Every session feels a little different as you get drawn into different issues and responsibilities. The 86th was one that was defined, for me, by my committee responsibilities and the world of healthcare that they encompassed. It’s an incredibly important policy arena and, while the learning curve is steep, I am very glad that I was able to dig in during this session (and in the upcoming interim).
There may be no more important issue to Texans and how they interact with their government than on healthcare. It is a vital issue but one too often characterized by overwhelming bureaucracy, bad information, high costs, and political fear-mongering. Also, to a large degree, healthcare and health insurance (not the same thing) policy is driven at the federal government level, leaving the state a smaller room for policy maneuvering.
In this newsletter, we have highlighted the major legislation that came through the Human Services and Public Health Committees on which I served. While by no means exhaustive (Human Services had 285 bills referred to it; Public Health had 360), it is intended to provide a window into many of the issues my staff and I worked on. We have also provided a brief synopsis of HJR 38 which will, if approved by voters in November, prohibit the imposition of a state income tax in Texas.
It has been fantastic to be back home now for over a month. Hope to run into you in the district soon!
May God bless you and your family,
… this is an excerpt from Newsletter dated April 22, 2018
Election on May 5th, Early Voting Starts Monday, April 23
Early voting for the proposed bonds begins on Monday and continues through the actual election day of May 5th. It is my hope that every voter in Wichita Falls will take the time to review and decide how to vote on each and every bond proposal on the ballot. Before jumping into specifics on each proposal, I would like to share some general thoughts about the issue:
1. I am excited about some of the projects that are being proposed. I firmly believe that it is incredibly important that we look forward with both optimism and vision so that we can grow and prosper as a city and as a region.
2. I am also concerned about the increase in tax burden that these projects will be adding to the already high property taxes in the area. I am concerned from both a personal standpoint and the impact that these higher costs will have on existing and prospective businesses, especially capital intensive businesses which pay a disproportionate share of real estate taxes.’
3. That being said, the votes are not nearly as clear-cut as some would have you believe. I have heard many essentially suggest that you must “VOTE YES or you don’t love this city.” I completely reject that argument as it is fine to love this city and want it to grow, but have honest disagreements over the means. On the other hand, I have heard others imply that there is no such thing as a worthwhile government project, which is neither true nor particularly forward thinking.
There are real advantages of voting yes on these bonds and real costs and consequences as well.
… this is an excerpt from Newsletter dated April 22, 2018
As a Representative to the Texas House, I typically limit my newsletters, posts and tweets to policies at the State level. Not only are these the issues that I can personally impact, these are the issues that typically need more press than better known national issues.I have decided that I will be making a major exception to that general rule in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary race for 3 reasons…
Now that I have had a full week to reflect on the end of my second legislative session, I would like to share with you my personal thoughts and impressions on the work done by your Texas Legislature. Overall, I believe that the 84th legislative session was largely a success, based principally on the fact that we passed a conservative budget combined with significant tax cuts. The one constitutional requirement of the Legislature each session is to pass a balanced budget,…
As today is officially the last day of the 84th Texas Legislative Session, I want to share with you several big picture thoughts about my just completed second session in the Texas Legislature. While everyone will have different opinions on this, I feel that this was a fairly successful legislative session (though often that depends on whether you are focused on the things that were done or on the things left undone)…
We are down to one week of session to go, and things are moving at a frantic pace. While the vast majority of the major issues coming into session have now been agreed to between the House, the Senate and the Governor, there are still many bills on their final push to become law. Bills that aren’t passed by June 1st must wait almost 2 full years before they have another chance to become law…
I spent much of this weekend recovering from last week’s marathon sessions. We were on the House floor until 10:00 pm Monday through Wednesday only to finish with a midnight session on Thursday. The reason for the breakneck pace? Any House bills that were not voted to 3rd reading by midnight on Thursday were officially dead (which unfortunately included 2 of my more coveted bills of the session)…
This week in the Legislature… With only three weeks left in the regular session, things at the Capitol are at a breakneck pace. We have a lot of deadlines coming up, so I wanted to take the time to lay them all out and explain their effects on legislation.
The past week in the Texas House was truly outstanding for anyone who is a fiscal conservative. We passed 5 major pieces of legislation that I believe will serve Texas well for many years in the future. All 5 will now have to pass the Senate; from there, 4 will have to be signed by the governor, and one will have to be voted on by the public. However, if they end up close to their current form, I will be most pleased…