Author Archive

Primary Runoff Election: Polling Locations & Sample Ballots

May 16, 2022

Early Voting Begins Today!

Today marks the first day of early voting for the Primary Runoff Election. This is a very important election with several statewide races on the ballot including Attorney General, General Land Office and Railroad Commissioner. In addition to statewide races, we also have many local races and precinct chair races on the ballot. I have included a sample ballot for each county linked below. Every vote counts and can make a significant difference in this election. So please tell all of your family and friends to vote today. Hope to see you at the polls!

Early Voting runs Monday, May 16th (TODAY) through Friday, May 20th.  Election Day is on Tuesday, May 24th.

An easy way to find polling locations is to log into “My Voter Portal” on the Secretary of State website for a list of all voting locations in your county. I have also included links below for voting locations and sample ballots by county.  


Brown County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Callahan County 
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Johnson County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Palo Pinto County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Parker County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Shackelford County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Stephens County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Tarrant County 
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Wise County
Voting Locations & Sample Ballots

Representative King serves House District 61 in the Texas Legislature.  He serves as Vice Chair of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute and is the past National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.  A former Fort Worth police officer, King currently serves in the Texas State Guard.  He earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from Dallas Baptist University, where he served as an adjunct professor and taught Constitutional Law. He earned his law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth (formerly Texas Wesleyan).  Phil and his wife Terry are active members of Trinity Bible Church in Weatherford where Phil is an attorney and small businessman.  They are the proud parents of six children and are blessed with seventeen grandchildren.  

Election and Your Coming Property Tax Appraisal

April 10, 2022

Constitutional Amendment Election


On Saturday, May 7th there will be two propositions on the ballot. Both of these were bills passed during the Legislative Special Sessions of 2021. Below is a summary of what these propositions would do. Early voting will begin on Monday, April 25th.  

Proposition 1 will benefit individuals with an over 65 or disabled exemption on their homestead.

Ballot Language

 
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.”

Summary

  • If an individual has an over 65/disabled exemption on their home and this proposition passes, they will receive a reduction on school district property taxes.
  • HB 3 from the 86th Legislature compressed school maintenance and operation tax rates across the board except for over 65/disabled because their rate was already lower than the new compressed rate for everyone else.
  • This amendment will provide for the same percentage reduction in an individual’s school district tax rate that everyone else received in 2019.  
  • There are 1.8 million over 65 exemptions and 180,000 disabled exemptions, on average these households will see a $100 reduction the first year and $125 reduction in the second year; the reduction will continue to grow each year.
  • If there is additional school M&O tax rate compression provided by HB 3 in the future, individuals with an over 65/disabled exemption will receive the same percentage tax rate deduction automatically if this amendment passes.
  • This amendment will become effective as of January, 1, 2023, if it passes.

Proposition 2 will increase the homestead exemption by $15,000.
Ballot Language

“The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.”

Summary

  • If this amendment passes the state homestead exemption for school district taxable value purposes will increase from $25,000 to $40,000. 
  • On average, the 5.67 million homesteads in Texas will see a $175 savings in their school district tax bill at the current average statewide school property tax rate.
  • This amendment will be effective as of January 1, 2022 if it passes, so homeowners will see the savings when they receive their property tax bill this fall. 
  • This exemption increase is a permanent and ongoing benefit to homeowners. 

Note on Impact on School Funding 

I think it is important to note, that if one or both of these amendments passes, no school district will lose any revenue they are entitled to receive from the school funding formulas. State dollars will replace any local dollars that a school district would otherwise lose from the passage of these amendments.   

Appraisal Notices Will Be In Mail Soon 


This is a great report explaining the rise in property values due to our skyrocketing real estate market. No matter what your appraisal is, the truth is that the taxes you pay are based on the tax rates adopted by local jurisdictions. Rising appraisals doesn’t automatically correlate with higher tax bills. According to TTARA, without the changes the legislature recently enacted, property tax bills would have been 8% higher in 2021. Most local jurisdictions begin public hearings late in the summer and then will adopt a rate shortly thereafter so I encourage you to follow and engage in that process.  

Having said this, property tax relief and border security are the top two issues facing Texans and are both priorities of mine. There is still much more that can be done to ease the overall property tax burdens on residential property owners and I look forward to working on these issues in the next legislative session.  

Please read this report HERE. 

Common Election Day Questions Answered

February 27, 2022

Can I vote at any polling location? 

The answer is a bit confusing because it is different county by county. 

Brown, Callahan, Palo Pinto, Parker and Tarrant counties allow county wide voting which means you can vote at ANY election day voting site.  

For Johnson, Shackelford and Stephens counties voting occurs at your designated voting precinct. Your precinct number can be found on your voter registration card.  If you can’t find your registration card you can also determine your precinct HERE.  (There might have been a change in your precinct number due to your local redistricting process.)

Where are the voting sites?

For a list of Election Day voting locations check out philking.com/vote.  We have a link set up for each of Senate District 10’s counties.

Do I need to bring my voter registration card?

You don’t have to have your voter registration card to vote.  Just bring a good ID.  If you can’t locate a valid ID you can still vote provisionally with later verification.  Just tell the poll workers your situation.  They are happy to help. 

When can I vote?

Early voting has closed but Election Day is Tuesday, March 1 and the polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM.  As long as you’re in line before 7 PM you’ll get to vote. 

Did my mail-in ballot get counted?

If you voted by mail you can track your ballot here HERE to make sure your vote is counted! 

What are the propositions on my ballot? 

The Republican Party of Texas has ten propositions on the Republican primary ballot.  These are unlike the Constitutional Amendments that you voted on in November where upon passage, it became law.  Rather these propositions are gauging voters’ interest in a particular topic facing Texans.  These propositions are then used by RPT and Texas Republicans on what issues should be considered for legislative priorities next session.   For a list of the propositions on the Republican primary ballot click HERE.

I hope this information has been helpful, and I of course would appreciate your vote on Tuesday.

Thanks,

Phil

The Primary Election is Here!

February 14, 2022

Early voting for the March 1 Republican primary has now begun, and I humbly ask for your vote to serve as State Senator in District 10.

I am grateful to have earned almost every key endorsement in this campaign, whether from conservative leaders, pro-life organizations, second amendment advocates, those who wear the badge and keep our communities safe, as well as those fighting to defend religious liberty and our traditional values.  If you haven’t had a chance to see some our key support, you can review our list HERE.

But the most important endorsement is yours!  You can early vote at any location in your county between February 14 – February 25.  Election Day is on March 1!
For early voting locations and times please use the following links below.

If you are voting by mail, the Secretary of State has launched a new digital tool that allows you to track your ballot.  Click HERE to track your ballot by mail.  

 Sincerely,


Phil King
State Representative
Candidate for Texas Senate District 10


Brown County

Callahan County

Johnson County

Palo Pinto County

Parker County

Tarrant County

Shackelford County

Stephens County


Representative King serves House District 61 in the Texas Legislature.  He serves as Vice Chair of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute and is the past National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.  A former Fort Worth police officer, King currently serves in the Texas State Guard.  He earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from Dallas Baptist University, where he served as an adjunct professor and taught Constitutional Law. He earned his law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth (formerly Texas Wesleyan).  Phil and his wife Terry are active members of Trinity Bible Church in Weatherford where Phil is an attorney and small businessman.  They are the proud parents of six children and are blessed with sixteen grandchildren.  

My Thoughts on Unconstitutional Vaccine Mandates & Convening the Texas Legislature for a 4th Special Session

November 29, 2021


Whether you decide to get vaccinated or not, this is your personal decision that should be made only by you—not government. I support your individual liberty and know that you can make the best decision for you and your family without government interference. I believe having personal autonomy over your health care decisions is a core freedom that we must fight to protect.

As you know, whether it’s the border, immigration, inflation, high gas prices or vaccine mandates the majority of Texas’ problems are generated by the federal government. In the federal courts we are fighting hard against the heavy handed vaccine mandates from President Biden and Washington bureaucrats. Texas has filed multiple suits and the feds are feeling the pressure.

It’s more than a bit confusing with so many lawsuits against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates but here is where we are today. It’s evolving almost daily but the battle continues:

• OSHA mandate (100 employees or more) – halted nationwide by temporary injunction 
• CMS mandate (Medicare/Medicaid providers) – also enjoined nationally
•Federal contractor mandate – enjoined only in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Texas’s suit in progress.

As you may know, in Texas we do have a very strong statewide executive order in place (that has the effect of state law) which prohibits mandates by both governmental entities and private employers. The Biden administration contends that its federal orders supersede Texas law. Texas has asserted in court our belief that the federal government does not have the authority under the U.S. Constitution to order any vaccine mandates. Therein lies the controversy and our fight in court.

I have personally reached out to the Governor’s most senior staff and let them know that I support anything we can do legislatively to stop this unprecedented federal overreach regarding vaccines—including a 4th Special Session. But I also want to share with you the political reality of the Texas Legislature. Earlier this year, I coauthored many of the bills aimed at stopping this gross federal overreach and I sit on a committee that heard some of these bills. Without court intervention, as I discussed above, the federal vaccine mandates on federal contractors and health care workers would require full vaccination by January 4, 2022. In Article 3, Section 39 of the Texas Constitution, for a bill to take immediate effect or have an effective date earlier than 90 days after the session ends, it requires 2/3rd support or 100 votes. In the Texas House, we currently have only 83 Republicans. This is disappointing but a reality.  In other words, even if the Texas Legislature convened today, under the Texas Constitution it would be months before any change in Texas law could go into effect.  Regardless, I want Texas to pursue every avenue of help, including a new legislative session.    

In addition to addressing vaccine mandates, there are several other issues that are very important to me personally and to my constituents that didn’t make it through the legislative process. So, should Governor Abbott call us back in, here is a list of what I believe should be added to the agenda for a 4th Special Session.

-Felony penalties for illegal voting
-Abolish child gender mutilation/modification
-Enhance border security penalties
-Rein in executive powers during emergencies
-Prohibit cities/counties from implementing employment regulations on private business that is in contradiction with state law

We have a long way to go but there is solid progress.   I’ll try to keep you posted as we move forward.

It’s Official!

November 16, 2021
I’m excited to share the news that I have officially filed to run for election to the Texas Senate!
 
Since announcing our candidacy just seven weeks ago, my family and I have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of support.    
 
Texans in Senate District 10 know that the damage caused by the Biden Administration grows more severe with every day:

-Mandates that impose on our liberties;
-Ignoring border security;
-Rising prices on gasoline, groceries, and everything we need to live;
-An all out assault on our very culture, values and so much more.

Texas must fight back. As your state senator, I’ll fight the unacceptable encroachment from Washington upon our rights and liberties. 

 I hope you’ll take a minute to check out our new website at www.PhilKing.com.  We are still updating the site with new endorsements, so if you are not yet added please know we are working to add new supporters every day.   If you haven’t added your name, please do so at https://www.philking.com/endorse/

Finally, we’re preparing for a costly campaign to defeat the incumbent liberal Democrat and win this critical seat for Republicans.   If you are willing to provide a donation of $250, $100, $50, $25 or even $10, every dollar helps us get closer to that goal.

Sincerely,
 
 
Representative Phil King
Republican Candidate for Texas Senate


Representative King serves House District 61 in the Texas Legislature.  He serves as Vice Chair of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute and is the past National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.  A former Fort Worth police officer, King currently serves in the Texas State Guard.  He earned a B.A. and M.B.A. from Dallas Baptist University, where he served as an adjunct professor and taught Constitutional Law. He earned his law degree from Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth (formerly Texas Wesleyan).  Phil and his wife Terry are active members of Trinity Bible Church in Weatherford where Phil is an attorney and small businessman.  They are the proud parents of six children and are blessed with sixteen grandchildren.  

Here Are Some Great Changes in Texas Law

November 8, 2021

It’s really astounding how much the Texas Legislature accomplished this year despite COVID-19 pandemic, Winter Storm Uri, AND the Democrat legislators fleeing to Washington, DC.  Yes, there is much more to be done—and I am eager to get back to work—but I was really encouraged today reviewing this list of highlights.  (And this list is far from complete.  We did much more!) 

Enhancing Border Security 

The Biden Administration has shown a blatant disregard for the human and drug smuggling crisis at our border.  The influx of illegal immigrants, human trafficking, and gang activity is at the highest levels we have ever seen. To counter this, Texas has deployed resources as never before.  We have allocated $3 billion to border security efforts, made a $250 million down payment to begin building the wall, deployed aircraft, boats, DPS troopers, Texas Rangers, the State Guard and National Guard, installed over 5,000 cameras, established the new Texas Task Force on Border & Homeland Security, and invoked the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to work collaboratively with neighboring states.  Texas is doing far, far more than any other state— arguably more than the federal government—to secure the border and combat drug and human trafficking.    

Ensuring Religious Liberty 

Almost all Texans would agree that the First Amendment unequivocally guarantees our freedom of religion, and that we have the right to gather in worship and exercise our rights without government’s interference.  Yet, during the height of the pandemic we witnessed those rights and freedoms being threatened.  Multiple bills were passed, including a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution that voters just adopted, to ensure that churches will not be ordered closed or services restricted again in Texas.  

Fighting Federal Overreach 

The Tenth Amendment was intended to hold Washington, DC in check by preventing federal encroachment into our individual liberties and leaving much authority to the states.  After all, the states created the federal government, not the other way around.  I authored and the Legislature passed SCR 12 that reasserts Texas’ sovereignty over all powers not specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution and thereby granted to the federal government.  This legislation is a formal demand from Texas to Washington calling on the federal government to stay in its lane and adhere to the Constitution.   

Second Amendment Protections 

Several preemptive measures to guarantee your right to defend yourself, your family, and your property were passed.  Most notable was the passage of Constitutional Carry that allows law-abiding Texans who are 21 and older to carry a handgun without a permit for personal protection, while observing safe gun practices.  We also passed other bills that prohibit gun and ammo stores from being shut down during a disaster.  Another bill removed federal restrictions on firearm suppressors that are manufactured here in Texas.  And yet another law passed makes Texas a sanctuary state, meaning local government and law enforcement can’t enforce unconstitutional federal gun laws proposed by the Biden administration.        

Protecting the Unborn 

Abortion is now prohibited in Texas after a fetal heartbeat is detected!  A new study released last week shows that we are already seeing a 50% decrease in abortions reported in Texas compared to the same month a year ago.  We also passed the pre-ban (trigger bill) on abortion which would allow Texas to fully and immediately ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.  During the second special session, legislation was also passed banning abortion-inducing drugs, such as RU-486, from being mailed and delivered as if it were an over-the-counter medicine.   We also approved $100 million in funding for Alternatives to Abortion programs and maintained the state’s ban prohibiting abortion providers from receiving state funds.        

Additional Property Tax Relief 

I authored and passed HB 3833 which will reduce property taxes by $472 million over the next five years by eliminating the interest on rollback property taxes.  Also, a constitutional amendment that will need voter approval in the May 2022 election will increase the residential homestead exemption levied for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.  And the Legislature also passed a bill allowing homebuyers to receive their homestead exemption immediately after purchasing their property.  

Ensuring Election Integrity 

During the 2020 general election, a $250 million donation from Mark Zuckerberg was given to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, much of which was then dispersed to local government election offices in Texas.  These private funds were heavily funneled to large urban county election offices.  To stop this practice, which is ripe for fraud, I authored and the Legislature passed a bill that prohibits election offices from accepting private donations ensuring no undue influence. 

Also, other sweeping reforms for election integrity were passed making it much easier to vote and much harder to cheat.  Texas’ sweeping reforms may well become a model for the nation.  They provide practical changes to restore public confidence, including consistent statewide standards, simple and secure election processes, greater transparency mechanisms, and generally reduce unlawful voting practices.  We also funded full time state election auditors that will conduct random audits, review/investigate discrepancies, and help train election personnel.   

 Protecting UIL Sports for Girls 

Legislation was passed that protects girls’ UIL sports in Texas schools by ensuring girls are not forced to compete against boys.  

Back the Blue 

This year we not only passed several priority items to support our law enforcement but also defeated many measures proposed by liberals that would negatively impact law enforcement.  As a former police officer, it’s always a top priority to back our men and women in blue.  We passed legislation designed to prevent large cities and counties from defunding the police.  We passed bills to help prevent many of the violent protests we have recently seen.  We made it a crime to block emergency vehicles, such as happened recently in California, placing the lives of injured officers at risk.  We also allocated $139.2 million to increase law enforcement salaries and establish new content requirements for basic peace officer training with model curriculum.  

Combatting Critical Race Theory 

Legislation was passed during the regular session to ban the harmful teachings of Critical Race Theory in public schools.  In the second special session, we provided more clarity and strengthened that legislation and also included more civics training for our teachers to ensure civic values are taught in social studies education.  

Balanced Budget & Spending Limits 

The Legislature is tightening Texas’ belt, passing a lean budget that is smart with taxpayer dollars.  The budget totaled $248.5 billion and is a 3% decrease in total state funding.  We also put in place legislation to limit the growth of state government by capping government spending.  The new law very effectively limits the rate of growth in state spending by capping each new state budget by a factor of population growth adjusted for inflation.  This helps ensure future legislators face stringent spending constraints.       

Protecting Our Children and Retired Teachers 

We made a huge commitment to better fund our schools and teachers in 2019 and, despite having a leaner budget this year, we were able to fulfill that financial commitment.  In total, we allocated $46.5 billion for Texas public schools.    

Texas also approved a 13th check for our retired teachers of up to $2,400.  This was accomplished through a $701 million appropriation in the special session.  Additionally, we increased the state’s portion of teacher retirement contribution rates and maintained current health insurance premiums and benefits.      

Fighting Social Media Censorship 

We know that social media censorship is out of control and has a chilling effect on political discourse.  Legislation was passed to help safeguard our freedom of speech by protecting social media users from being censored for their express viewpoints.  This bill includes legal remedies for those wrongfully excluded based on a user’s viewpoint.  (My wife Terry, for example, was recently put in Facebook jail for a month for posting to our daughter that she needed to “kidnap the grandkids” and bring them to our home for the week.  This is how utterly foolish social media has become). 

Electricity Reform Measures  

After Winter Storm Uri caused catastrophic statewide power outages, the focus of the legislative session quickly shifted to the electric power industry.  Over a dozen substantive and very complex bills ultimately passed covering a range of issues from power generation to transmission and distribution to the retail electricity market.  This included the restructuring of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and ERCOT, Texas’ grid manager. 

I authored and passed two of the bills that enable electric utilities to use mobile emergency power generation during widespread outages and another to help reduce emergency power outages and improve reliability by expediting the process for building new transmission lines.  I also added an amendment on a bill that permits electric utilities to operate load management programs for nonresidential customers to help reduce widespread outages. 

Other legislation requires new market and oversight rules regarding blackouts, penalties for lack of storm preparation and weatherization, a new statewide power alert system, consumer protection from sky-high electric bills, securitization financing for gas and utilities to recover extraordinary costs they incurred (so that costs won’t be passed on to consumers), and additional funding of over $4 million to enhance the PUC and oversee ERCOT activities.  

Redistricting


We fulfilled our constitutional and statutory duty to redraw the boundaries and balance out the population for the Texas House, Senate, State Board of Education, and Congressional maps.  The maps drawn by the legislature always undergo legal challenges but I am confident our maps are legally sound.

To view the final maps, click HERE and each map is located at the top of the redistricting website.  

Federal Relief & Recovery Funds 

During the regular session, we fought hard and amended the budget to require the Legislature to be involved in how the federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) were allocated.  $13.3 billion in funding was received by Texas and the appropriations were made as follows:

$7.2 billion for the Unemployment Compensation Fund to pay back outstanding advances received from the federal government. (These are funds that would have otherwise been paid by each business in Texas).

$2 billion to the Texas Department of State Health Services for surge staffing at hospitals and other facilities, purchasing therapeutic drugs (including drugs for monoclonal antibody treatments), and for operation of regional infusion centers.

$500.5 million to fund the expansion of broadband infrastructure.

$200 million for cybersecurity projects.

$160 million for grants to crime victims.

$150 million to deploy reliable next-generation 9-1-1 services.

$100 million to provide supplemental funding to food banks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This list is comprehensive but not at all exhaustive. 

The work of ensuring that Texas continues to implement fiscally responsible and conservative-based public policy is never done, but your Texas Legislature made a great deal of progress this year. 

Constitutional Amendment Election: What You Need to Know

October 19, 2021

Early Voting Has Started!


On November 2, you will have the opportunity to vote on eight different constitutional amendments.  These amendments were all proposed as legislation during the 87th legislative session and vetted through the legislative process like all other bills.  However, the difference is when amending the Texas Constitution, an amendment not only has a higher threshold of passage during the legislative process but it also requires voter approval before it becomes law.  You may be surprised that some of these topics, such as judicial qualifications, require an amendment to the Texas Constitution. However, unlike most states, the Texas Constitution limits the authority of the Legislature to act in many areas.

Below you will find an analysis for each proposed amendment.  

In person early voting started yesterday and runs through Friday, October 29th.  Election day is Tuesday, November 2nd.  Please see the links below for voting times and locations near you. 

See you at the polls!!


Parker County Early Voting and Election Day Sites and Hours

Wise County Early Voting and Election Day Sites and Hours

Summary of Constitutional Amendments

Proposition 1 (HJR 143)

The constitution authorizes the Legislature to permit charitable raffles by the charitable foundations of professional sports teams. The Legislature enacted HB 975 (84R) to permit these raffles under Chapter 2004 of the Occupations Code. Examples of professional sports teams include teams in the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Hockey League.

Proposition 1 would expand the definition of “professional sports team” to include an organization sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. The constitutional amendment could benefit charities associated with those rodeo associations, such as the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, which aids people who have been injured while participating in professional rodeo activities.

Proposition 2 (HJR 99)

Article VIII, Section 1-g(b) of the constitution authorizes incorporated cities and towns to issue bonds to finance the development of an unproductive or blighted area within the city or town and to pledge for repayment of those bonds increases in property tax revenue attributable to the development of property in the area. Proposition 2 would give counties this power as well.

The amendment would enable counties to create tax increment reinvestment zones (TIRZs) to develop an area. The additional property tax revenue attributable to improvements in the zone would be used to pay down the bonds issued. However, the proposed amendment provides that a county that issues bonds or notes for transportation improvements may not pledge for the repayment of those bonds or notes more than 65 percent of the increases in ad valorem tax revenues each year, and a county may not use proceeds from the bonds or notes to finance the construction, operation, maintenance, or acquisition of rights-of-way of a toll road.

Tax increment financing can be a useful economic development tool, and the state faces difficult decisions regarding the funding of transportation projects. However, the benefits of tax increment financing must be weighed against the ever-growing local debt problem in Texas. According to the Bond Review Board, local debt in Texas grew from $141.4 billion at the end of FY 2007 to $251.8 billion by the end of FY 2020; the latter figure represents a per capita burden of approximately $8,577 per state resident. While tax increment financing does not impose new taxes, its reliance on public financing requires tax revenue to pay down the issued bonds.

Proposition 3 (SJR 27)

Proposition 3, if approved, would amend the Texas Constitution to provide that the state or a political subdivision within the state may not adopt a rule that prohibits or limits religious services, including those conducted in churches, congregations, and places of worship in this state by a religious organization established to support and serve the propagation of a sincerely held religious belief.

The proposed constitutional amendment would address a real controversy in which people were prohibited from attending church and religious services during the Coronavirus lockdown. Texas fared better than other states in this regard, such as California. Indeed, California Governor Gavin Newsome fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court to keep churches closed. The Court ultimately ruled against California, but the lesson is that the right of people to attend religious services and worship as they choose must be protected.

Proposition 4 (SJR 47)

Proposition 4 would amend the eligibility requirements for justices of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Courts of Appeals, as well as district court judges. Under current law, these judges and justices must be (among other things) citizens of the U.S. and Texas and have been licensed to practice law, or have been a lawyer and a judge of a court of record, for a certain number of years (four years for a district court judge, and 10 years for justices of the other courts).

The proposed amendment would require all of the above justices and judges to be residents of Texas and would make the experience requirements Texas-specific; for example, a lawyer with 10 or more years of experience outside Texas would not be eligible to serve on the state Supreme Court simply by becoming licensed in Texas. Under Proposition 4, a person would not be eligible to serve as a judge or justice of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Courts of Appeals if his or her license to practice law had been revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension. Furthermore, the bill would increase the experience requirement for district court judges from the four years immediately preceding his or her election to the eight immediately preceding years, during which period the judge’s license to practice law could not have been revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension.

The Texas Commission on Judicial Selection Final Report issued a report on judicial selection in December 2020. Notably, a number of practicing attorneys who submitted comments to the commission strongly criticized the lack of experience of many judges in the state. Proposition 4 would answer this criticism in part by increasing experience requirements for district judges.

Proposition 5 (HJR 165)

The constitution empowers the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct (the “Commission”) to investigate complaints against judges and justices and discipline them when appropriate. This discipline can include recommendations for a judge or justice to be suspended or removed from office for misconduct, such as violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct (the “Code”). Proposition 5 would amend the constitution to authorize the Commission to investigate complaints and take any other actions against candidates for judicial office in the same manner that it can with respect to judges and justices holding office.

Some of the rules in the Code, unsurprisingly, are inapplicable to non-judges, such as performing judicial duties diligently. However, an argument can be made that some of the purposes of the Code- such as upholding the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary- could be furthered by extending the Code to apply to judicial candidates. Moreover, as the statement of background and purpose to HJR 165 points out, judges and justices do not compete on a level playing field against their competitors in judicial elections, because candidates for office are not subject to the Code.

Proposition 6 (SJR 19)

Proposition 6 proposes a constitutional amendment to establish the right of residents in long-term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, state-supported living centers, intermediate care facilities for individuals with a developmental disability, residence providing home and community-based services) to designate an essential caregiver with whom the facility may not prohibit in-person visitation. The proposed amendment also stipulates that the Legislature by general law may provide guidelines to facilities, residences, or centers to follow in establishing visitation policies and procedures.  

Beginning in mid-March 2020, emergency state orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic directed long-term care facilities to close their doors to visitors in an attempt to stem rising coronavirus cases and protect residents. Restrictions began to ease some in August of that year, but at that point only facilities in which there were zero cases of coronavirus allowed visitors in to see residents. This initial action was understandable, as the entire world grappled with how best to address COVID-19.

However, the prolonged isolation of these residents, many of whom did not understand why their friends and families suddenly ceased visiting, proved to be just as, if not more dangerous, than the threat of coronavirus. A number of stories over the interim have detailed the frustrations and heartbreak of families who lost loved ones in long-term care facilities while they languished alone or only visible through a window. Importantly, Proposition 6 and related legislation (SB 25, 87R) permit facilities to adopt reasonable safety protocols consistent with residents’ rights to have in-person visits with their essential caregivers.

Proposition 7 (HJR 125)

Article VIII, Section 1-b(c) of the Constitution provides that “the legislature by general law may exempt an amount not to exceed $10,000 of the market value of the residence homestead of a person who is disabled . . . and of a person 65 years of age or older” from school property taxes. The Legislature has in fact authorized this exemption by general law. Additionally, current law provides that, if a person qualifies for this exemption, his or her school property taxes are “frozen” for as long as the he or she, or his or her spouse, claims the residence as a homestead. Furthermore, if a person age 65 or older dies while the freeze is in place, his or her spouse will continue to benefit from the freeze if such surviving spouse is at least 55 years of age and continues to use the property as a homestead. 

Proposition 7 proposes a constitutional amendment that would extend the last benefit to a person who survives a disabled spouse (not just an elderly spouse, as under current law) who was eligible for the school property tax freeze, provided the surviving spouse is at least 55 and continues to use the property as a homestead.

In addition, the proposition, if approved, would also validate HB 1313 (86R). This bill was enacted into law and provides the same tax exemption that HJR 125 would; however, a constitutional resolution relating to HB 1313 was never approved. Proposition 7 corrects this oversight by requiring tax collectors who collected school district taxes for the 2020 and 2021 tax years from people who benefit from HB 1313’s relevant provisions to determine whether they collected taxes in excess of what that bill permits. If they did, they would be required to issue refunds to the surviving spouse. 

Proposition 8 (SJR 35)

The constitution authorizes the Legislature to provide by general law that the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services who was killed in action is entitled to a property tax exemption on all or a portion of his or her homestead residence, provided the surviving spouse has not remarried. Proposition 8 changes “killed in action” to “killed or fatally injured in the in the line of duty.” The amended language is broader in that it encompasses armed forces members who were killed while serving but not through combat (e.g., killed in a training accident). The resolution amends current law to better reflect the spirit behind it. If approved by the voters, Proposition 8 would require no further action on the part of the Legislature, which already passed related legislation (SB 611, 87R) the enactment of which is contingent on the approval of Proposition 8.

Big News! Cruz Endorses Phil King for SD 10

October 18, 2021

Our campaign momentum continues! 

In our campaign for Texas State Senate, I’m excited to share a major endorsement from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

It’s a true honor to earn the endorsement of Senator Ted Cruz, who is on the front line in our nation’s capital fighting courageously every day for our freedoms.  I look forward to partnering with him as a member of the Texas State Senate. 

Endorsements of Speaker Newt Gingrich and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin

October 12, 2021

Friends,


 The momentum continues with more exciting news to share from the campaign trail!  I am honored to receive endorsements from both former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin with the Family Research Council.  Both men are national conservative leaders that I’ve worked with to fight federal overreach, and it’s a privilege to receive their backing in pursuit of my campaign for Texas Senate.  

Please take a minute to see the news below.  If you would like to be added to our list of supporters, click the “Endorse Phil” button below.


Sincerely,