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Forum Looks Ahead to 85th Texas Legislature

Pre-Legislative Forum Graphic - 392x304What can Texans expect in the areas of education, income and health when the 85th Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 10? Elected officials will shed light on the coming days in Austin at the Aug. 31 Pre-Legislative Forum presented by United Way and its Area Agency on Aging. The forum will be held from 9:00 to 11:45 a.m. at the Amon Carter Center at Lena Pope, 3200 Sanguinet in Fort Worth. Check-in and refreshments will be available at 8:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $25.

Register online here.

Legislators scheduled to appear at the forum are State Senator Konni Burton and State Representatives Giovanni Capriglione, Nicole Collier and Chris Turner.

A second group of panelists will discuss what is on their legislative agendas and provide advice for advocates. Panel members are Robert Earley, President/CEO of JPS Health Network; Mark Mendez, Assistant County Administrator/Governmental Affairs for Tarrant County; T.J. Patterson, Jr., Manager of Legislative Affairs for the City of Fort Worth; and Vicki Truitt, Principal with VTruitt Consulting, LLC. United Way also will present its legislative priorities for the 85th Texas Legislature.

“We are delighted to bring together elected officials and experts in education, income and health,” said Pat Cheong, United Way of Tarrant County Vice President of Community Development. “The purpose of this forum is to learn how we can best come together to craft policies that improve lives of people who call Tarrant County home.”

Keynote speaker Diane Patrick, Ph.D., will discuss whether the Legislature should try to provide statewide equalization of funding for public education in Texas. A former Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, Dr. Patrick represented District 94 from 2007 to 2015. She also served on the Texas State Board of Education from 1992 to 1996 and was a member of the Arlington ISD Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1992. She currently serves on the Tarrant County College Board of Trustees.

Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy will emcee the forum. Since 1987 Kennedy has written over 1,000 weekly dining columns and over 3,000 news and political columns. The Fort Worth native began covering high school football when he was just 16.