Capitol Update

30 June 2017

Capitol Update: Buy American

The July 4th holiday is upon us, and while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fanfare that surrounds our Independence Day, I hope you’ll take time to think about what this national holiday is truly about – freedom. More importantly, I hope you’ll thank all of those who have defended or are currently defending our freedom across the globe. It is because of their sacrifice and willingness to put themselves in harm’s way that we are able to enjoy fireworks and hot dogs as we celebrate our Independence Day. In that regard, I’d like to use this column to highlight some of the measures we passed this session to put America first by promoting and protecting some of the principals that this country was founded upon. . .

Buy American

The Texas House passed a bill that would require large state projects – such as buildings, roads and bridges – to purchase iron and steel made in America. While this provision is already in effect at the Department of Transportation, the bill would expand the requirement to all state agencies. I am a proud joint-author of this bill, as this legislation will encourage reinvestment in the U.S. and revive manufactured steel jobs not only in my district, but across the state and country.

 

American Values

As Texans and as Americans, we must stand with nations that support our principles and stand against those who threaten our way of life. Senate Bill 252 updates state contract law to prohibit governmental entities from contracting with companies engaged in active business operations in countries that are harboring terrorist organizations. This legislation also prohibits a state agency, local entities, or even the legislature from contracting with a business for goods or services, including public works projects, if that business is engaged with a country that the U.S. State Department has designated as one which harbors foreign terrorist organizations.

 

American Laws for American Courts

Another piece of pro-American legislation is House Bill 45, which ensures that American laws take precedent in American courts. The bill would provide that a ruling or a decision of a state court, arbitrator, or administrative law judge may not be based on foreign law, if the application of that law would violate a right guaranteed by the Texas or US Constitution. The bill further prohibits a court from granting a motion to dismiss the case by refusing to take jurisdiction, if the foreign laws that would be applied to the dispute violate state or federal statute.

 

Protecting Israel’s Interests

The State of Israel is perhaps one of America’s longest standing allies and has recently been subject to a number of targeted trade boycotts and sanctions. As such, the Legislature took action this session to ensure that we are doing all we can to protect our mutual interests. House Bill 89 protects the financial interests of Israel by ensuring that state investment funds and contracts with the private sector are shielded from the economic damage and instability caused by companies that engage in discriminatory boycotts against our ally. I am pleased to inform you that I was a co-author of this legislation, as I believe this measure helps protect this critical relationship.

 

Reminders

As we’ve done in previous years, the mobile office will not be on the road during the month of July. Our District Director, Linda Parker, will be stationed in our district office and can be reached at (936) 634-2762. Our Capitol office will maintain regular business hours and can be contacted at (512) 463-0508. We will resume the mobile office schedule in August.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact either office if we can be of assistance to you in any way.

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