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14 August 2015

Capitol Update: Back to School & Constitutional Amendments

The start to another school year is just around the corner, which means that a new fall season won’t be too far behind.  I hope everyone has been able to take advantage of their summer break. Here is an update of what is happening at your state capitol…

A Bill and Some Change
Earlier this summer, Governor Abbott signed House Bill 7, which reformed many state fiscal matters. Prior to the enactment of this bill, many different professions required a $200 fee to be paid to the state before an occupational license would be issued.  This annual assessment impacted chiropractors, physicians, dentists, real estate brokers, certified public accountants, veterinarians, property tax consultants, landscape architects, engineers, architects, and land surveyors, among others. Ultimately, this fee was found to be burdensome and the cost was ultimately passed on to the clients, customers and consumers that these professions serve. By eliminating this fee, we have removed another unnecessary financial burden on certain individuals.

Constitutional Amendments: Part 2 of 7

Continuing our seven part series, we will be taking an in-depth look at each of the proposed constitutional amendments in each of my columns leading up to the constitutional amendments election on November 3rd, 2015. Here is part two of this series.

In November 2011, Texans overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment with 80 percent of the vote that granted a property tax homestead exemption for surviving spouses of deceased totally disabled veterans. Since that time, there has been some confusion as to whether or not eligible spouses are entitled to this exemption if the veteran died before November 2011. Proposition 2 simply clarifies this once and for all by ensuring that spouses of deceased totally disabled veterans receive the exemption no matter when the veteran passed. This constitutional amendment passed the House unanimously.

Additionally, it is important to note that if you have moved, or are not registered to vote, the deadline for voter registration is in less than two months on Monday, October 5, 2015. Early voting will be from October 19th through October 30th. If you have any questions regarding any of the proposed amendments, or on how to register to vote, please call my office at (512) 463-0508. We will be glad to help you navigate the process.

Reminders

For the convenience of constituents not wanting to travel far from home, the regular mobile office is set for August 19th at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 8:30 am to 11am, at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30 to 4, and on August 26th at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 8:30 am to 11am.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at (936) 634-2762 or (512) 463-0508 if we can ever be of assistance, and remember that our door is always open.

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