Smith honors Texas heroes at Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument ceremony

March 26th, 2013

AUSTIN – State Representative Wayne Smith (R-Baytown) honored Texas Heroes who served in Vietnam during groundbreaking ceremonies for the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument. On Sunday, Smith participated in the “Reading of the Names” ceremony at the LBJ Museum in Austin, honoring those Texans who died. On Monday, Smith spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony at the Texas Capitol. Rep. Smith and State Senator Chuy Hinojosa (D-Hidalgo), both Vietnam Veterans, co-authored legislation authorizing construction of the monument.

Several state officials and veterans spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony; with most noting that the recognition for our men and women who served in Vietnam was long overdue.

“Most of our men and women who fought in Vietnam never received a hero’s welcome or recognition for our service to our country and state,” Smith said. “With today’s groundbreaking, we can finally say welcome home, and thanks for your sacrifice.”

Construction of the monument is underway and is expected to be finished by February 2014. The monument is a joint project of the Texas Historical Commission and hundreds of individuals, corporations, foundations and veteran organizations.

“I was pleased to see Conrad Garcia, Jr. and other members of the Baytown VVA Chapter 922 attend the groundbreaking ceremony this morning and the reading of the names on Sunday,” said Smith. “This monument is a tribute to all Texas Vietnam Veterans, but it certainly means a great deal to me to see my fellow Veterans from back home up here supporting the monument.”

For more information on the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument, please visit

[via the Pasadena Citizen]

Rep. Smith Files Bill to Crack Down on Game Rooms

February 22nd, 2013

AUSTIN, TX – State Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown) has filed House Bill 1127 aimed at cracking down on undercover Game Rooms in Harris County that have become a breeding ground for illegal activity and crime.

Over the last 10 years, game rooms have proliferated across much of incorporated Harris County due to increasing regulations under ordinance by the city of Houston.

To fly under the radar, many of these game rooms have changed their business model where restricted access has now become the norm, where game rooms only allow “members” or “known referrals” access behind darkly tinted windows and locked doors. This restricted access greatly inhibits even undercover investigations.

“Undercover game rooms have become a breeding ground for illegal activity and crime,” said Representative Smith. “It’s time to shine a light on this shady practice by giving the state and law enforcement regulatory authority to crack down on bad operators.”

The cash-rich businesses have become an increasing target of criminal activity. Since 2007, Harris County has seen ninety instances where robberies or aggravated assaults took place in game rooms in unincorporated areas. In that same time span, five homicides have also been attributed to these locations, including a pregnant woman who was killed when a worker at a game room discharged a shotgun while trying to stop a robbery.

It is estimated that an additional 25 percent of the crimes go unreported or reported away from the game room due to the refusal of game room operators to allow patrons to call police at their location.

Several years ago a crackdown by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Precinct 4 Constable on these locations resulted in large seizures of the coin-operated machines, often referred to as 8-liners, for failure to comply with tax laws.

Eighty-five search warrants have been executed in game room investigations in the last five years. The enforcement actions resulted in the arrests of business operators for “Promotion of Gambling” as well as issuance of citations for failing to have current tax permits. These businesses operate under the pretense of providing “entertainment only,” but clearly continue to provide an unsafe environment.

“I am proud to carry this bill on behalf of the families who have fallen victim to the illegal activity and crime, and the law enforcement agencies who need all the tools at their disposal to keep our citizens safe,” said Smith.

House Bill 1127 seeks regulatory authority over Game Rooms to ensure they provide an environment safe for patrons and workers and are open to inspection by law enforcement and proper administrative authority.

Representative Wayne Smith represents Texas House District 128, including Baytown, Deer Park, La Porte, Crosby, Highlands, Morgan’s Point and a portion of Pasadena.

[via Your Houston News]

Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument foundry work begins

November 30th, 2012

The long effort to build a monument at the Texas Capitol honoring hundreds of thousands of Texans who served in the Vietnam War is finally on the way to reality…

To read the fill article from the Baytown Sun, click here.

Officials gather to celebrate Chevron Phillips groundbreaking

June 14th, 2012

Chevron Phillips Chemical hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 1-hexene plant Wednesday morning at their Cedar Bayou Plant on Interstate 10 that was attended by various dignitaries. Shown doing the groundbreaking, from left, Dr. W.A. Brookshire, S&B Engineers and Constructors CEO; Jack Morman, Harris County Precinct 2 commissioner; Wayne Smith, state representative; Tommy Williams, state senator; Baytown Mayor Stephen DonCarlos; Van Long, Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Cedar Bayou plant manager; and Pete Cella, Chevron Phillips Chemical’s president and CEO.

5.20.11 – Hispanic Republican Conference (TxGOPVote) Interviews Rep. Wayne Smith

May 20th, 2011

The following interview with Texas Representative Wayne Smith is one of a series of interviews conducted by VOCES Action and TexasGOPVote with members of the Hispanic Republican Conference in the 82nd session of the Texas Legislature. Representative Smith represents House District 128, which includes Harris County.

Rep. Wayne Smith impressed me with his attitude of recognizing the ability of other state representatives. He expressed his participation with the Hispanic Republican Conference and explained how we can have a sensible conversation about protecting our natural resources and exploring and developing our vast resources without the environmentalists politicizing it.

This interview was done during a busy and long day in session, and so we did not have enough time to cover everything. I really desire to have more time with Rep. Smith and would like to have a follow up interview with him. Rep. Smith also served in the U.S. Army in the Republic of Vietnam, and I am very grateful for his service to our country.

I would like to talk more with him next time about the Second Amendment and about pro family values. I like the fact that he strongly supports Second Amendment rights, including the right-to-carry handgun law, and that he’s a strong social and fiscal conservative.

The Hispanic Republican Conference has been growing. Originally it was formed by the House’s five Hispanic Republicans but has since been joined by other State Representatives whose districts have at least 30% Hispanic constituents. The Hispanic Republican Conference will be addressing some issues that have been controversial in parts of the state with large Hispanic populations.

Hispanics make up 36% of the Texas population and this percentage is growing. Hispanics share Republican conservative values of fiscal responsibility, faith, hard work, family values, and are pro-life. VOCES Action has been educating and empowering Americans with Hispanic backgrounds, and who hold conservative values, to make more responsible and informed voting decisions.

5.19.11 – TRRCC Continues Support of RPT

May 19th, 2011

AUSTIN, TX-Back in February, members of the Texas Republican Representatives Campaign Committee (TRRCC) joined Chairman Munisteri at RPT headquarters to present the party with a generous donation of $15,000 and a pledge to continue the momentum of our party’s success through additional fundraising.

Today, we are pleased to announce that TRRCC has generously followed through on that pledge and provided another $5,000 contribution to the RPT. We are very grateful for the support and wish to recognize all of the board members of TRRCC: Chairman Harvey Hilderbran, Myra Crownover, Lois Kolkhorst, Jim Keffer, Ken Paxton, Larry Taylor, Larry Phillips, Kelly Hancock and Wayne Smith.

As the organization approaches the anniversary of its second full year in existence, TRRCC continues to be a strong Republican presence in the State House. The committee has been modeled after the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and is geared towards a Texas culture of solid, conservative principles.

Said RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri, “The continued support of groups like TRRCC is vital to the ongoing success of our state party not only this year, but as we grow and move forward into 2012. I am grateful for this contribution to the RPT, and would like to recognize and thank Chairman Harvey Hilderbran for following through on his committment to support the state party with his time, talents and resources. All of the board members of TRRCC have taken an active role in strengthening the Republican Party of Texas and voiced their committment to continue their support in the critical election year approaching in 2012. I thank each of them for their leadership, and for the generosity of this new contribution.”

Community Resource Credit Union recognized by State Rep. Wayne Smith

May 18th, 2011

Community Resource Credit Union was honored in a resolution on the House floor by State Rep. Wayne Smith for its 75 years of service to the city of Baytown and vital role in the local economy…

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Lee College Student Recognized

May 12th, 2011

When State Representative Wayne Smith said her name, Vesta Grubb’s heart was pounding so hard she was sure the audience could hear it…

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Smith champions bill to stop rampant metal, copper theft

April 17th, 2011

AUSTIN —Last month, Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown) filed H.B. 1933 relating to the regulation of metal recycling entities; providing penalties. This bill was heard in the House Committee on Environmental Regulation last week, the committee for which Representative Smith is the chairman. Metal theft has become a major problem for many Texas communities because stolen metal can easily be recycled for cash…

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Cedar Bayou Navigation District Board

April 6th, 2011

Last Wednesday, there was a meeting of the Cedar Bayou Navigation District Board…

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