OMLD, Aggies' committee assignments and more
OMLD, Aggies' committee assignments and more
Photo credit: Aaron Macias '20
Howdy, Advocates!
We hope that you and your families have been safe and warm in these recent weeks. 
As Aggies, we are well accustomed to seeing our friends, neighbors, and communities engaged in acts of selfless service. This cherished Core Value has been on full display following the weather events of last week. In this newsletter, we are honored to highlight just a few examples of our current and former students pitching in to help those affected by Winter Storms Uri and Viola.
In light of power outages and connectivity issues across the state, the decision was made last week to postpone Orange and Maroon Legislative Day 2021. We are working to identify a new date/dates and re-schedule the virtual meetings with our Aggie and Longhorn members of the Texas Legislature. Our registered volunteers will be updated as soon as possible with information on moving forward. We are grateful for your time and commitment in preparing for your meetings and your willingness to advocate for higher education in Texas!
Committee assignments for the Texas Senate and Texas House have been released. You can find links to the full list of assignments below. Our Aggies in the Capitol are well-poised to have a big impact in the 87th Legislative Session, holding many key committee assignments and chair positions.
As the 87th Legislative Session gets into full swing, we will keep you apprised of relevant legislation that might impact Texas A&M and ways you might be asked to help advocate for our university and its goals. In the meantime, be sure to follow your local elected officials on their social media pages and stay up to date on the happenings of the Texas Legislature at Texas Legislature Online. Please don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of help finding information or resources!
Thanks and gig 'em,
Miranda Henderson '09

Aggies Snag Key Committee Assignments

Senate and House committee assignments for the 87th Legislative Session were announced on Jan. 18 and Feb. 4, respectively. Congratulations and gig 'em to our Aggie legislators appointed as committee chairs:
  • Sen. Paul Bettencourt '80 - Local Government
  • Rep. Greg Bonnen '88 - Appropriations
  • Rep. James Frank '89 - Human Services
  • Rep. Ryan Guillen '00 - Resolutions Calendars
  • Rep. Brooks Landgraf '03 - Environmental Regulation
  • Rep. Andrew Murr '99 - Corrections
  • Rep. Chris Paddie '96 - State Affairs

    In addition to our Aggie committee chairs, Texas A&M is well-represented in the membership of key committees Appropriations (House), Finance (Senate), and Higher Education (House):

  • Rep. Trent Ashby '95 - Appropriations
  • Sen. Paul Bettencourt '80 - Finance
  • Rep. John Raney '69 - Appropriations / Higher Education
  • Rep. Terry Wilson '88 - Appropriations (Article III Subcommittee Chair)
  • Rep. Gene Wu '00 - Appropriations

    You can find the full list of committees and their members at these Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate web pages.

Gov. Abbott Announces Legislative Priorities; Adds Winterization to 87th Emergency Items

In his Feb. 1 State of the State address, Gov. Greg Abbott laid out his priorities for the 87th Legislative Session. Included in his priorities were five "emergency items" that, under the Texas Constitution, are the only items on which the Legislature can vote during the first 60 days of the session. Gov. Abbott's original five emergency items included expansion of broadband internet access and civil liability protections for Texas businesses relating to COVID-19.
On Feb. 18, Gov. Abbott added a sixth emergency item, requesting the Texas Legislature to mandate and provide funding for the winterization of Texas' power system. In the House, this item will largely fall under the jurisdiction of the State Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Chris Paddie '96.
Click here to watch Gov. Abbott's State of the State address and read more about the original legislative priorities. More information about the newest emergency item can be found here.
Photo credit: Jacob Svetz, Texas A&M Marketing & Communications

Aggies' Selfless Service in Action After Winter Storm

"Aggies demonstrated selfless service during last week’s historic winter storm as volunteers turned out to help at the temporary warming center in Reed Arena," The Battalion wrote in a recent article.

"The recent drop in temperatures that began Sunday, Feb. 14, left many Texans without power and running water. However, Texas A&M opened its doors to community members seeking warmth. At the heart of the operation was the American Red Cross, organizing everything from the location to the volunteers."
Read The Battalion article here.

Sea Aggies Respond to Save Sea Turtles

As freezing weather swept across Texas, the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research at Texas A&M University at Galveston knew that the green sea turtles of the Gulf Coast were at risk of being cold-stunned by the plummeting water temperatures. 
Partnering with the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network and over 100 volunteers, the Center braved the cold to retrieve more than 150 sea turtles and successfully treat 70 in the sea turtle hospital on the TAMUG campus. Starting on Feb. 22, the Center began releasing the rehabilitated turtles back into the ocean.
Read the initial Texas A&M Today article here, and check out additional pictures and updates on TAMUG's Twitter page, @AggiesByTheSea!
Photo credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Union Pacific Locomotive 4141 Heading to Aggieland

All eyes were on Aggieland on Dec. 6, 2018, as President George H.W. Bush made his final journey to Texas A&M via Union Pacific Locomotive 4141.
This spring, the iconic train engine, painted to match Air Force One, will return to Aggieland to remain on permanent display at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Union Pacific announced in November 2019 it would donate the locomotive to the museum, and in February the Texas A&M System Board of Regents approved the donation of two acres to expand the grounds of the Museum.
“It is fitting this significant piece of history will now make its permanent home at the Bush Center at Texas A&M,” said Max Angerholzer, CEO of the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. “The train meant the world to President Bush. We are grateful to the entire Union Pacific team, especially Chairman and CEO Lance Fritz, for this special gift.”
Read more about this exciting addition to Texas A&M here.

Remembering U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (TX-06)

The Texas A&M Advocacy Network sends its sincere condolences to the family, friends, and staff of U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (TX-06), who passed away on Feb. 7, 2021.
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