March 15, 2017 - Last week was a busy one in Austin. Friday was the bill filing deadline for both the House and Senate and we saw a record number of filings in both chambers.
I filed some final pieces of legislation as well last week. Many of these bills will serve to streamline our government by removing unnecessary and burdensome regulations from current law.
I also filed legislation that will remove unused committees from state government. Many times, a committee, board, or commission is established for a singular purpose or to address an issue that is eventually resolved. However, once the issue is resolved, the entity stays in state law. I am working with our elected statewide leaders to remove these obsolete government bodies from our laws.
The House State Affairs Committee had its first meeting last week, during which it heard HB 35, the fetal remains bill. This bill would ensure that the remains of a deceased fetus, either as the result of an abortion or of natural causes, are treated with dignity and given the same respect we give to other deceased persons. This week, the State Affairs Committee will be hearing the sanctuary cities bill. I look forward to a thorough discussion on sanctuary cities and ultimately sending both of these important measures to the full House of Representatives for debate.
This coming week is the first week that the House and Senate are able to debate issues which were not deemed to be emergency items by Governor Abbott. As we move past the 60th day of the session, all bills that are voted out of committee are eligible for debate. This means that shortly, we will begin addressing topics ranging from education to healthcare to immigration, and everything in between. If you have an issue that is important to you, please make sure to reach out and let me know.
Last week we had a big group of East Texans down for Northeast Texas Days at the Capitol. It was great to see many of our Cass County friends at the Capitol and to be able to give them an update on the legislative session thus far. I also had the opportunity to meet with some of our pro-life groups, local pastors, and the leadership of Texas State Technical College. As always, if you are going to be in Austin during the legislative session, please make sure to let me know. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-463-0556.