The Mesquite City Council on Monday discussed a resolution adopting the 2021 Legislative Program for the city of Mesquite.
The Texas State Legislature meets every two years to discuss new bills, new policies, and the state budget for running various organizations throughout the state.
Currently, the Legislature is working on plans to hold sessions and meetings with COVID-19. Some of the main items on the agenda are COVID-19 related including policies to help fight the pandemic throughout the state. With the 2020 census, the state will utilize the new population estimates to redraw their district boundaries.
“The state budget is expected to have a major shortfall this year because of COVID-19,” Assistant to the City Manager Chris Sanchez said. “Looking at ways to increase revenue throughout the state. Specific to Mesquite, it was unique to this year we will be working with legislators to introduce city sponsor legislation to address major concerns in the community. Among these concerns include the discharging of firearms, burglary of motor vehicles and auto theft, and use fireworks throughout the community."
“I really hope that our legislators will listen to this and help us with this. We are gearing up for New Years Eve. We had a pretty tough Fourth of July. Our officers and firemen will do all they can out there,” Mayor Bruce Archer said. “Our citizens will do all they can to report and send things in, but we sure could help on some of these issues. We want citizens to enjoy their patriotism, but shooting guns in populous neighborhoods is not the way to do things in Mesquite.”
Some of the highest priorities the city has has is to support local control. With this, the city would want to make sure to limit unfunded state mandates that come with certain legislation. They also want to support transportation funding in order to improve mobility throughout the city of Mesquite. Mesquite also wants to look to support economic development tools to ensure the city has those tools to attract businesses and new jobs to the community.
“We would in response to the coronavirus ... we are looking at relief legislation to recover throughout the entire city,” Sanchez said.
Some of the high priorities listed are for public safety resources and funding. Mesquite leaders also want to support the job order contracts for public works projects like roads and streets to help with the efficiency of those projects.
The city would also like to support confidentiality under the public information act as well as streamlining open meeting act requirements to help out the city secretary. In addition, the city is looking to support additional resources and funding for the library throughout the state.
“These are our legislative priorities that form our program, and we will be using these to lead our discussions in our efforts throughout the rest of the session,” Sanchez said.
The council is expected to approve a resolution in January to adopt the priorities.