Texas senator Bryan Hughes, of Mineola, Texas, is beginning his second year in office with a two-day visit to Texarkana with his entire staff.
After a short stop at TexAmericas Monday, Senator Hughes and his seven-person staff, visited the campus of Texas A&M University-Texarkana. Their tour continues Tuesday morning at Texarkana College, with a stop at Ledwell Company afterwards.
“My staff works in the office at Austin dealing with Texarkana projects and people all the time,” said Senator Hughes, a Republican who represents 16 counties in Northeast Texas. Previously, he represented District Five in the Texas House of Representatives for seven terms.
“I thought it would be nice if my folks got to see what Texarkana looks like, and meet some of the people here. I brought the whole team, and I know they’re all looking forward to being up here. It’s pretty exciting. The campus here looks great and there’s more to come. You simply can’t make conversation about growth and opportunities in District 1 without talking about Texarkana.”
Senator Hughes is currently in the middle of new legislation involving proper identification to vote in Texas, and a merchant’s right to ask for ID when using a credit card.
Senator Bryan Hughes authors ID law in Texas
The voter ID law is a hot issue, but necessary according to the senator.
“If you’re going to cast a vote, it’s not asking too much to show your identification,” he said. “We’re used to showing identification when we cash a check, or various things we do in normal life. It’s important to know the person voting is the person they say they are. We’ve been back and forth in Federal Court, and have been sued every time the ID law is passed.
“If you don’t have a driver’s license, there are state IDs available; and if you can’t afford that, we’ll give you one. We’ve replaced every obstacle. We’ll let you vote if you’ll sign an affidavit with your address.”
It was reported last year that more than 3,000 votes in the Houston area were cast by individuals who were not U.S. citizens.
“It’s a real problem,” Senator Hughes said.
Another bill will allow merchants to request identification when customers use their credit cards. The senator said this law would cut down fraud, protecting the card owner and the merchant.