Editorial

21 October 2019

Capitol Update: Statement on Speaker Bonnen and Discussing Ballot Props 9 and 10

As many of you are aware, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen had a meeting in June with a political operative in the Speaker’s Capitol Office. The conversations that took place that day were recorded and recently released to the public. After hearing the recording for the first time, I am deeply troubled by the profanity and disrespectful language used to attack members of the Texas House, and the citizens they represent. After thoughtful prayer and consideration, I recently released a statement asking Speaker Bonnen to step aside so that we properly proceed with the healing process, and regain the trust and integrity that comes with public service. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the near future to move past the Speaker’s regrettable actions, and refocus on the needs of the state.

With that here’s this week’s legislative update. . .

Legislative Update

This week we’ll dive into Propositions 9 and 10, as we continue our weekly examination of propositions that will be on the ballot in November.

Proposition 9 proposes a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to exempt property taxes on precious metal held in a precious metal depository in the state. Under current law, precious metal held in a depository is considered personal property that is not held for the purpose of producing income and is therefore exempt from property taxation. However, local taxing units may opt to tax such property, and this proposal seeks to eliminate uncertainty about the taxable status of precious metal held in commercial depositories. By providing this exemption, the state would also encourage owners of such metal to keep their holdings in Texas, rather than choosing to go to other states that do not currently tax precious metal depositories.

Proposition 10 proposes a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to authorize the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a caretaker free of charge. This proposal would allow a simple transfer of a law enforcement animal, avoiding constitutional and statutory requirements that currently make the transfer more burdensome. Law enforcement animals generally live with their handlers while in service, and this proposal seeks to make it easier for such an animal to retire to the home where it has lived its entire life.

Reminders

The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: October 23 from 9:00 – 11:00am at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our District office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

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