Thursday, February 21, 2019

Get to know your legislators

Jim Murphy

If you want to share the importance of public pensions with legislators, consider visiting the capitol to talk with Rep. Jim Murphy. The Houston Republican chairs the influential House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over all matters about public retirement systems and their financial obligations.

Murph was appointed to chair the committee by Speaker Dennis Bonnen. He also is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is the chief tax-writing committee of the state House of Representatives.

In a public statement issued after his Jan. 23 appointment, Murphy said would be working alongside the other committee members to address “long-term solvency for public pensions and providing more transparency in the government debt issuance process.”

Murphy is serving his sixth term in the House, representing District 133 in West Houston. He has deep connections to the area, which is home to 1.7 million residents. Murphy grew up in the community and graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Houston’s largest Catholic high school. After high school, he moved to Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas.

Before becoming a state legislator, though, he was teacher in Houston, according to his online biography. He is married to Dr. Kathleen Murphy. The couple have two adult sons. And, he is still active in Houston’s Catholic community as the couple attend St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

Here are a few more insights into the representative:
  • Murphy has been recognized for his efforts to reduce taxes, enhance public safety, protect private property rights, and increase the quality of public education.
  • He is a board member of the Texas Conservative Coalition, a conservative caucus of the Texas Legislature and defender of limited government. 
  • He was twice elected to the Houston Community College board of trustees, having served from 1997 to 2006.
  • He is president of District Management Services, a consulting firm assisting economic development organizations.
  • Other organizations he has worked with include the Houston West Chamber of Commerce, West Houston Medical Center, Houston Association of Commercial Real Estate Professionals, and Urban Land Institute.
  • In 1995, Murphy was named of one the Five Outstanding Young Texans.

Public officials want to hear from you. Talking with their constituents is a good way for them to better understand the people they represent. Before you schedule a meeting with your legislator, though, get to know them.

Our personal histories inform the decisions we make. It is no different for legislators. That’s why it is a good idea to do some homework on lawmakers you plan to communicate with. Their personal history could shed light on to how they will vote on an issue. And, knowing a little bit about them may help you understand them better or even help you gain a personal connection with your legislator.

TEXPERS is trying to make getting to know you legislators a bit easier. Visit the TEXPERS website to look up your legislators. Click the “TEXPERS Advocacy” link at the top of the home page and scroll down to the “Find Politicians” search box. You can enter a ZIP code and street address to find elected officials or candidates. The site will generate a list of state and federal legislators for the area you are looking up. You can then click on the name of a legislator to read more about them including contact information and personal details such as where they live and education. You can also find out how long they’ve been in office and which committees they serve on. A listing of their Capitol and district office staff is also available.

Contact Information:
Capitol Address
Room 4N.3, P.O. Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768
Capitol Phone
(512) 463-0514
Capitol Fax
(512) 463-8715
District Address
9525 Katy Fwy Ste 215 Houston, TX 77024
District Phone
(713) 465-8800
Email Address
Web Site

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