March 29, 2007
Yes, along with what must have been all of Central Texas, I did run the Capitol 10K last weekend. And I did very well, thank you very much. In fact, I’m a little irritated. I think there should be more attention on how, when you think about it, I really pretty much won the thing.The whole focus seems to be on the final time. No doubt, that’s a key factor. It should definitely be considered in awarding a medal.But, if you take into account additional factors like age, height, weight, stress levels, natural ability, good sense, reasonable attractiveness, time to train, and both quantity and quality of hair, I think I won the deal. I at least won the category for State Senators from Travis County.
If nothing else, I guess the alleged “race” was good preparation for the week, in which I had 13 bills heard in various Senate committees. That’s a lot, about a fifth of my total. And they were important bills – including those that would pay for clean school buses, create accountability and transparency in toll roads, allow sidewalk cafes, and create better economic development along State Highway 130.On top of all that, Senator Troy Fraser accepted my proposal to create a state-wide energy policy, allowing it as an amendment to his big energy bill that the Senate passed on Thursday. I care a lot about that issue, particularly after all the trouble we’ve had around here with questionable energy plans and the scare tactics some use to sell them. And I deeply appreciate Senator Fraser’s leadership, as well as his genuine willingness to work with others – even freshmen senators from the other party who arguably have only their foot-speed going for them. Plus, my bill to help homeowners with their insurance passed the Senate on a 30-0 vote.I’m also quite happy to report that the school buses, sidewalk cafes and transparency bills are all headed to the Senate floor. The tolls transparency bill is particularly gratifying, given some last-minute drama in which the Department of Transportation suggested that we “improve” the bill by gutting its main provisions. You can read more about that here. So, you’re probably right . . . This week was almost as important in Texas history as the week that Santa Anna got his butt kicked by Sam Houston. Although, let’s be fair – San Jacinto was over in less than 20 minutes. I was running around all week.
We also had a little bit of news coverage after the SH 130 hearing on Wednesday. Here’s a story about some unpleasantness with folks who find it much easier to bash Austin than read a bill.What the article doesn’t convey is how hard we’re working to craft a set of bills that really works for the SH 130 corridor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with homeowners and landowners from out in that corridor, and we’ve already made numerous changes in response to the excellent feedback we’ve received. In the end, these bills must protect the people who live out along 130 now, and they must ensure that the corridor becomes the incredible economic development asset it can be – and not the staggering challenge it will be if we miss our chance. And, believe it or not, that is the end of this email you see right down there. I have more to say, as folks who dutifully read all the way to the signature each week will attest. But, just in case you haven’t figured it out yet . . . I’ve gotta run.