Senator Nelson's Capitol Digest

September 28, 2011

State Funds Committed to Assist Drought-related Firefighting

In the past 7 days, the Texas Forest Service has responded to 88 fires encompassing 14,606 acres, as wildfires continue to strain the resources of our local fire departments. 

To assist, the state is expediting the disbursement of $27 million in grants from the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, along with and additional $5 million for firefighting equipment, to help offset expenses resulting from the unprecedented wildfire season this year. 

In addition, citizens who have lost property due to this year's wildfires may claim an exemption for sales tax associated with labor to repair damage.

“The firefighters who have been putting themselves in harm's way to protect our citizens and their property from wildfires deserve our appreciation and support," Senator Nelson said.  "These funds will help ensure that rural firefighting teams are equipped to respond in areas hardest hit by the drought."

For the latest on Texas wildfires, visit the Texas Forest Service online.


Have You RSVP'ed? Annual 40th Birthday is Two Weeks from Today!


If you have yet to RSVP for Senator Nelson's only fund raising event of 2011 -- a.k.a. her Annual 40th Birthday Party -- please do so by replying to this e-mail or visiting our web site at

Host packages start at $250.  Or purchase general admission with a contribution of $25 or more per individual -- and still enjoy the complimentary food and beverage; entertainment from The Good Question Band; and a program featuring WBAP radio host Mark Davis and, of course, Senator Nelson.  Kids are welcome, and all children in attendance will be invited onstage to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Senator Nelson Receives Award For Barnett Shale Legislation

Senator Nelson has received the 2011 Legislative Leadership Award from the Texas Oil & Gas Association, recognizing her work on two pieces of legislation providing greater public disclosure of the environmental impacts of gas drilling.

"Natural gas drilling is important to our region's economy and to our nation's energy independence, but the health of our citizens is our top priority," Senator Nelson said. 

Senator Nelson co-sponsored HB 3328, requiring drillers to list the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, and SB 527, adding new air monitors in the Barnett Shale.

"Senator Nelson's disclosure law for chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and a bill to create an expanded air monitoring network will establish greater transparency and provide quality data to the public — while, at the same time, protecting Texas jobs," said Debbie Hastings, vice president of environmental affairs for the Texas Oil & Gas Association.  

Sales Tax Receipts Indicate
Economic Progress in Texas

Sales tax receipts have increased for the 17th consecutive month in Texas -- another sign that the state's economy is making progress.  August sales tax revenue was $1.98 billion -- up 11.9 percent over August 2010 figures.

"These figures show that Texans are putting money into the state economy and supporting Texas businesses," Senator Nelson said

New Web Site Tracks Impact
of Federal Regulations on Texas

A new web site -- -- is tracking the impact federal regulations are having on Texas businesses.   The site, to be maintained by the Comptroller of Public Accounts, will alert Texans about the cost to our state of pending actions by the federal government.

"The federal government is casting an ever-growing shadow over our state's ability to grow and produce jobs," Senator Nelson said.  "This web site will allow citizens to stay informed about how federal regulations are impacting Texas ."