Fuels bill, just before the deadline to pass legislation expired. For the first time, Texas will commit to providing state grants for governmental entities to purchase vehicles that utilize the abundant natural gas widely found in the state.

“Our state is the largest energy producer in our nation and utilizing Texas based fuels will support Permian Basin oil and gas producers by providing another market for their products and will help create jobs and grow our economy," Landgraf said after the bill’s passage.

The legislation authorizes the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to assist in the conversion of government vehicle fleets to run on natural gas and other Texas based fuels that are produced in the Permian Basin and across the state.

The Texas Fuels bill will not raise taxes or fees for Texas taxpayers. Instead, the grants will come from an existing, underutilized state fund, which was established to reduce vehicle emissions in Texas.

"I am proud to be a leader for Texas energy and to represent the pro-production views of the Permian Basin,” Landgraf said. “Our state should be a good steward of our natural resources and ensure that we are doing everything we can to utilize Texas energy resources.”

Now that the Texas Fuels bill has passed both the Texas House and Senate, it will head to the Governor's desk.

Landgraf wins fight to save UTPB funding

UTPB_funding_saved._Landgraf_welcomes_incoming_president__Dr._Sandra_Woodley.jpgState Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) announced Friday with the publication of the final draft of the agreed-upon state budget, that he successfully secured favorable funding for the University of Texas at the Permian Basin.

“UTPB is worth fighting for,” Landgraf said. “Not only does it provide a quality and affordable education to its students, it’s also an indispensable part of our community in Odessa.” 

Early during the budgeting process in the Texas Legislature this year, UTPB was threatened with significant funding cuts in various budget proposals. One Texas Senate budget draft would have cut the university’s state funding in half.

In the final budget, most state universities were forced to take cuts that reduced their funding by up to ten percent from the previous budget, but Landgraf’s efforts on behalf of UTPB mean that the Odessa-based university will only face a two-percent cut.

In pleading the importance of UTPB to West Texas, Landgraf persuaded colleagues on the House appropriations committee to increase funding for the crucial day-to-day operations of the university. UTPB relies heavily on “special” budget items for it operations, and those items require specific support in the Texas Legislature. Without funding UTPB’s special items in the state budget, the university stood to lose millions of dollars over the next two years.

While the final draft of the 2018-2019 biennial budget has been agreed upon, it still requires a final vote of approval from the Texas House and Senate. That final vote is expected this weekend, then the budget will be presented to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature.

"Keeping UTPB’s funding in place in this budget to this degree is vital to the future of the university,” Landgraf said. “I also want to thank Rep. Tom Craddick, who fought to get new funds for the new UTPB engineering programs on the CEED campus, and Sen. Kel Seliger who led this effort in the Texas Senate.”