Big legislative plans for Texoma

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - On January 10th the Texas state legislature will open their session and Representative James Frank has big plans for the area.
He has many goals for the upcoming session; some bigger and some smaller and more local.
He said he looks forward to getting back to Austin, Texas and working hard to represent the 69th District to the best of his ability.
    "We have the wind farm bill," Representative Frank said. "We have the issues going on with the red river. Those are a couple of the big local issues that we have legislation that we hope to file."
2017 may be a new year, but many of the same issues are on Representative Frank's plate.
He plans on addressing the red river situation, as well as child protective services reform.
But one he is working with the city of Wichita Falls on is the potential Clay County wind farms near Sheppard Air Force Base.
    "I, personally, don't think we should provide economic incentives to build wind farms that are going to affect, potentially very negatively, the biggest economic driver in the community," Representative Franks said. "That's just not where I think the state should be using it's economic funds."
He has pre-filed a bill that would keep the state from using economic development funds to put the wind farms up.
Stephen Santellana, Mayor of Wichita Falls, said the city has a great relationship with Representative Frank.
    "Anytime James see's anything that's going to affect Wichita Falls, we are the first people he calls," Mayor Santellana said. "He really wants to know what our opinion is and what he can do to help."
Another issue Representative Frank wants to address is water issues.
Mayor Santellana believes it is a top priority.
    "We can always push it and kick the can down the road a little bit further," Mayor Santellana said. "But I think if we focus on it now, next time we have a drought of record, we are just that much more prepared."
The relationship between city and state leaders turns out to be pretty important.
    "They are carrying our interest down to Austin," Mayor Santellana said. "We express those interests to them when they are out of session. And when they go down there, they are trying to advocate for us. So it's absolutely paramount we keep open relationships and that we keep track of what they are doing down there. And that they keep track of what we are doing up here."

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