Session Countdown: 119 Days Until Adjournment

January 29, 2023

Dear Friends, 

 We are up and running, and as of today we are 119 days from adjournment.    The session will move quickly, and I’ll do my best to keep you apprised on key developments.

Here’s an update on some items from this past week.

Honored to be Chosen to Serve as TCCRI Board Chairman

This week, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute’s (TCCRI) Board of Directors voted to name me as the new Chairman of its board.

TCCRI was founded in 1996 by a group of state leaders determined to implement conservative public policies in state government.  You could think of TCCRI as a “capitol think-tank” comprised of legislators and others who work to shape public policy through a principled approach to government. The work of TCCRI is based upon the four core principles of: Limited Government, Individual Liberty, Free Enterprise and Traditional Values.

I’ll be replacing former Senator Larry Taylor, who will now serve as TCCRI’s Staff President.   Larry served twenty years in the Texas Legislature and eight years as TCCRI’s Board Chairman.  I’ve known him a long time, going back to our time in the House together. He’s a good man, and I look forward to working with him to grow TCCRI’s impact on public policy.

The Texas Economy is Booming

Reports released this week from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics show that in 2022, Texas added 650,100 jobs – a growth rate of 5%, which is more than any other state and more than doubling our historical average. The Dallas-Fort Worth region grew even faster than the state — 5.9% for the year. It’s encouraging to see that Texas has emerged from the post-COVID economy stronger than ever, providing more evidence that Texas’ low tax, pro-business economic public policies continue to make our state an economic powerhouse. In fact, we are the world’s 10th largest economy! 

 This week I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, including Board President Sheriff Buddy Mills and Skylor Hearn. As a former police officer, I have the highest regard for the men and women who protect our communities. One of my proposed bills that you’ll be hearing more about soon is legislation to invest and modernize our law enforcement agencies. With more accreditation, we will ensure that officers who encounter incredibly high stress situations in the field have the most up to date training, policies and procedures to minimize risks and protect life and property.   

Recap on Committee Assignments

I emailed on Monday with a special message concerning the committee assignments as announced by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.  If you missed that, here’s a recap of where I will be serving:

  • Business & Commerce Committee, where I will serve as Vice-Chair
  • Education Committee (also a member of that committee’s Higher Education Subcommittee)
  • Border Security Committee
  • Criminal Justice Committee
  • Transportation Committee

I’ve already begun digging in on the issues concerning several of these committees, meeting with my colleagues and preparing for upcoming hearings. There’s a lot of work ahead, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to advocate for sound, conservative policies on each of these committees.

A Personal Note

In closing, Thursday was mine and Terry’s 44th anniversary! We were engaged after only a couple weeks of our first date. We just knew. I don’t even know how to express how grateful I am for Terry. We are still young…but I look  forward to growing old together. Six wonderful kids and 17 grandchildren. God has been so very, very good. Each year of our marriage has been so blessed and every year better than the one before. I can’t wait for next year.