The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to endorse Trey Blocker for Texas Agriculture Commissioner.
Blocker, a 6th generation Texan, conservative podcast host, and former lobbyist, is one of the state's leading ethics attorneys. He left his successful practice after witnessing firsthand the corruptive nature of politics in Austin and deciding that the best way to affect positive change for Texas was by public service through elected office.
“Trey is a proven leader who keenly understands the complexities of the Texas economy and the importance of sound fiscal management,” said Richie Jackson, CEO of TRA. “The Texas restaurant industry has its roots in agriculture and we have a long history with the department. Its success and leadership are critical to Texas consumers, the restaurant industry and our economy. Restaurant and food service jobs account for 10% of our state’s employment and by 2027 that figure is expected to rise to 16.3%. We are long overdue for change and need a strong leader like Trey to help manage this growth.”
This support comes following a tumultuous year with current agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller. Of particular note was a public and heated industry battle over House Bill 2029 (the BBQ Bill), signed into law during the 2017 Legislative Session, for which Miller argued to veto, despite nearly unanimous support among Texas legislators and the restaurant industry.
The law repeals the Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) requirement that restaurants selling food by weight maintain a certified scale, pay a $35 annual fee and display a sticker visible to the consumer at all times. Now, however, the department is attempting to circumvent the will of a unanimous legislature by rewriting the rules. TDA’s rules now state that “food for immediate consumption” has to be “food eaten on the premises.”
In a bi-partisan letter signed by 45 lawmakers, Miller was urged to repeal the department’s new rules, because by changing the language to ‘on the premises,’ the department vastly narrowed the number of establishments that would have otherwise enjoyed the regulatory relief that the bill intended.
“It became crystal clear to us that Sid Miller is more about collecting fees for his agency than protecting consumers,” Jackson said. “Trey understands the issues and supports our industry. We are very excited about change in leadership and strongly believe that Trey is the man for the job.”