Straus Names Human Trafficking Committee

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus named seven legislators Friday to the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking.

The committee, established in the 2011 legislative session and renewed by the Legislature last year, will study the problem of human trafficking. It is charged with continuing its previous work by studying ways to combat the crime of human trafficking and identifying services available to victims.

“Human trafficking is a tragic reality in our state,” said Straus, R-San Antonio. “But I am proud of the valuable work this committee has done to address the problem of human trafficking and continues to do for the victims of these crimes.”

An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year, and the number of U.S. citizens trafficked within the country is estimated to be even higher. Given its size and proximity to a major international border, Texas is often a focal point for human trafficking activity.

Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston will chair the committee, which will also include Reps. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi, Debbie Riddle of Tomball, Roberto Alonzo of Dallas, Joe Moody of El Paso, Tan Parker of Denton and James White of Woodville.

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CONTACT:
Jason Embry or Erin Daly
Speaker’s Press Office
512-463-0223

Straus Names Select Transportation Committee

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus named nine legislators Friday to the House Select Committee on Transportation Funding, Expenditures and Finance.

The committee, created during a 2013 special legislative session, will examine a variety of issues related to transportation funding. For example, Members will look at the reliability of current funding sources, the use of debt in transportation financing, use of the state highway fund for other agencies and appropriations to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Straus has identified transportation and other infrastructure-related issues as critically important in light of Texas’ rapid growth and economic success. The state’s population is growing twice as fast as the rest of the country, and Texas continues to be the national leader in job creation.

“Transportation is a top priority for the Texas House,” said Straus, R-San Antonio. “This committee will take an extensive, objective look at the transportation solutions that best suit our people and our growing economy.”

Rep. Joe Pickett of El Paso will chair the committee, which will also include Reps. Larry Phillips of Sherman, Armando “Mando” Martinez of Weslaco, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Ruth Jones McClendon of San Antonio, Sergio Muñoz Jr. of Palmview, Dan Huberty of Houston, Paul Workman of Austin and Ron Simmons of Carrollton.

“These Members have an important job ahead of them,” Straus said. “Their work in the coming months will prepare the entire House to lead on transportation issues when the next legislative session begins. I have every confidence in this diverse, capable committee.”

The 84th Texas Legislature will convene in January 2015.

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CONTACT:
Jason Embry or Erin Daly
Speaker’s Press Office
512-463-0223

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