I recently had the pleasure of congratulating a dear friend of mine — Dr. Keven Ellis of Lufkin — on his appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott to chair the State Board of Education.

This occasion reminded me of how important it is to have individuals from East Texas serving in leadership capacities. Did you know the governor has the authority to make appointments to more than 3,000 state boards, commissions or councils?

I know firsthand the Governor’s Appointments Office needs more applicants from rural and East Texas who are willing to serve in one of these appointed positions.

If you are interested in exploring what opportunities are available, or in filling out an application, go to gov.texas.gov/organization/appointments.

With that, here’s this week’s legislative update.

Legislative update. This week we’ll dive into Propositions 7 and 8, as we continue our weekly examination of propositions that will be on the ballot in November.

Proposition 7 proposes a constitutional amendment to extend the authority to distribute revenues derived from permanent school fund land to the State Board of Education. The General Land Office, which is currently responsible for managing revenues, would retain that authority.

The proposal also doubles the annual cap on fund distribution from $300 million to $600 million. Proposition 7 would help improve funding for public schools when sufficient revenues are available and also would give the GLO and the SBOE more flexibility to distribute proceeds.

Proposition 8 proposes a constitutional amendment to create the flood infrastructure fund as a special fund in the state treasury outside of the general revenue fund. The money in the fund would be used by the Texas Water Development Board to provide financing for drainage, flood mitigation or flood control projects.

As we continue to recover from natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, we must also ensure that we have resources available to help mitigate damage in the future. By creating the flood infrastructure fund outside of the general revenue fund, we will better protect money needed for flood projects from being redirected for other purposes.

Additionally, by providing both grants and loans, the fund will facilitate access to flood project financing for smaller, rural communities that may not have the resources to raise the local matching funds required for federal disaster programs.

Reminders. The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: from 9-11 a.m. Oct. 16 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett, or from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton; from 9-11 a.m. Oct. 23 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

Trent Ashby is the state representative for District 57 that includes Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine and Trinity counties. His email address is trent.ashby@house.state.tx.us.