Buda says voices heard at Lege

City of Buda representatives had a successful run during Buda’s Inaugural Legislative Day at the capitol on last Wednesday.

According to Buda Public Information Officer David Marino, the trip was a joint effort of city of Buda staff, Buda Economic Development Corporation and Buda Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It was a very productive day,” Marino said.

Marino said Buda representatives split off into small groups with gift baskets in hand to visit every office in the Capitol in order to convey the importance of certain bills, such as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and the use of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds to improve sportsplex facilities, on the legislative agenda.

Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams and State Representative Jason Isaac talk during Buda’s day at the legislature. (photo courtesy of city of Buda)

In addition to the directors of city departments, a few Buda city council members were in attendance to press Buda’s interests at the capitol.

Buda Mayor Todd Ruge, council member Lee Urbanovsky and council member George Haehn took part in Buda’s first Legislative Day and got a peek behind the curtain at politics at the state level.

“I think it went very well,” Ruge said. “It opened a lot of doors for us.”

Marino said the main objective behind the Legislative Day for Buda officials was to “make connections” with state legislators in order to “let Buda’s voice be heard at the state level.”

Approximately 30 to 40 people from Buda, including local business owners, took half the day visiting the 200 various offices at the capitol.

“Every office in the state (Capitol) saw someone from Buda,” Ruge said.

According to Marino, the other half of the day was set aside for an educational session where Buda officials heard legislators discuss bills on ASR, transportation issues and HOT funds.

According to the Buda Economic Development Corporations Director Ann Miller, the Buda Tourism department contributed to the Buda basket by giving  pens and koozies.

Miller also said that the EDC board had some promotional items to contribute to the gift baskets, including Jardine’s chili seasoning.

Miller said the visit’s funding came collectively from the three entities and was “a team effort”.

Legislators seemed interested in the legislative priorities of Buda, Miller said, and some circled agenda items after talking with Buda officials.

“I’m calling this one our inaugural (Legislative Day) since we plan on having a day at the capitol every session even if there is no Buda legislation up for discussion,” Miller said.

Currently the two main legislative priorities for Buda, ASR and HOT bills are on the floor for discussion.

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