It’s a chance for voices from the High Plains to be heard all the way in Austin. Around 100 people will head to the State Capitol, next week, for Panhandle Days. Every other year, a group makes the trip to learn of new legislation impacting the Texas Panhandle.
Two years ago, the event was interrupted by then-newly elected Governor Greg Abbott’s State of the State Address. That happened a few weeks ago, so this year’s event is all business.
Jason Harrison / Amarillo Chamber of Commerce: “This year, there’s going to be limited funds; we all know about the oil and gas being down,” Jason Harrison, Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs for the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, said. “It’s important that we go down there, that we get our fair share. You know, a lot of times, we’re not asking for more; we’re asking just for the same we’ve been getting. And so, we just want to make sure as they start cutting things, you know, that we talk about the important things going on up here and that we’re not left out in the cold.”
It’s more than just meeting with the usual legislators from the High Plains. In fact, Harrison says it’s the meetings with senators and representatives from other parts of the state that can carry the most weight.
“If they’re from South Texas, they might not know really what kind of needs are going on up here,” Harrison said. “So, it’s vitally important that we tell our story there.”
Next week, they’ll meet with the different committees to discuss a range of items. They’ll regard agriculture, education, health care and transportation. As mentioned earlier, there are around a hundred people going. To be more efficient, they’ll divide into groups to tackle the different items and compare notes after.
The group is scheduled to arrive in Austin, Monday afternoon. The real work begins Tuesday morning. We’ll have a crew there to bring you updates throughout the event.