Staying in Touch
My desire is to stay in touch with you as much as possible and employ every means that my staff and I can muster to communicate well. You are cordially invited to visit me at the Capitol and, of course, call or email me or my staff.
Capitol Office · E1.416
P.O. Box 2910, Austin, Texas 78768-2910
Tel. 512-463-0750 · Fax 512-463-9085
Kathi Seay - Chief of Staff
Michael Bullock - Administrative Assistance
Michael Levens - Legislative Assistant
John Dalton - Legislative Intern
Tanisha Bush - Legislative Intern
My district director, Ray Wilson, is in the process of setting up a district office in Longview which should be operating on a part-time basis by mid February.
1705 Judson Road, Suite D2, Longview, Texas 75601
My official email address is David.Simpson@house.state.tx.us.
Legislative Challenges & Choices
At noon on Tuesday, January 11th, members-elect of the Texas House and Senate, assembled in our august Capitol and solemnly swore to uphold the Constitution and Laws of the United States and Texas, thus commencing the regular session of the 82nd Legislature. Prior to adjournment, a long list of names of former legislators who had died since the last legislature was read, reminding all of the brevity of life.
Sandwiched in between these events, the Speaker’s race ended anti-climatically with Rep. Ken Paxton conceding to Rep. Joe Straus and choosing to make a speech about the impact of the grassroots conservative movement’s efforts. After adjournment, I received family, friends, and constituents in my office and congratulated Speaker Straus on his reelection.
Other matters of note during the last two weeks: Governor Perry declared several items as emergency legislation thus making them priorities in the legislative process: protecting private property rights from eminent domain abuse, ending sanctuary cities, voter identifica-tion, introducing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and requiring that a sonogram be viewed before having an abortion. I welcome and support all these efforts.
The House passed HR-3 which reduced each representative’s budget by 10% during the session and another 4% cut after the session ends.
I joined Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) as a co-author of HB 246 which promotes integrity among elected officials by requiring elected officials who are convicted of a felony such as bribery, embezzlement or perjury while in office to forfeit their state retirement benefits.
Chairman Jim Pitts introduced the Legislative Budget Board’s recommendation for an appropriations bill explaining that it was a base to begin discussion and negotiations. I agree with the determination to balance the budget without raising taxes and not using the rainy day funds. It should be noted that the bill does not take into account anticipated future growth. It includes a reduction of 9600 full time state employees, closure of four community colleges, disproportionate reductions of community colleges and public universities, and a 40% cut in mental health services.
There are other cuts that I believe should come before education such as corporate welfare. The $145 million cut from community colleges could be supplied by the $151 million in the Enterprise Fund. Cutting state mental health services will only push down costs on to local government. We should look for spending cuts in other agencies such as Child Protective Services, the Texas Education Agency, and the Higher Education Coordinating Board. We should also consider eliminating costly, burdensome, and unproductive state mandates such as 45 days of testing. I am in favor of granting each school district the freedom to determine how best to educate and test their children.
Special Events & Days
On January 4th I hosted a District Listening Day in Longview for about 60 people from several constituency groups. That evening Mobberly Baptist Church hosted a Town Hall Meeting and a Commissioning Service for me. After introducing my staff and answering questions, my pastor, Dr. John Greene, brought a charge to me from 2 Samuel 23:3 which states: “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” The service concluded with local pastors from Longview and Lindale praying for me, my family, and my service to the district and the state.
After being sworn-in on January 11th, I joined 22 other members of the legislature and the judiciary and 175 other staff and guests in hearing an Election Sermon which was delivered by Pastor Tim Brooks in the Capitol Auditorium. Inviting a minister to preach from the word of God to the newly seated state officials used to be a common practice when our nation was founded. I am hopeful that this tradition will continue in Texas. When I was mayor of the City of Avinger, the City Council made this an annual custom.
On Tuesday, January 18th, the inauguration of Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and Governor Perry was held on the south steps of the Capitol. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst spoke about limiting civil government and protecting individual rights and Gov. Perry emphasized the example and leadership of Texas.
On Thursday, January 20th, I met with the Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Bryan Shaw, to gain a better understanding of recent actions taken by the EPA in regard to the Clean Air Act and Texas’ lawsuit against the EPA.
Finally, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I submitted an op-ed piece to the Longview News-Journal to be published in the Saturdays Forum. I closed the piece with this quotation:
On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
This is that time — for Texas and Liberty.