My Latest Update

November 19, 2023

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is this week. Terry and I look forward to having time with our family. I hope you and your family will be able to unplug and relax. We all have so much to be thankful for living in Texas. As you gather around the table with your family please remember to pray for our state and nation. These are exceptionally precarious times.

Meeting with Israeli Families Victims of the Hamas Terrorist Invasion
Last week I participated in a very, very difficult meeting. Early in the week, I was approached by the Consul General of Israel for the Southwest Region (based in Houston) to host a meeting for Jewish families who right now have loved ones being held hostage by Hamas. 

This was a sobering, emotional encounter with those who had been directly impacted by Hamas’ brutal assault on innocent Israelis. Those who attended the meeting were from families that lived within a mile of the Gaza border, within communities known as a kibbutz. They were the first to get hit, and their stories were harrowing.

For their protection, I’m going to refrain from mentioning their names or the names of their family members held as hostages. 

One gentlemen recounted that he escaped into a safe room and his home was burned down while he was in hiding. His son, who lived at the kibbutz in another home, was kidnapped and remains missing.

A 14-year-old girl shared a grueling account of her dad being burned and killed. She spoke of her concern for her 9-year-old brother and how this is impacting him. 

We read the horrible accounts of what is happening in Israel, but putting faces to these stories deeply impacted me and strengthened my resolve that we stand by Israel and pray for its citizens.

There are at least 238 people still being held hostage by Hamas, and their families are living a nightmare. It was chilling to hear one person express they feel they are dealing with Holocaust denial all over again ….. that people just don’t fully believe, or certainly understand, the extent of the brutality and horror of the atrocities committed by Hamas. Those we met with are all displaced, their homes are ruined, and they await for news of their families held hostage.

I’m grateful for the fellow senators, House members and legislative staff who joined in this important meeting. May we never forget.

I had the opportunity to meet with families from Israel who were personally impacted by the Hamas atrocities committed last month.

You Deserve a (Property Tax) Break Today!
First, congratulations to all who took the time to vote in the Constitutional Amendment election. Texans came out in droves and voted in favor of Prop 4, the property tax reduction constitutional amendment. Voters overwhelmingly approved this measure, which will be put in effect immediately and lower your property tax bill due in January. Your Texas Legislature listened to those we represent who demanded property tax relief. We passed this legislation and placed the measure before the voters. In fact, I’m proud to report that the proposition passed in all Senate District 10 counties. Parker County had the highest approval rate of all 254 counties in the state, with 93.35% of voters approving!
Back in Brown County to Honor Veterans
I was honored to be the keynote speaker for Brown County’s annual Veteran’s Day program. There are 77 Texans who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, 38 of those posthumously. We have over 1.4 million military veterans living in Texas, which is more than any other state. We were humbled and honored to remember the sacrifices of those who have served in defense of our freedoms.
The well-attended event included plaque dedications to the families of the late Jack Carlson of Brownwood, and the late J.H. Childs of Cross Plains in honor of their distinguished and heroic  military service. Carlson joined the U.S. Army in March 1941 and served in the Kangaroo Squadron during the early stages of the United States’ entry into World War II. Childs enlisted in the U.S. Army two weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and was eventually promoted to first lieutenant in June 1944. Both families read the inscriptions on plaques, which will be placed at the Central Texas Veterans Memorial. Military celebration coins were also presented to Sean Lewis, Paul Wade and the oldest veteran present at the event, 86-year-old Vernon Abrahams.

I was honored to be the keynote speaker for Brown County’s annual
Veteran’s Day program


Special Session #4:  Public Education and Border Security
Governor Abbott recalled the Legislature for an unprecedented fourth special session on November 7th. The Texas Senate quickly passed all items on the Governor’s “call”.  
As these bills left the Senate, the legislation focused on increasing education funding, giving teachers a well-deserved pay raise, providing parents with the option of education savings accounts and increasing school safety funding. We also passed measures implementing new border security measures.  As is normal in the legislative process, there were significant differences in the House versions, and those differences are being worked through.  Border Security Highlights:

  • SB 3 allocates $1.5 billion to build a border wall, as well as $40 million in additional border security funds (this includes funding for enhancing law enforcement operations in the Colony Ridge Community). Since the Biden administration refuses to fix our rampant illegal immigration problem, it’s up to Texas to take matters into our own hands and protect our sovereign citizens against an influx of human trafficking, terrorists and fentanyl. 
  • SB 4 will further address the issue of border security by raising minimum sentences for human smuggling.  It also creates a criminal offense for illegally entering Texas from a foreign nation. Furthermore, the bill allows for a judge to order the illegal alien to be transported to the border and directed to leave the state.

Another Successful Clay Shoot is in the Books
It was great to see so many supporters from around the district and state who came in for my annual Clay Shoot. We enjoyed a beautiful day with friends, food, and fellowship.

Always love when Terry can participate in my annual clay shoot. I’m blessed to have her love and support in all that I do.