ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – When the Texas legislative session came to a close on May 29, a few key issues were left on the floor. State Representative Stan Lambert (R 71st district) said a heated debate with no clear answers is par for the course in a session like this one.

“Because you just tell people ‘no’ when you don’t have any excess revenue, but when you have $33 billion sitting in your coffers,” Lambert began.

The most contested issue was that of state property tax relief. With the house voting to back the Governor’s plan last week, the decision is locked in debate in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Lambert told KTAB/KRBC he was proud of the things his office was able to accomplish this session, “We focused on teacher retirement, we focused on additional funding for the border. Property tax relief is coming.”

A particular point of pride sits right here in the Key City. Lambert conveyed his celebration at the securing of funds for the air tanker base expansion in Abilene.

“We’ll be the sight of a new permanent tanker base at Abilene Regional Airport,” Lambert said.

The base currently at ABI is in use during select parts of the year. This expansion would widen and reinforce runways, allowing Abilene to house and maintain Very Large Air Tankers (VLATs). That would also include better housing for the crew and staff year-round.

“We’ve achieved what we set out to achieve at the beginning of this session, and that was to make sure that funding was gonna be available,” boasted Lambert.

Large Air tanker or LAT being refueled at Abilene Regional Airport

Lambert said his office secured $20 million in state funds with the City of Abilene to contribute 10% of the total $22 million price tag. This project is a win for Texas in his eyes, centralizing air tanker availability, and bringing more resources to the big country.

Later, he commented on the impending trial for the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The representative urged Texans in doubt to trust in the process.

“These charges and accusations are strong enough. A continuing investigation, and ultimately, we need to get to the bottom of this,” Lambert advised. “No one’s above the law, and certainly not our elected officials.”

With more special sessions possible throughout the summer, Lambert said he’s carrying a few more issues in hopes of finding solutions, “Like school funding, teacher raises. I’m hoping that the governor will put those on a call in a future special session for maybe later this summer or early fall.”

Another point touched on was that of Rural Healthcare. Lambert touted his support of healthcare worker incentive programs aimed at keeping qualified professionals in rural towns.

“That’s always going to be a challenge to some degree in rural Texas, but I think that we have made some headway in terms of making sure that there’s some incentive available for some of those folks to live in rural communities,” detailed Lambert.

When asked, Lambert did not deny the issues facing the field with healthcare facilities closing down rapidly and others taking on the emergency facility designation while limiting availability of the services provided.

“It is somewhat of a band-aid or stop gap, but it’s part of what’s happening and what’s trending in all of America, and certainly in Rural Texas,” Lambert added.

Although many bills still sit in wait, Lambert told KTAB/KRBC he is overall optimistic about what he believes the house has accomplished, and he will be participating in the possible special sessions as the arise this summer and fall.