07 25 2014

Flynn Set For Sixth Term, Big Decisions

By Terry Britt
Staff Writer
AUSTIN—State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) embarks on his sixth term in the Texas House of Representatives with a large list of matters to help determine.
Fortunately, Flynn said in a telephone interview Thursday morning, the budget outlook is not as bleak as it was in 2011. That will be a key to addressing subjects such as a 50-year water plan for the state.
“Water will continue to be a vital issue, no question about it,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to fund that 50-year water program.
“There are a lot of people with a lot of ideas on how to do it. There is money in the ‘rainy day’ fund and a double digit increase in sales tax revenue, so there is money there to do it.”
However, that is just one of several areas of state government that will require funding. Flynn referred to issues regarding public education and higher education as something he expects to be revamped in the coming session, which starts Tuesday.
Transportation issues also must be considered, he said.
“We’ve got to find a way to relieve the congestion around the state and I think that will continue to be looked at,” he said.
Flynn said he also would like to see a reduction in what he terms “over-regulation and unnecessary programs” at the state level.
“We don’t want to become like the federal government. I think we also need to have zero-based budgeting,” he added, “and let the taxpayers know the money is going to programs in common sense areas.
“We need to end using special fund balances to certify state government. I want state money to be used for what it was intended,” Flynn added.
He also mentioned big concerns about healthcare in Texas, particularly as to the possible budgetary effects of the federal health care legislation enacted last year.
“Every session is different. This will be my sixth session and I will be looking at the list of bills that have been pre-filed and will be working with those,” Flynn explained.
“When the big issues come up, I will have to look at those, look at the interim reports we have and see what the recommendation of the committees are,” he added.
Flynn, who represents Van Zandt, Hunt and Hopkins counties in House District 2, has been recognized for his work in Austin by being unanimously chosen as “East Texas Legislator of the Year” by the East Texas Council of Governments.
That honor was announced by Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches during Tuesday’s Van Zandt County Inauguration Ceremony, which Flynn attended.
“To be unanimously selected is an honor that I am overwhelmed by. I appreciate all the support given to me,” Flynn said.

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