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Tarrant County lawmakers picked for distinguished Texas House honor

Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, stood before the opening of the 85th Texas Legislative session in the house chambers at the Texas State Capitol after he was re-elected for a fifth consecutive term.
Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, stood before the opening of the 85th Texas Legislative session in the house chambers at the Texas State Capitol after he was re-elected for a fifth consecutive term. AP

The legislative spotlight recently shined briefly on a few Tarrant County lawmakers.

After Republican House Speaker Joe Straus was re-elected for another term Jan. 10, he named a special committee — as he traditionally does — to escort him to the speaker’s rostrum.

Turns out, a fourth of his escorts were from Tarrant County: state Reps. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, and Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie.

“I was honored to join my colleagues in unanimously re-electing Speaker Joe Straus and was privileged to accompany him on the dais during his speech,” Collier posted on Facebook.

North Texas appointments

Gov. Greg Abbott has named Mark Pittman of Fort Worth to serve on the 2nd Court of Appeals until Dec. 31, 2018 — or until a successor is elected.

Pittman, a former enforcement attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission, is judge of the 352nd Judicial District Court in Tarrant County. He has served as senior attorney for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Dallas regional office and as assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Abbott also appointed Ezio Leite of North Richland Hills to the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment. Leite, executive director and senior clinician of Psychotherapy Services & Yokefellows, will serve a term that will expire Feb. 1, 2021. The council “sets standards for treatment and oversees the licensing of providers.”

Leadership award

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, was recently honored with a 2016 Leadership Award from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility for “strong leadership in preventing impaired driving and underage drinking.”

Veasey, who hosts a Health Expo on Capitol Hill each May, said he was honored to receive the award.

“I know that one of the most important ways we can get young people to live a healthier lifestyle is to reduce the prevalence of underage drinking,” he said. “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Responsibility.org to educate young people about the dangers of underage drinking.”

Appointments

Among the recent congressional appointments: U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, will serve as vice chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade.

“Rep. Williams has been an incredible asset to the Financial Services Committee due to his extensive firsthand knowledge in small business and understanding of how government impacts the private sector,” said committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas. “I am confident his leadership role on our committee will help us in our fight for economic opportunity for all.”

New recognition

Tarrant County recently received special recognition — the Contracts and Procurement Star — for work to provide financial information to residents.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts awarded the star because the county listed information on its OpenBooks website, including the total number of closed bids and solicitations or awarded contracts, total dollar amount awarded from contracts and more.

Anna M. Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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