Lone Star Republican Women host Senator Nichols

Posted by : admin | On : October 19, 2017

Lone Star Republican Women President Carol Morton (left) stands with Texas District 3 Senator Robert Nichols at the Sept. 12 meeting. Nichols was the guest speaker.

Lone Star Republican Women President Carol Morton (left) stands with Texas District 3 Senator Robert Nichols at the Sept. 12 meeting. Nichols was the guest speaker.

By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–Lone Star Republican Women’s Club of Henderson County hosted Texas District 3 Senator Robert Nichols at their Oct. 12 general meeting. Senator Nichols has represented District 3 and its 19 counties since 2007. Nichols serves as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and serves on the Finance Administration and Business and Commerce Committees. He is a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and is serving his second term on the Sunset Advisory Commission.
Nichols congratulated the club on its work and influence saying, “Wherever there is a Republican Women’s Club, most of the elected officials are Republicans. You must never underestimate your effect on politics. You provide a valuable forum for our message.”
Nichols told the group that this was a tight budget year and that revenues had dropped due to the drop in the price of oil and gas. “The next session will be tight also with all the recovery from the hurricanes.”
Nichols said 11 of the 19 counties he represents were declared disaster areas during the recent hurricanes with seven having been underwater. “In Orange County alone, 26,000 of 40,000 homes were flooded. We toured the area and the debris field is expansive. It is everywhere. It is very hard on those residents.”
Nichols praised Governor Abbott as being proactive with the recovery. “He didn’t wait until he was called. He went down there and not for pictures, he went to work with the mayors to get things done.”
Nichols pointed to several accomplishments during this past legislative session. One was the appropriation of $300 million to fix the state mental hospital situation and build modern facilities. Many people in jails are there because the state mental hospitals are full, Nichols said.
Another win he pointed to was legislation aimed to help Child Protective Services, giving them their own board, taking them out from under Health and Human Services and enabling them to contract with non-profit agencies to help the children.
Economic development in the state has allowed our nation to begin exporting natural gas and also exporting the by-product which is plastics, Nichols told the group. Transportation funding is being directed to rural roads where safety is paramount. “In automobile deaths, statistics show two-thirds of them are on rural roads.”
Nichols met with every school superintendent in his area before the session to see what could be fixed. The result was a change in the funding formula that was created in the 1970s to force small rural school districts to consolidate. During the special session, some of that was reversed, phased in over the next five years which is expected to return up to several million dollars to county schools over the next five years.
Other achievements Nichols pointed out were the reduction of the license to carry fees dropped from $140 to $40, providing bullet-proof vests for law enforcement and prohibiting partial birth abortions.