Our 83rd Legislative Agenda

As the 83rd session is now in full swing I wanted to give you an overview of the legislation I have filed and a few others I’m working hard on and would like to see move forward in the legislative process.

HB 202 – Protecting Military Families

Caption:

Relating to the absence of a student from school to visit with a parent or guardian who will be or has been deployed on military duty.

Summary: 

HB 202 would give an excused absence from school to children of active duty military service members for a maximum of ten days before their parent’s deployment or return from deployment of six months or more.  This would provide valuable time for military families to cope with a difficult situation.  It also would protect schools by not penalizing them for allowing students to be absent in these situations.

HB 203 – Railroad Commission Name Change

Caption:

Relating to changing the name of the Railroad Commission of Texas to the Texas Oil and Gas Commission.

Summary: 

HB 203 would rename the Railroad Commission of Texas the Texas Oil and Gas Commission. The current name is antiquated and leaves voters uninformed on what  they are voting on.

HB 335 – Replacing Newspaper notices with online notices

Caption:

Relating to the posting of required notice on a political subdivision’s Internet website.

Summary:

Many leaders in HEB and Tarrant County have told me that current legal requirements requiring them to post notices in newspapers are expensive and antiquated.  HB 335 would allow cities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions to satisfy statutes requiring newspaper notices by posting the notices on an internet website.  This bill will increase transparency by giving citizens more access to legal notices and will save local governments millions of dollars.

HB 649 – Protecting Hobby Lobby and other religious businesses

Caption:

Relating to tax reimbursement for businesses that refuse to comply with certain federal health care coverage requirements based solely on the religious convictions of the owners of the businesses; authorizing tax refunds and credits.

Summary:

HB 649 helps protect businesses who hold a religious objection to the Obamacare Health and Human Services contraception mandate by refunding their state taxes, including their business margins tax and sales tax.  Hobby Lobby is facing up to $1.3 million per day in tax penalties if they refuse to comply with the mandate.  My bill attempts to offset those federal tax penalties and keep Hobby Lobby and other businesses in their situation afloat while they fight the federal government in court.  It is important that we stand up for the religious liberties of businesses here in Texas.  If we allow the federal government to succeed, Hobby Lobby and other businesses in their shoes will be run out of business by oppressive tax penalties.  By offering them a tax break we stand a chance of keeping their doors open and their employees off of the street.

HB1298 – Concealed Carry around Field Trips

Caption: Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns by certain license holders on certain locations associated with a public or private school or educational institution.

Summary: According to current CHL regulation it may be considered illegal to carry in a building where an activity is being sponsored by an educational institution. For example, if you are visiting the capitol building while carrying, and a school field trip is being conducted on the same premise, then you may be legally required to vacate the building. HB 1298 amends state stautes to allow license  holders to occupy the same premises as a school events without fear of breaking the law.

HB1299 – Municipal Knife Regulation Preemption

Caption: Relating to municipal regulation of electric stun guns, knives, and personal defense sprays.

Summary: Currently, in addition to state laws on knives, stun guns and personal defense sprays, cities are allowed to pass additional laws restricting these defensive weapons. This has led to some absurd laws, including a law in San Antonio banning locking blade knives. Our laws on defensive weapons should be clear and that means that Texans should only have to consult section 46 of the penal code to know what is and isn’t prohibited.  No Texan should be asked to consult every city ordinance before they cross a city boundary in order to avoid breaking the law.

HJR 45 – Private School Protection Amendment

Caption: 

Proposing a constitutional amendment protecting private schools from state and local regulation.

Summary:

HJR 45 is a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the state of Texas. It would protect private schools, including home schools, from government intervention and control by preventing the state legislature or any political subdivision of the state from regulating their educational programs. It is essential that parents continue to have an option for their kids that is completely free from government control.

HCR 32 – Resolution for Hobby Lobby calling for a religious liberties exemption to the HHS mandate

Caption: 

Urging Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to cease imposing contraception mandates on private businesses.

Summary:

In addition to HB 649 I have authored a resolution to express Texas’s stance on the Health and Human Services contraception mandate. HCR 32 calls upon Congress to stop imposing contraceptive mandates on private organizations. Calling for the Federal government to provide a religious exemption in The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also referred to as “Obamacare”. By providing an exemption, religiously based institutions, and privately operated entities could adhere to their respective religious principles without punishment from the Federal Government.

I am also joint-authoring the following bills along with some of my fellow Representatives:

HB 627 – by Krause – Exempting intrastate firearms from Federal regulation

Caption: relating to exempting the intrastate manufacture of a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition from federal regulation.

Summary: HB 627 cites the 9th & 10th Amendments of the Federal Constitution in limiting federal jurisdiction over firearms that are manufactured, distributed and sold only within the borders of the State of Texas.

HB 912 – by Gooden – Prohibiting Unwarranted Drone Surveillance

Caption: Relating to images captured by unmanned vehicles and aircraft; providing penalties.

Summary: HB 912 would protect Texans’ privacy from unwarranted drone surveillance. The bill would prevent private individuals from invading the privacy of individuals and would prevent government from using images acquired without a warrant against a person in court.

Please share this list with your friends and family in District 92.

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