House Representative

Smithee, John T.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/23/2003

The Rural Caucus of the Texas Legislature

The Rural Caucus of the Texas Legislature held its first meeting of the 78th Legislative Session on January 22, 2003. A large turnout at the first meeting reflects the substantial membership of the Caucus, which is 73 members strong and still growing. Membership of the Rural Caucus includes House and Senate Members, as well as the Commissioner of Agriculture, Susan Combs.

Among the topics discussed at this meeting was the mission of the Rural Caucus. The Caucus exists as an informational source for members of the Texas Legislature. Throughout this legislative session, weekly meetings will be held. The discussions during these meetings will provide members with valuable insight into issues that impact the rural areas of Texas, such as rural healthcare, transportation and education. Though these will be many of the same issues that are important to urban and suburban Texas, the Caucus exists to provide information on the particular impact to rural Texas as legislative members from all parts of Texas work together to find positive solutions.

A Nominations Committee was appointed by 1st Vice-Chair Rick Hardcastle to select the officers of the Rural Caucus. The committee members are Chairman Warren Chisum and Representatives Suzanna Hupp and Allan Ritter.

Members of the Rural Caucus of the Texas Legislature also discussed the possibility of building coalitions in support of measures that will affect rural areas. The Caucus strives to be a cohesive group that formulates policy to benefit all Texans, whether they reside in urban, suburban or rural areas.

As this busy and challenging legislative session progresses, the Rural Caucus will be an important source of new knowledge and information for its members. Representative Smithee is a member of the Rural Caucus.

Contact Information:
Lindsey Patrick
Legislative Director
(512) 463-0702