Weekly Session Update 8 — Drew Files Several Bills Ahead of Deadline
March 12, 2013

Well the bill filing deadline has come and passed, and I am pleased to say I am proud of my final list of filed legislation. While all of my bills help shrink back the scope of government and advance the principle of liberty, I have highlighted a few below that will have a large impact on our district and state.

Traveling through the district, many of you have brought to my attention a variety of issues having to do with the TCEQ. More times than not, the issues had to do with fines being assessed without regard to the population of the community. HB 3222 requires the TCEQ to take into account the population of a county or municipality before assessing a fine. Fines must then be assessed proportionally equal for all cities and counties in the state. All fines should be equal on a per person basis, currently in towns like Floydada (~2,000 population) citizens pay $25 each while in Dallas they pay only $0.05,  citizens of rural Texas should not be punished for living in smaller communities.

An issue many educators and parents have contacted me about is the late school start date in Texas. Many schools in rural areas have struggled with this because it significantly shortens the classroom time in the fall, a time very important to agriculture and the rural way of life. I have authored HB 2514 to move the school start date earlier in rural areas of the state.

People that have concealed handgun licenses (CHL) and have gone through the trouble of legally registering with the state are not the people committing crimes with guns. As such, they should not be limited to where they can carry and protect themselves and their loved ones. I have filed HB 3218, the ‘CHL Everywhere’ bill, to remove the majority of restrictions away from CHL holders and allow them more flexibility to exercise their Second Amendment rights. I have also filed HB 698 to simplify the process of getting a CHL license for citizens of rural counties.

The Texas Constitution makes construction and maintenance of private roads a simple process for counties with populations under 5,000. For Garza County, this ability disappeared after the last census, as the addition of a 2,000 person Federal prison knocked them over the threshold for this exemption. I have filed HJR 137 to move the population cap up to populations of 7,500 — this will not only bring Garza Co. back into the threshold but also add 5 other HD 68 counties, Wheeler, Haskell, Crosby, Floyd and Childress!

For a complete list of all the bills I have filed, you can click here.

It is an honor and a privilege to represent you in the Texas House. I look forward to fighting hard in the next few months to get all of my bills through the legislative process and into law. Please feel free to contact me anytime at [email protected], your questions and feedback truly help me better represent you in Austin.

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