Legislative Agenda

April 2014

David Sinclair Legislative Consultant 2014

David Sinclair Legislative Consultant 2014

  • Interact with the Employee Retirement System (ERS) to find ways to make the retirement funds actuarially sound by:
    • identifying additional funding;
    • exploring separation of the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officers (LECO) from the ERS Main Fund into a standalone LECO retirement fund; and
    • striving to obtain a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retirees.
  • Maintain salary parity among all Schedule C Peace Officers.
  • Retain quality, affordable insurance.
  • Collaborate with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on key issues that impact Texas Game Wardens.
  • Work with the State Preservation Board and the Texas Legislature to relocate the Texas Game Warden Memorial Monument from Athens to the State Capitol.
  • Identify highways where Texas Game Wardens have been killed in the line of duty and seek legislation to designate segments of those highways in memory of the individual Texas Game Warden.

December 2012

Hello from Albany, Texas.  I hope everyone is having a good hunting season.

​I wanted to use this time to talk about the Association’s legislative agenda for the 2013 session.  There are a variety of topics covered and I’m sure there will be other things that come up during the session that will need to be addressed.  This is just our starting point for the session.

  1. We need to educate legislators and tell them what Game Wardens do for the people of the state.  This includes enforcing the Texas Penal Code, Parks and Wildlife Code, Water Safety Code, Health and Safety Code, and all other state laws.  Game Wardens are also involved in Border Security and Homeland Security, drug interdiction, natural disaster response, search and rescue operations and assisting local law enforcement with anything that they may need.  As you can see, a Game Warden has a wide variety of “jobs.”  I could give particular examples in each of these areas, but I would encourage everyone to ask a Game Warden about their experiences.  It will mean more coming from the Game Warden that you know.​
  2. We need to work on getting more funding for fuel and patrol trucks.  Game Wardens need to be smart in using their budget for fuel, but answering a call for service shouldn’t come down to having enough money in the fuel budget.  We are not to this point yet, but we don’t want to get there.  We are also driving patrol trucks that are closer to 200,000 miles than 100,000 miles and that is a huge safety issue.  We need to work with TPWD to address this issue.​
  3. We are working to maintain parity with DPS and TABC in salary.  We are all on the Schedule C pay scale and we see no need to for any separation from the other state law enforcement agencies.  ​
  4. We need to address the State Auditors Report that says the state law enforcement salary schedule (Schedule C that I mentioned above) is NOT competitive with the salary structure of the larger police departments in the state.  This hurts us in recruiting potential Game Wardens as well as retention of our current officers. 
  5. We also need to watch and address any potential changes in retirement and medical benefits.  We all knew that as Game Wardens, we were not going to get “rich,” but the benefits were stable and we could provide for our families.  Any drops in these areas will also hurt us in recruiting and retention of officers. 

​As I said above, this is just our starting point for the session.  But right now, we feel that  these issues are very important and need to be addressed.  I would encourage everyone to read this and contact any member of the TGWA with any other thoughts or assistance.  It looks to be another tough session, but I know the Association will be working hard on these and any other issues that will come up.  As always, let me know if I can help in any way.  Have a good hunting season and be safe.   ​

President Shea Guinn