Important House District 61 News

April 26, 2015

With only 36 days remaining we are nearing the home stretch of the 84thLegislative Session. Recently there has been important news concerning House District 61 and major legislation is being addressed in the House.

Seismic Activity Update

As you know, SMU released a study regarding seismic activity in the Reno and Azle area this week. If you haven’t had a chance to read my comments on the study please take a minute to do so. At my behest, the Railroad Commission has announced they plan to hold a public hearing on seismic activity to review SMU’s findings. In addition, I have been in daily contact and met with the Commissioners and staff at the Railroad Commission. I take this issue very seriously and want you to know I will stay engaged, update you regularly and ensure that the state is fulfilling its responsibilities in House District 61.

Tax Cuts Up For Vote Next Week

One of the many blessings of being a Texan is being afforded the opportunity to live in a state where the size and scope of tax cuts are being debated instead of tax increases, as is the norm in blue states. Next week on the House floor two major tax cut bills are due to be debated.

House Bill 31 will cut the sales tax 5% and is expected to save Texans $2.3 billion over the next two years.

House Bill 32 will mean a 42% franchise tax (margin tax) cut for certain small businesses; 25% cut for most, and saves Texas businesses roughly $2.6 billion over the next two years.

The Legislative Budget Board estimates that through 2020 the House franchise and sales tax cuts will:

  • Create 72,300 new jobs by 2020
  • Grow Texas economic output by a cumulative $21.7 billion
  • Grow Texas personal income by a cumulative $17.6 billion

Compared to the package of Senate bills, by 2020 the House plan creates roughly:

  • 30,000 more jobs
  • $12.4 billion more in cumulative Texas economic output
  • $7.7 billion more in cumulative Texas personal income

Public Integrity Bill Moves Forward

Monday I took to the House floor to present House Bill 1690 concerning the Travis County Public Integrity Unit (PIU). I’m happy to report to you that House Bill 1690 passed through the House with 95 votes. As currently structured the PIU places too much power with a single county official. Under my plan the Texas Rangers would handle the investigation of alleged public administration crimes then refer them to a prosecutor with the proper jurisdiction. I feel confident this is a much better way forward than the current structure. The Texas Rangers are world renowned for their expertise and already specialize in white-collar crime. House Bill 1690 must still be reconciled with the Senate version but I am highly optimistic that Governor Abbott will sign it into law this year.

More Capitol Happenings

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Senator Gramm and Wendy Gramm this week. They were honored by the House for their commitment to the state.

You may not know I proud member of the Texas Military Forces. Recently I had the privilege of appearing in a video that spotlights some of the incredible work being done to protect our state. I hope you will take a moment to watch to learn more about the men and women who serve in these fine organizations.