54 Texas Section members from across the state met in Austin on Tuesday, February 26th, for the 2019 ASCE Texas Legislative Drive-In. During this event, members asked 70+ legislators to invest in flood risk management, support continued infrastructure investment, support QBS of professional engineers, protect dedicated transportation funding, support STEM education, and maintain professional licensure requirements. Investment in infrastructure is the key to continued economic growth, enabling civil engineers to build a better quality of life.
It was the Texas Section’s second ever Legislative Drive-In. Attendance nearly doubled since the inaugural Drive-In in 2017. The 2019 effort was led by the Texas Section’s award-winning Government Affairs Committee with support from Vice President for Professional Affairs, J. Brandon Klenzendorf, PhD, PE; Vice President Elect for Professional Affairs, Tiffany Reed-Villarreal PE; ASCE’s Government Relations staff; and Texas Section staff. The event included several guest speakers: State Senator, Charles Perry; Kathleen Jackson PE of the Texas Water Development Board; Policy Director, Jonathan Sierra-Ortega (Senate Transportation Committee); and Legislative Consultant, Chris Sanchez.
Attendees made visits to their representative’s and senator’s offices and left them with information about flood risk management, ASCE’s Failure to Act program, and facts from the 2017 Report Card for Texas’ Infrastructure and Addressing Flood Risk report.
At the end of the day, Texas Section leadership and members gathered for a social hour to exchange stories from their legislative visits. Since the event, the Texas Section has already been asked to comment on a draft senate bill and draft house bill.