April 20, 2017 - Well, after 15 hours of debate, I am proud to let you know that the Texas House of Representatives has passed a conservative, balanced budget. This budget funds our priorities, increasing funding to our public schools, maintaining a strong presence on our southern border, preventing state dollars from being used for abortions and maintaining the voter approved increase in highway funding.
There were other important happenings in the House last week. The State Affairs Committee voted out SB 4, which would end sanctuary cities in Texas. I am proud to have voted for this important legislation in committee and look forward to getting it to the full House for debate and final passage.
Last week, the Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility heard many pieces of legislation that would help to reign in our run away federal government. The most prominent of this legislation was HJR 39, which would call for an Article V convention to amend the US Constitution to limit the power of the federal government. I look forward to a vibrant debate about the proper role of the federal government.
The House also passed legislation across a wide range of topics this week, from water to services for veterans to mental health issues to cybercrime. There is a broad array of topics that will be dealt with this session, and if you have questions about any of them, I would encourage you to contact me directly with any concerns or support that you have for a particular piece of legislation.
This week, the House will take up HB 21, which would overhaul our public school finance system. Last year, after several years of litigation, the Texas Supreme Court upheld the school finance system, but urged the Legislature to reform the system. HB 21 is the beginning of a much needed conversation in our state about how we fund our public schools. I look forward to continuing working with our parents, educators, administrators, and taxpayers as we move through this important process.
While we are busy in committee hearings and marathon debates, it was great to be able to meet with many East Texans this past week. As always, if you plan to be in Austin in the coming weeks, please make sure to reach out to me at 512-463-0556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.