Weekly Session Update 13 — First Three Bills Leave the House
May 08, 2013

Hard to believe we are already in the month of May, we are truly closing in on the end of Session. In the past week, I passed my first three bills out of the House and got a number of other bills moving towards the floor.

HB 697, which will tax-exempt booster clubs and other school support groups passed nearly unanimously in the House and has headed to the Senate where it will be carried by Sen. Robert Duncan (R – Lubbock). These groups exist only to benefit local schools and students, it is not right for the government to hackle them to get a few extra cents out of the sale of a Dr. Pepper.

Saturday was “gun day” at the Capitol. I passed HB 698 which will help citizens of rural Texas exercise their Second Amendment rights by creating flexibility with the digital finger printing requirement. Currently many are driving close to 100 miles to get their prints done to get their concealed handgun license (CHL). My bill will require DPS to develop rules to allow alternative methods of printing for citizens more than 25 miles away from an approved facility.

In addition, HB 972 by Rep. Fletcher (R – Cypress) which allows for licensed CHL holders to carry on an institution of higher eduction passed the House Saturday, along with Rep. Toth’s ‘Fire Arms Protection Act’. I was proud to co-author both pieces of legislation, hopefully we can get them through the Senate and onto the Governor’s desk in the coming weeks.

The third bill I passed, HB 3896, is a local bill for Jack County that will serve as the enabling legislation for their hospital district. I also passed two more bills out of committee that will help local communities of House District 68. HB 2521 would allow Type B Economic Development Corporations to invest in more diversified housing infrastructure instead of just affordable housing projects. HB 2516 would allow for fines collected for a burn ban violation to remain in their county of origin to be used by local volunteer fire departments.

Attorney General Greg Abbott released a ruling last week, agreeing with my stance on benefits for domestic partners. My bill, HB 1568, would give his ruling teeth to ensure that education dollars are going towards educating children and not towards bankrolling a lifestyle the majority of Texans do not agree with. I hope to have that bill on the calendar this week for consideration by the House.

I had a good time joining ‘The Chad Hasty Show’ last week to discuss the Session so far and the progress of Second Amendment Legislation in the Texas House. You can check out the first segment here: Session Update and the second segment here: Second Amendment Discussion.

I had the honor of recognizing Judge Giles W. Dalby on the House Floor. Judge Dalby was the longest serving Constitutional County Judge in Texas history, and had a fascinating life. You can read the resolution and learn more about his his life here: Judge Dalby Resolution.

I was also pleased to recognize the Paducah Girl’s Golf Team on the House floor for their success this season and making to the state competition.

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