BALLINGER - Texas Senator Charles Perry visited Ballinger Wednesday, August 6 and updated constituents on the 85th legislative session.

BALLINGER - Texas Senator Charles Perry visited Ballinger Wednesday, August 6 and updated constituents on the 85th legislative session.

Sen. Perry, who covers 51 counties in District 28 which includes the cities of Lubbock, where he’s from and San Angelo, told the group gathered at Ballinger City Hall that the past session was “one of the busiest sessions I’ve ever had and the hardest sessions I’ve ever had.”

He added that it was a very productive session too.

“We got a lot of bills done for rural and other things,” he said. “But left some local business on the table.”

While speaking at the town hall, Perry reminded the group that his legislature passed a $217 billion budget which included some funding into the Teacher Retirement System, funding for roads, funding to cover growing enrollment in public schools and raises for caseworkers for Child Protective Services. Legislators also increased the number of state troopers on the Texas-Mexico border but avoided serious reforms to the state's much-criticized school finance system.

Administrators and educators were among those in the audience Wednesday and were concerned with school finance as well as issues with education organizations.

Ballinger Superintendent Jeff Butts asked If the state is going to look at the issue of the state having difficulty with school finance, while there is gross waste at the collegiate level.

Perry said school finance is a huge issue and not easily solved. He noted that districts needed to focus more on academia and less on athletics.

“We’ve got to stop the nonsense and get back to basics," Perry said while citing school districts across the state with incredible debt for stadiums and athletic complexes.

He applauded the efforts of the legislature in giving long overdue raises to CPS caseworkers.

“You want to see someone with a heart of gold deal with domestic issues? He asked “Go ride with a CPS caseworker. Those people are the heart and soul of the front lines.”

Perry also addressed property taxes saying that taxing entities can continue to “not raise taxes,” but the taxpayer ultimately pays because appraised values go up.

““That’s just the way it is,” Perry said. “I’m not going to lie to you.”

Perry said that the state economy will see a bit of a hiccup while the coast is recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

“Harvey is going to affect us on a short term basis- two years out we are going to be okay,” Perry said. “Appraisal values may go up - but those are things on a short term. We are going to make it through it.”

He pointed out that the oil and gas industry was quietly bouncing back.

“We had 900 rigs up at the top of the boom,” he said. “We are quietly moving back up and today we have 600 rigs.”

Ballinger was Perry’s third stop Wednesday, after holding town halls in Eastland and Coleman.

Perry represents the largest Senate District in the State of Texas. There are a total of 51 counties in the district: Lubbock, Tom Green, Childress, Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Hardeman, Foard, Wilbarger, Hockley, Crosby, Dickens, King, Knox, Baylor, Terry, Lynn, Garza, Kent, Stonewall, Haskell, Throckmorton, Dawson, Borden, Scurry, Fisher, Jones, Shackelford, Stephens, Mitchell, Nolan, Eastland, Sterling, Coke, Runnels, Coleman, Mcculloch, Concho, Irion, Reagan, Upton, Crane, Ward, Mason, Kimble, Menard, Schleicher, Sutton and Taylor (partial).