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Town Hall meeting with Senfronia Thompson

© by Bonnie McKenna
Observer Intern



State Representative Senfronia Thompson held a Town Hall meeting at the Humble Civic Center on Saturday September 17. 

Representative Thompson opened the meeting by providing the attendees a run down of recent activities in the state legislature.  Education was high on the list of topics discussed.  She said that despite the fact there was no conclusion to the special session of the legislature held this summer regarding education, education is still an important topic.  Property tax relief, consolidation of school districts, text books and technology are among many of the topics still to be resolved.


Airport noise is a topic of special interest to the residents of Rep. Thompson’s district.  The residents of Woodcreek and Foxwood are the two subdivisions most impacted by the new runway that runs along FM 1960 on the northern side of Bush Intercontinental Airport


“The remedies are still being discussed.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airport authority and the impacted communities will have yet another meeting in October to see if they can reach a remedy to the noise factor.” she said.


Rep. Thompson also discussed the Urban Land Bank bill.  The land bank is a new law to utilize properties that are delinquent on property tax and have remained vacant for over 17 years.


“The property owner adjacent to the vacant land will be allowed to first right of refusal to purchase the property.  If the adjacent land owner does not want the property, the property will be put up for sale to a qualified community development corporation (CDC) or private developer.  The property use is restricted to development of affordable housing,” she emphasized.


Legislation was passed to aid the child protective services by lowering the caseload to three times the nationally recommended limit for child abuse investigators.  Texas is first in the nation in child abuse deaths.  


Other newly enacted laws mentioned were:  Cell phone usage while driving is prohibited for drivers under the age of 18.  Travelers may carry a handgun in their vehicle without a concealed handgun license.  Minors must obtain permission from their parents or a judge to undergo an abortion.  Teachers hired after September 1, 2007 will be ineligible to retire until age 60.  Municipal management and improvement districts in Harris County will have no authority to exercise eminent domain.  A 65 cent tax, on average, on everyone’s electric bill was diverted to the general state revenue, removing 391,000 low-income Texans from assistance in paying utility bills.  Juror pay will be increased from $6 to $40 a day after the first day of service.  Farmers’ market vendors will be allowed to offer sample tastes of their produce. 


For additional information from State Representative Senfronia Thompson or the new laws in effect for Texans visit www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist141/thompson.htm or call her office in Austin 512-463-6306 or in Houston 713-633-3390.

Left to right:  State Representative Senfronia Thompson, Humble Mayor Donnie McMannes and Darrell Boeske discuss pending state legislation.


Left to right:  Delma Smith from North Forest ISD talks with State Representative Senfronia Thompson.