Legislative Priorities

March 21, 2021

I am sharing with you today priority legislation with statewide impact that I have authored this session.  This list is not exhaustive – I have filed several other bills including ones brought to me by local leaders.  For now, I would like to outline the most critical measures with statewide significance that I am working on.  There are many other very important and pressing issues facing Texans that the legislature will be addressing, including measures that I support like the SREC Legislative Priorities.  It truly is the tyranny of the urgent.  We are working through concrete solutions on electricity issues, election integrity, religious liberties, pro-life measures, appraisal reform, limiting government overreach, police reform, budget, school finance, border security, redistricting and so many other prominent issues of equal importance.   

HCR 14 – Claiming Texas sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution
This concurrent resolution reasserts the balance of power between the federal government and Texas.  Regardless of who is in control, reaffirming the 10th amendment sends a clear message that Texans’ rights shall not be infringed upon.  A limited, decentralized federal government has always been the intent of our founders and Texans hold the absolute authority. 

HB 2283 – Election Integrity: Fair Funding of Elections
This legislation will stop the unregulated private funding of county elections offices.  All elections would be funded only by taxpayer money through a fair and transparent process.  During the 2020 general election, a $250 million donation from Mark Zuckerberg was given to the Center for Tech and Civil Life which then dispersed the Zuckerbucks to county level elections offices for “COVID resources & protocols.”  For example, $10,000,000.00 was given to Harris County and $15.000,000.00 to Dallas County where they were used without adequate public oversight.  This is a very slippery slope and threatens election integrity.   

HB 323 – Investing in Law Enforcement: LEA Accreditation Grant Program
Investing in our law enforcement agencies by offering a grant program to facilitate professional accreditation.  Accrediting programs raise the bar in all aspects of law enforcement including recruitment, training, supervision, mission capabilities and community relations. Accreditation will help Texas law enforcement achieve the highest standards of excellence. 

HB 796 – Protecting 2nd Amendment: Critical Reforms to Texas’ Self-Defense Law – McCloskey Act
Addresses a conflict between terms used in Texas’ justified defense and aggravated assault statues and adds the offense of arson to those violent crimes where Castle Doctrine style protections would apply when force or deadly force is used.  Most recently, we have seen cases like the McCloskey family in St. Louis where merely exhibiting (not discharging) a weapon in self-defense have been charged with a second-degree felony.  Although I hope this would never happen in Texas, this clarification in statute is critical. 

HB 1848 – Delaying the Primary Election in 2022
With Census data not expected to be delivered to states until September 30, 2021, we will have a very short timeframe to redistrict political district boundaries and ensure one person/one vote per the 14th Amendment.  This bill allows the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker to agree to delay the primary election no later than July 1, 2022 to ensure the Legislature has time to redraw Congressional, Texas House, Senate and SBOE maps. 

HB 2189 – Oil & Gas Investment Protection
Environmental activists are increasingly pressuring corporations to take action on political issues instead of prioritizing fiduciary responsibility. This legislation will ensure taxpayer dollars (public retirement funds, etc.) are not invested in entities with anti-Texan agendas that discriminate against theTexas energy industry killing jobs and deterring energy independence.  

HB 2843 –Restoring Service after Widespread Outage
Widespread electricity outages can have significant impact on constituents.  Recent hurricanes and winter storm events have shown the need for a transmission and distribution utility to have additional tools to avoid or reduce the duration or impact of such outages.  The potential for physical or cybersecurity threats also establishes this need.  This legislation provides new resources to transmission and distribution utilities with which to restore service after widespread outages. 

HB 2949 – ProLife: Opt-In Written Consent for Elective Abortion by Medical Resident
One of the most tragic things happening today and mostly unknown to the general public is in the training of new physicians in their residency program requirement to perform an elective abortion.  Currently, we are in an “opt out” method culture where you have to complete this abortion training unless you choose to opt out.  This legislation will take Texas back to “opt in” method where no one is expected or pressured to complete this training unless they choose to participate in abortion procedures.  

HB 3257 – Texas Commission on Antisemitism
American Jews face a higher percentage of attacks and hate crimes than any other faith group in the country according to the Department of Justice.  This legislation adopts the international definition of antisemitism and it’s examples.  Additionally, it establishes a Commission to study and identify educational opportunities to combat and reduce antisemitism. 

HB 3471 – Ban Sale of Personal Data from Certain State Agencies
Governmental entities are selling, disclosing, and allowing resale of Texans personal information.  That information can include name, address and driver’s license numbers along with vehicle registration and title information.  This legislation restricts the disclosure of personal information to essential government agencies and forbids the redisclosure or resale to marketing and technology companies. 

HB 4466 – Distortion of Market caused by Intermittent Generation Resources 
Because wind is so heavily subsidized by the federal government, renewable energy can be sold on the grid at zero or sometimes even negative prices.  This creates a disincentive in the market for any additional thermal generation, which is the most reliable energy, to be built.  Over the years, ERCOT has needed to purchase more ancillary services (back up reserve power) because wind and solar productivity is intermittent and dependent on weather.  The costs of the ancillary services are shared across the grid (aka consumers).  This legislation would attribute cost of the reserve power required to back up intermittent generation to those generation resources. 
To read more about what bills I have filed, joint authored or co-authored, click HERE.  

I really appreciate hearing from you and am eager to listen.  Your calls and emails to the office are a tremendous help as I am often reviewing and voting on hundreds of measures just in one day.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of assistance.