Reporting In, Plus Mark Your Calendar to Vote YES on Prop 4!

September 28, 2023

The impeachment trial is behind us, but it looks like we will be back in Austin for another special session very soon, most likely in early October.  Governor Abbott has not announced the specific “call” of the session, but I expect we will be taking up school choice, border security, and other matters as determined by the Governor.  In the meantime, here is a brief update. 

Grid Reliability Legislative Oversight Committee
It was an honor to be named by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as one of four senators who will serve on the new joint House/Senate Grid Reliability Legislative Oversight Committee.  The committee will oversee the Public Utility Commission to ensure the agency is implementing the laws passed by the Texas House and Senate during the 2023 legislative session.  We have passed major reforms on a wide range of issues to ensure Texas will have the infrastructure we need to power our growing state.  This committee will work with various agencies to provide oversight during the implementation of those needed reforms.  Our task is also to identify additional steps we will need to take in the next legislative session, as we still have a long way to go in ensuring the grid reliability and resiliency that Texas needs.

Gender Modification Ban Took Effect September 1; Court Challenges Loom

I’m pleased to report that earlier this month on September 1st, Senate Bill 14, the “ending child gender modification” law went into effect. This bill outlaws puberty blocking drugs or gender modification surgery on children under 18, revokes the license of any doctor who provides gender transition treatments, and outlaws the use of public funds to pay for gender transitioning services to minors.  No one should be surprised that liberal activists opposed to this legislation have filed legal challenges, and those proceedings will take place in January.  As of today, the ban stands and I am hopeful that these court challenges will not be successful.  
Dr. Quentin Van Meter, Pediatric Endocrinologist and immediate past President of the American College of Pediatricians, provided his expert opinion and strong support for the bill, saying “When children go through puberty, the brain expects to see elevated levels of estrogen or testosterone. Changing or blocking this process has very real consequences. There is zero empirical science supporting the medical transitioning of children, and unless states act to protect children from this practice, we are going to have several million children in this country whose lives were ruined.”

Mark Your Calendars:  For Historic Property Tax Relief, Vote “YES” to Proposition 4  (Early Voting Begins October 23)
Over the summer, the Texas Legislature passed an unprecedented property tax relief package, and it was signed by Governor Abbott.  Now, however, this proposition must be passed by the voters in the form of a constitutional amendment. You as a voter have the opportunity to make a direct impact on the amount of property taxes that you pay.  By approving Prop. 4, you are sending a clear message that you support these significant property tax cuts in the upcoming November 7th election. Early voting begins in less than a month, running from October 23 to November 3rd.

Using the average home value in Texas of $330,000, this tax cut will provide about $1,300 in property tax relief. If passed, it will be applied retroactively to January 1 of the current year, meaning you’ll see savings on your current property tax bill that’s due in January 2024.

If you missed my earlier email that addressed many of the questions I have received concerning property taxes, appraisals, homestead exemptions and related issues, click here for that information.

In Memory of Officer Darrin McMichael

As a former police officer, it is always gut-wrenching for me to read about the loss of one of our men in blue. As many of you have no doubt heard, Officer Darrin McMichael, an Arlington police officer for 24 years, was killed on his way to work last week in a hit and run.  He leaves behind a wife, also an APD officer, children, and grandchildren.
On Wednesday, Officer McMichael was laid to rest after his motorcade passed through Arlington.  Terry and I extend our prayers and deepest sympathy to the family of Officer Darrin McMichael, as well as to the entire Arlington PD family. 
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and the Arlington Police Department have announced up to a $20,000 reward for information leading them to the driver who killed Officer McMichael. Crime Stoppers is offering $5,000, with Oak Farms Dairy pledging an additional $15,000. The information must be provided to Crime Stoppers.

Back Home in the District

After being in Austin much of the summer for the impeachment trial and the two special legislative sessions, it was good to be back home and in the district among friends, family, and supporters. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to both the Republican Women of Arlington and the Fort Worth Republican Women.

At the monthly meeting of the Fort Worth Republican Women with Mona Bailey, former State Rep. Bill Zedler, and Tarrant County District Clerk Tom Wilder.

It’s always good to see our great Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, who also provided remarks to the Fort Worth Republican Women.

Great to see these Republican women in Fort Worth, including current SD 10 SREC Committeewoman Susan Wright.

Thanks again to the Republican Women of Arlington for inviting me to update them on recent events.

With my longtime friend and supporter Dr. Mark Hanson after my speech to the Republican Women of Arlington Club.

Here with Jan Tyler, President of the Republican Women of Arlington.

With former State Rep. Barbara Nash.

Recently had the chance to take in a Texas Rangers baseball game with four of my grandkids. We were excited to see the Rangers win and move into first place in the AL West!

Judy Flanagin of my office presented a Senate Resolution to Kim Laws honoring her 50 years of service in banking.