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  • Nichols My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols, For the Record|Updated Oct 5, 2021

    This week, the Texas Legislature is meeting to discuss everything from redistricting to electricity and the grid. We’ve only got a few more weeks left in this special session, hopefully we will get everything done! Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Governor’s Broadband Council report released This month the Governor’s Broadband Development Council released their annual report to the Legislature as required by a bill passed in the 86th Legislative Session. Th...

  • My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Sep 28, 2021

    The first official day of fall came this week on September 22. With it came a welcome cold front across the state and a beautiful Harvest Moon. Fall brings cooler weather, leaves changing colors, and this year another special session. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Third special session begins The Legislature convened for our third special session this week. There were five items originally on the call including redistricting, appropriating federal funds...

  • My 5-Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Sep 7, 2021

    A weekly column from Sen. Robert Nichols by Sen. Robert Nichols, Senate District 3 We continue to hold our friends in Louisiana in our prayers after Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane this week. Texas was proud to send a Chinook helicopter, 14 crew members, 30 fire engines, and 132 firefighters to aid in hurricane recovery efforts. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. COVID-19 antibody treatment center opens in Nacogdoches The Texas Division...

  • My 5-Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Aug 31, 2021

    On August 27, 1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson was born near Johnson City, Texas. LBJ would go on to become a US Congressman, US Senator, the Vice President under President John F. Kennedy, and finally the President of the United States. His birthday is celebrated as a state holiday. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Elections bill advances in the House The House is set to consider Senate Bill 1, the election integrity and security bill. It passed the House Commi...

  • My five cents...

    Senator Robert Nichols, For the Record|Updated Aug 10, 2021

    The Battle of Nacogdoches occurred 185 years ago this week. On August 2, 1836, a group of Texas settler defied an order from a Mexican Army commander and did not surrender their weapons. This battle is often referred to the opening gun of the Texas Revolution. The revolutionaries were successful in this first conflict and cleared East Texas of military rule, allowing citizens to meet in convention without military intervention. Here are five things happening around your...

  • My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Aug 3, 2021

    The 2021 Olympic Games have begun in Tokyo, Japan. Over the next few weeks, we will all get to watch and enjoy the very best the United States has to offer compete on a global scale. I'll be watching and cheering on our Olympic athletes, particularly the 40 athletes who are from Texas. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Grandmother of Juneteenth Opal Lee honored in Senate Last week, Fort Worth activist Opal Lee was recognized in the Texas Senate with a...

  • My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Jul 20, 2021

    Even though many House members and some State Senators are still in Washington, D.C. to break quorum, special session continues in Austin. The State Senate has enough members at the Capitol to continue working on important legislation we've been called to address. Though these measures cannot be finally passed until the House has a quorum, the Senate's work continues. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Elections bill passes the Senate The Texas Senate passed...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Jun 8, 2021

    With session over, there’s time to reflect on what happened toward the end of session and the new laws the legislature passed over the past 140 days. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Legislature adjourns Sine Die The 87th Legislative session has ended and this week both chambers adjourned Sine Die. In total, the House and Senate filed 7,025 bills combined. Of those, the House filed 4,834 bills and the Senate filed 2,191 bills. However, only 1,081 bills from...

  • Nichols My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols, For the Record|Updated May 25, 2021

    Session is drawing to a close. This is the last week for Senate committees to realistically consider bills to vote out of committee. We have until May 26 to vote on any bill on the floor. After that, the Senate can only vote on Conference Committee Reports or concur with House amendments until we adjourn Sine Die on May 31. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Gulf Coast Protection District bill passes the House This week Senate Bill 1160 was voted off the Hous...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated May 11, 2021

    At the end of this week, we’ll only have three weeks left in this year’s legislative session. These last three weeks are some of the most intense weeks, with long hours and lots of bills to read. A number of deadlines begin to crop up during this time. For example, May 26th is the last day for the Senate to consider all bills and joint resolutions, whether they originated in the House or Senate. We adjourn Sine Die, the last day of session, on May 31st. Here are five thi...

  • My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated May 4, 2021

    Last week, the House passed its version of the state budget for the next two years. It differs in some significant ways from the budget the Senate passed. In order to reconcile our differences, we’ll convene a conference committee with 5 members from each chamber to work out the details. I’m honored to once again serve as a conferee for the state budget. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Texas to gain two new congressional seats The US Census Bureau released...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Apr 27, 2021

    On April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston led the Texan Army in a decisive victory over General Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto. The fighting lasted a mere 18 minutes. Though Santa Anna escaped the battlefield and fled, he was captured the next day and held as a prisoner of war for about three weeks until he signed the peace treaty that ended the conflict and paved the way for the Republic of Texas. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Texas Senate passes...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Apr 12, 2021

    This week the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, the Senate’s version of the budget for this year. The budget includes over $11 billion for children and teacher public education support, $8 billion for mental health support, including an almost $20 million increase for children’s mental health programs, and over $25 billion for highway improvements and new construction. The budget is a reflection of our priorities this session and took over six weeks to put together. Here are fiv...

  • My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Apr 6, 2021

    This week the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 5, a bill I authored that would address broadband access across the state. I appreciate the support of my colleagues and the leadership from the House author Rep. Trent Ashby. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Texas Department of Transportation offering Project Celebration grants The Texas Department of Transportation is offering $750 mini-grants to high schools for alcohol-free and drug-free parties after...

  • My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Mar 30, 2021

    This week marks the halfway point in the 87th Legislative Session. We’ve spent the first 70 days filing bills, attending hearings, and working on the budget. Now that we’re halfway through session, things will really start to pick up. We’ve already started voting on bills in committee and on the floor of the Senate. There’s a lot going on down here in Austin and more to come! Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Senate passes Senate Bill 25 I was proud to join...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols, For the Record|Updated Mar 16, 2021

    Twenty-seven of my colleagues and I signed a letter to the Public Utility Commission this week urging them to correct the billing errors related to last month's winter storm. According to the Independent Market Monitor, ERCOT allowed emergency pricing to continue for almost a day and a half longer than necessary, resulting in $3.2 billion in overbilled charges. Correcting these billing mistakes is a critical step in reforming the system. Here are five things happening around y...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols, For the Record|Updated Mar 8, 2021

    A weekly column from Sen. Robert Nichols by Sen. Robert Nichols, Senate District 3 Texas Independence Day is celebrated on March 2nd and commemorates the creation of the Republic of Texas in 1836 after our declaration of independence from Mexico. Sixty men signed the Texas Declaration of Independence including the legendary Sam Houston, who would go on to be president of the Republic of Texas, a US Senator after Texas joined the United States, and later the governor of Texas....

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Mar 1, 2021

    As Texas recovers from the destructive storms last week, the legislature is back at work and focused on finding answers to what happened last week. This week we also resumed work on the budget in the Senate Finance Committee. We heard from Article III agencies, including TEA and all of our institutes of higher education. To finish the week, we will hear from Article II agencies, including Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services. Here...

  • My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Feb 9, 2021

    A weekly column from Sen. Robert Nichols by Sen. Robert Nichols, Senate District 3 Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day, signaling 6 more weeks of winter. Since 1887, the groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been central to the legend of Groundhog Day, celebrated every February 2. Let's hope he's wrong this year. Here are five things happening around the state this week: 1. Texas Water Development Board authorized $44.5 million in Flood Mitigation...

  • Senator Nichols My Five Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols, For the Record|Updated Feb 2, 2021

    The third week of session is coming to a close. The Redistricting Committee has been meeting every day this week to hear testimony from the public and Senate Finance will start meeting next month. Here are five things happening around the state this week: • Texas Gun and Ammo Sales Rise Gun and ammo sales are skyrocketing in Texas again this year. Some retailers said their sales doubled in 2020 when compared to 2019 and they're struggling to keep inventory on the shelves. A...

  • Nichols My 5 Cents

    Senator Robert Nichols|Updated Jan 19, 2021

    The Legislature has ended its first week of session. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Senate has decided to recess until January 26th . However, we will still be working hard in the meantime on legislation for Senate District 3. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. The Texas Legislature begins the 87th Legislative Session This week, the 87th legislature gaveled in for session. Though opening day looked a bit different than usual, with fewer guests in the galler...