We recently started the 87th Legislature. Like many things this past year, the swearing-in ceremony was far different than past years and saw the legislative session open with less pageantry. Regardless of the circumstances, I am always honored to represent East Texas in the Legislature and will continue to work hard to bring our East Texas values to Austin.

The first act of the House of Representatives was to unanimously elect Rep. Dade Phelan of Beaumont as Speaker of the House. I am proud to support and work with Speaker Phelan as he leads the House as we address the many pressing issues facing Texas.

We also had the final meeting of the Sunset Advisory Commission where we voted on several recommendations to reform and streamline state agencies, reduce entire licenses and reduce requirements for continuing licenses. The Sunset process works to ensure the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of our state agencies.

As we move through the 140-day legislative session, I look forward to updating you about the goings-on in Austin and about the legislation that I am authoring to help make our government operate more efficiently and to better serve you, the citizens.

I want to encourage you to reach out to me about issues that concern you or ideas for legislation that would help make Texas an even better place to live. I can be reached at 512-463-0556 or district9.paddie@house.state.tx.us.

In addition, my district director, Joe Buck Crisp, will be spending time each month in every county to meet with you about legislative concerns and to help with issues you may be having with the state government. Please contact our Marshall office at 903-935-1141 to find out when he will be in your town.

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— State Rep. Chris Paddie represents Cass, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Sabine and Shelby counties in the Texas House of Representatives.