As the final week of the 85th Legislative Session approaches, I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you that has contacted either myself or my staff over the last several months. Without your phone calls, emails, and letters to my office, I would not be able to represent my district in a way that reflects our shared thoughts and values. The support and encouragement I have received throughout this legislative session has been such a blessing and I cannot express how appreciative I am for all of your thoughts and prayers. It is truly the honor of a lifetime to represent such a great community of people and I want you to know how humbled and honored I am to be your Representative. In that regard, here’s what happening in Austin. . .
Protecting Law Enforcement
The Texas House recently approved a bill that would supply officers on patrol across the state with bulletproof vests. Senate Bill 12 would create and fund a bulletproof vest grant program to outfit nearly 50,000 officers statewide with vests that can withstand bullets fired from high-caliber firearms. Given the recent rise in police shootings with high-powered weapons, such as the incident in Dallas, this measure would provide greater protection to our enforcement agencies than traditional vests. I was proud to support this legislation and remain optimistic that the Governor will sign this bill into law.
Handgun License Fee
Another good piece of legislation I supported, Senate Bill 16, recently reached the Governor’s desk. This bill would reduce the first-time fee for a license to carry from $140 to $40 and the yearly renewal fee from $70 to $40. While I personally believe that there shouldn’t be any fee associated with a license to carry, this bill represents a positive step towards protecting Texans’ right to self-protection. Moreover, the Texas House put the cherry on top of this bill by adding an amendment that would completely waive the fee associated with a license to carry for peace officers.
Addressing Teacher-Student Relationships
The Texas House also approved a measure that would expand the criminal liability for inappropriate teacher-student relationships. The bill, Senate Bill 7, expands this liability to include educators who target students in other school districts, while also making the failure to report inappropriate teacher-student relationship a criminal offense. Further, the bill includes a provision that would require parental notification when an inappropriate teacher-student relationship is alleged. I am proud to have supported this legislation, as I believe this bill will make serious steps towards thwarting this distasteful practice.
The mobile office is back on the road in May and looks forward to seeing you around the district! Here’s this month’s remaining schedule: May 24th from 9-11am at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.