Author Archive

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.

Exciting Inaugural Address, Gearing Up for the Work Ahead

January 21, 2023

Inaugural Ceremony for Governor Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

 On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick were officially sworn in and took their oath of office. Constituents from all over the state gathered in Austin for a series of inaugural events. During the inaugural swearing in ceremony, we saw a glimpse at our top leaders’ legislative priorities for the 88th Session. The prominent priorities centered around property tax relief, border security, investment in our power grid and infrastructure, support of parental rights, school security and support of law enforcement.  

Both Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov Patrick highlighted the $33 billion budget surplus, stressing that those funds belong to taxpayers, not the government, and a priority will be to provide property tax relief. Days later, the first draft of the budget bill was filed in both chambers that includes $15 billion for property tax relief, including $3 billion to raise the residential homestead exemption from $40,000 to $70,000.  

Securing the border was also a top theme throughout both addresses. The filed budget includes $4.6 billion to continue current support for Operation Lone Star, the state-sponsored effort to secure our southern border. Texas will continue to fight human and drug trafficking at the border despite the lack of support from our federal government. 

Texas continues to be the fastest growing state in the nation. It is truly the best place to live, work and raise a family. Priorities will include investing in our infrastructure such as our power grid and improvements to ports and roads to keep up with the growing demands. The Lt. Governor emphasized the need for more dispatchable thermal generation to be built for increased reliability, which I couldn’t agree more with, so I look forward to those discussions during session. 

Parents being able to make decisions on where their child goes to school and support for improvements in our school security were also among the top priorities discussed at the inauguration. The base budget filed includes full funding for the Foundation School Program, including enrollment growth and $600 million to assist in safety initiatives at schools.  

Other priorities discussed included supporting our retired teachers, mental health and bolstering funding to our law enforcement, especially in rural communities. All of these priorities were evident in the budget bill filed with increased funding in these targeted areas.     

As you can see, the legislative agenda for the 88th Legislative Session is coming into focus. Next month, Governor Abbott will deliver his State of the State address where emergency items will be declared. The House and Senate will also announce committee assignments soon. And as a reminder, the Texas Constitution states that the first thirty days of session are devoted to filing bills and acting on emergency matters outlined by the Governor. Then during the succeeding thirty days, the Legislature can hold committee hearings on proposed legislation and act on those bills. 

To watch the inaugural ceremony click HERE. Lt. Gov Dan Patrick’s remarks begin at 37:25 and Governor Abbott’s remarks begin at 58:35.  

To read more about the highlights in the base budget click HERE.  


Happenings at the Capitol



Terry and I attending the Inauguration Ceremony for Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.


Families from Southwest Christian School in Fort  Worth attending the inauguration and touring our capitol. 


I had the privilege of recognizing and welcoming the Texas Police Chiefs Association to our capitol on the Senate Floor. Later in the day, I met with the executive team and had some great discussions on legislation we are working on together. 


Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes and I talked about legislative priorities. Hanging on the wall are my uniform badges from when I served in FWPD. 


The Israeli-American Council had their annual conference in Austin. We have worked together for many years to combat antisemitism and end BDS efforts against Israel. With my colleague Rep. Craig Goldman, we gave a VIP tour around the capitol. 

Welcome to the 88th Legislative Session

January 13, 2023

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday at noon the Texas Legislature gaveled in for the start of the 88th Legislative Session, and I was sworn in the Texas Senate to represent Senate District 10. It is the honor of a lifetime to be trusted with the responsibility to represent the counties of Brown, Callahan, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Shackelford, Stephens and Tarrant in the Texas Senate. I am grateful for all the support and prayers I have received and look forward to the work we will do together this session.  

I was blessed to be joined by family and constituents who came to the office to offer words of encouragement and share in many special moments, a few captured in the pictures below. Thank you to all who came by this week to offer their well wishes for a successful 88th Session.

If you are in the Texas Capitol please stop in my new office to visit with me and my staff. We are located on the ground floor of the Capitol building, in GE.5. My official new email is [email protected] and the capitol phone number is (512) 463-0110. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.  


My son Josh and his wife Sarah, with my wife Terry, and me at the Senate Pre-Session dinner.


Pastor Lance Perkins, OpenDoor Church of Burleson praying over me prior to the swearing in ceremony


Terry holding our family Bible while I take my oath of office.
 

As session advances, I will continue to keep you informed on what is happening with legislative updates. We have a lot of hard work ahead. Just this week, Comptroller Glenn Hegar released the Biennial Revenue Estimate for Texas, which projects a record of $188.2 billion available for general-purpose spending during the 2024-25 biennium.  Every dollar comes from you, the taxpayers, and I will continue my fiscally conservative approach to make sure money is not wasted.  

Next week, I will share an update on legislative priorities for the 88th session and preview legislation that I will be actively working on. 

P.S. – If you have any friends or family that would like to stay updated during the session, sign up for my newsletter at www.philking.com/signup.  

Will there be enough electricity for this week’s frigid temps?  How should you prepare?

December 19, 2022

Texas has made big strides in electric reliability over the last year. Improvements include weatherization of facilities, requiring onsite backup fuel for generators, mapping of critical infrastructure, improved communication and multiple other services at ERCOT to bring additional generation online quickly if needed. However, with the big cold snap predicted for this week I do believe some reasonable preparations are in order.

            This winter, the estimated peak power consumption for Texans is roughly 67,000 megawatts (MW). If everything goes as planned, ERCOT expects on average around 87,000 MW of electricity to be available. (Installed capacity is much higher but ERCOT uses historical data to discount a significant amount of wind and solar generation that will not be available due to suboptimal weather.)  

            That sounds like we have plenty of capacity to spare. However, about 10,000 MW of the estimated 87,000 MW available comes from wind and solar generation (renewables). The rest is dispatchable generation from nuclear, coal and natural gas power plants (thermal generation). Wind and solar can provide energy at low cost but they are not always available when you need them. Simply put, the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine at the right time.

            Texas needs more natural gas fired generation.  Natural gas is abundant here, clean and relatively cost effective.  However, the federal government has created a real disincentive to expanding this reliable, dispatchable power source. The fed heavily subsidizes wind and solar. Rule one of government is that you always get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax.

As a result of the federal subsidies, for many years now almost all of the new generation in Texas has been in renewables.  Precious little new thermal generation has been added to the ERCOT grid. 

            On top of the subsidies, the Biden Administration has aggressively discouraged new thermal generation.  After all, from a company’s perspective, would you invest a billion dollars in a natural gas plant when your president is saying his goal is to shut you down?

            My point is this—take reasonable precautions as the cold snap approaches. No one expects another Storm Uri but you can’t with absolute certainty predict the weather.  On high power consumption days our thermal generation will be stressed which can lead to unexpected equipment malfunctions. And based on historical data, we can’t rely on the renewables to be available unless the wind and sun are just right.  

            So, bottom line, don’t panic or be worried but be prepared. Just in case, it doesn’t hurt to make sure you keep a full tank of gas this Christmas week. Pick up any prescriptions you may need and have some food at home that doesn’t require cooking. It’s always a good idea to have some bottled water in the house. With temperatures possibly staying below freezing for 48 hours, make sure you follow normal protocols related to protecting your outside faucets, indoor plumbing and especially your pets. All of this will make it easier to “weather” any temporary power outage that we could potentially experience.
Sincerely,


Representative Phil King
Senator Elect, Texas Senate District 10

Tomorrow is the Day. Your Voice, Your Vote.

November 7, 2022

Friends, 

Like so many of you, I am deeply concerned about the future of our nation.

As a father and grandfather, I worry about the country and the path we are on. For so many reasons, it’s simply unsustainable.

But this I know: Texas remains a beacon of opportunity and a model for low taxes, limited government and individual freedom.

That’s why tomorrow is critical. If the Democrats were to ever gain a foothold in Texas by winning a statewide office, it would be a troubling omen – because as we all know if we ever lose Texas, we’ll lose the nation.

If you voted early, thank you.

Many of you wait until Election Day to cast your votes. Tomorrow, please don’t let anything get in the way of you getting to the polls and casting your ballot for every Republican, from Governor Abbott down to your local county offices, and everything in between.  Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. See below for a list of voting locations near you. 

As always, Terry and I appreciate your prayers, support and friendship. 

Sincerely,

Phil King
Senator-elect, Senate District 10
State Representative, House District 61


Election Day Voting Locations by County

Brown County

Callahan County

Johnson County

Palo Pinto County

Parker County

Shackelford County

Stephens County

Tarrant County

Wise County

Vote Early This Weekend!

October 27, 2022

Dear Friends,

Have you already voted? If not, have you made a plan to do so? Early voting continues until Friday, November 4th. 

As a reminder, this coming weekend is your only opportunity to vote on a Saturday and Sunday. That’s a great time to vote as you are out and about (see the links below for voting times and locations).

This is no time to take anything for granted.    

You may have seen that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been barnstorming the state for weeks, visiting counties all over the Lone Star State and reminding fellow Texans of the stakes in this election. From the Panhandle to the Rio Grande Valley, across West and East Texas and lots of places in between, Lt. Gov. Patrick is leaving no stone unturned. He’s working to turn out conservatives and make sure that Texas remains the national leader in jobs, growth, opportunity and freedom.   

You can learn more about his tour here.

Thanks again for your friendship and support.    

Sincerely,
Phil King
Senator-elect, Senate District 10
State Representative, House District 61

PS Please forward this email to your friends, co-workers and family as a reminder that early voting is well underway. Election Day will be here before you know it. Let’s vote!

Early Voting Times & Locations 

Brown County

Callahan County

Johnson County

Palo Pinto County

Parker County

Shackelford County

Stephens County

Tarrant County

Wise County

Early Voting Starts Today

October 24, 2022

Dear Friends,

The polls are open! Early voting for the November 8th election has now begun and runs through Friday, November 4th.

You may have seen or heard of some polls that show Republicans with comfortable leads. 

I urge you: ignore these polls. Democrats would love nothing more than to lull you into a sense of complacency to keep you at home.   

The truth is, Democrats have been pouring money into Texas trying to turn our state blue and implement their leftwing agenda here, and they’ve showed us what that looks like. Under Biden’s regime we’ve seen runaway inflation, unprecedented gas and grocery costs, a porous open border, supply chain gridlock, and a weakened national economy.  

It’s imperative that Republicans turn out and vote for every race all the way down the ballot. Let’s make our conservative voices heard!

For early voting locations and times please use the following links below. 

Sincerely,
Phil King
Senator-elect, Senate District 10
State Representative, House District 61

Early Voting Times & Locations 

Brown County

Callahan County

Johnson County

Palo Pinto County

Parker County

Shackelford County

Stephens County

Tarrant County

Wise County

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