Important Deadline This Week

March 15, 2015

This week marked an important juncture in the 84th Legislative Session and also one of the busiest days yet. The House advanced legislation that will further secure our border, and the State & Federal Power & Responsibility Committee continued to look at ways to rein in the federal government.

Bill Filing Deadline

Friday was the last day to file bills in both the House and the Senate. Historically this is one of the busiest days of any session, this year being no different. Nearly 1,000 bills were filed last Friday alone! This single day surge of bill filings represents about 15% of all the bills filed this session.

House Leads On Border Security

Department of Public Safety officers patrol the border

The House made significant advances on a long-term plan to secure our southern border this week. This plan would add 250 state police officials on the border, strengthen anti-smuggling laws, and create new southbound vehicle checkpoints. I strongly favor a long-range plan that allows the Department of Public Safety to boost their manpower and patrols along the border. Protecting Texans and securing the border will continue to be a top priority for the House.

Curbing Federal Power

I am proud to be the Chairman of the Select Committee on State & Federal Power & Responsibility, which is charged with examining the effects of the federal government’s spending and actions on Texas. Our committee met for nearly 6 hours this week to evaluate how Texas can push back against an ever-growing federal government.

The 10th Amendment is a viable option in many cases where the federal government exceeds its legal authority. I am a Joint Author on House Bill (HB) 98 otherwise known as the Texas Balance of Powers Act. This bill was the first bill our committee heard this session and gives statutory authority and direction to the Legislature to curb constitutional abuses by federal government under the 10th Amendment.

With the national debt ballooning to over $18 trillion and likely to reach $27 trillion by 2025, states are looking at ways to not only insulate themselves from the federal government but also look at what they can do to get our country back on the right fiscal path. Article V of the United States Constitution is a tool states are looking at to help pull our country back from the fiscal cliff. Alexander Hamilton wrote, “We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against encroachment of the national authority.” Article V gives the states the power to address national problems when the federal government refuses to do so. The committee took up four pieces of legislation relating to Article V, and we heard from folks who traveled from as far as Lubbock to make their voice heard on this topic. You can watch a replay of the hearing by clicking here.

Office Visits

One of my favorite parts of each day is getting to visit with constituents and friends from home. If you are visiting the Capitol please don’t ever hesitate and stop by to say hello. My staff and I love hearing about issues that matter to you.

Meeting with the Ft. Worth Builder’s Association