Entering the Homestretch – May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015

We are in the homestretch of the 84th Legislature. With the exception of Friday, the House was in session late each night this week trying to work through the backlog of proposed legislation. Over the next two weeks, I believe we will complete work on historic tax cuts, a very conservative state budget, open carry, ethics reform, regulatory reform and border security, among other critical matters. I should have much more to report next week.

Wise County Added to Disaster Declaration

Due to the intense storms this month, Wise County has been added to Governor Abbott’s recent “State of Disaster” Declaration. Other counties included in the declaration are Bosque, Clay, Cooke, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Grimes, Hood, Montague, Navarro, Smith, and Van Zandt counties. I commend Judge J.D. Clark for his leadership and hard work to help coordinate state resources for Wise County. By adding Wise County to his declaration, Governor Abbott has ensured that a wide range of state resources to help residents and businesses affected by the tornados and floodwaters are available. My office will work closely with the Governor’s to support Wise County residents.

For additional safety tips related to tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding, see:

The American Red Cross has established the following website for individuals in impacted areas: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

Texas Ranked #1 for Business Again

CEO Magazine recently rated Texas the #1 place to do business for the 11th year in a row! Just more evidence that our Texas Model creates an environment where businesses can flourish. I think it’s interesting that every state included in the top five rankings has a Republican governor. Texans know that limited government provides the greatest opportunity for businesses to thrive, and it is gratifying to see this model successfully work around the nation.

Major Pro-Life Victory

Earlier this week the House passed HB 3994 which addresses the issue of judicial bypass. Judicial bypass allows a minor to seek an abortion without the permission of their parents in certain cases with approval by a judge. The United States Supreme Court mandates this process, which I find deeply disturbing. Pro-abortion groups have worked to exploit judicial bypass removing parents further from the process. HB 3994 adds reforms and strengthens parental rights. This was a major pro-life victory. The bill will now head to the Senate where I expect it to pass and be signed by Governor Abbott.

Republican Caucus Letter Supporting Traditional Marriage

I, along with 92 of my colleagues in the House Republican Caucus, signed a letter affirming our support for Article 1, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution this week. This section of our Constitution was overwhelmingly passed by Texas voters and affirms that marriage is between one man and one woman. The letter also stressed that states should make the decision on marriage – not the federal government. Traditional marriage has been a bedrock institution of our country since we were founded over 200 years ago. I’m proud to see House Republicans united and standing strong on this issue.

Mike Huckabee Visit

My good friend, Governor Mike Huckabee, was in Austin this week for a campaign stop. Although I haven’t endorsed anyone for the 2016 presidential race, I am always happy to see Mike when he’s in Texas. I was also joined by some of my fellow House members.

Visiting with Governor Huckabee at his campaign event

Terry and I were joined for a photo by fellow House members and Governor Huckabee.