April 3, 2021 - Happy Easter! I hope you are getting to spend sometime with your families this weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ!
The House is taking Good Friday off so the members can return home and spend some time with their families, but we will be back and hard at work next week, as we enter the final sixty days of the 87th Legislative Session.
Last week, the House and Senate both passed important reforms to our state's electricity system. The House bills include several of the bills that I have discussed before, including bills which require that the members of the ERCOT Board of Directors be from Texas, require that power generators weatherize their facilities, and create an emergency alert system to improve communications with Texans in the event of an extended power outage. The House and Senate will now go about the process of settling the differences between our legislation. I will keep you updated on this process.
This week, the House considered some other bills on the floor. I am proud to support HB 1195, which says that funds businesses received from PPP loans should not be included in a businesses franchise tax. This is a common sense provision that makes sure there is not a tax increase on struggling businesses. The House also passed HB 139 which would ease licensing burdens for spouses of active duty military members who are already licensed in another state. This will bring more professionals into our workforce and provide more opportunities for military spouses when they relocate to Texas.
The State Affairs Committee met again this week, thankfully for less than 20 hours! We heard several bills relating to fixing the financial mess created by the February storm which would provide utility companies tools to deal with the large bills that they are receiving. We also heard bills that would protect our 2nd Amendment rights. One prevents the enforcement of federal laws that violate the 2nd Amendment, another that prevents the state from doing business with companies that have an anti-2nd Amendment policy, and a third that prevents the closure of 2nd Amendment related businesses by executive order.
We are in the part of session where legislation is moving fast and I want to encourage you to reach out to me about issues that concern you or legislation that you would like to see advanced. I can be reached at 512-463-0556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, my district director, Joe Buck Crisp, will be spending time each month in every county to meet with you about legislative concerns and to help with issues you may be having with the state government. Please contact our Marshall office at 903-935-1141 if you would like to meet with Joe when he is in your town.