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Capitol Update: Bad News, Good News

Dear Friends, You may know the First Called Session of the 85th Texas Legislature came to an abrupt end on Tuesday night when the House of Representatives adjourned “sine die” a day early. With that move, negotiations on property tax reform – the Senate’s top priority for this special session – came to a halt. …


Capitol Update: Round Two

Dear Friends, You may have heard the news that the 85th Texas Legislature is gearing up for round two. We’ve been called back to Austin for a special session that will begin on July 18th. This became unavoidable when a piece of legislation referred to as a “sunset bill” failed to pass during the regular …


Capitol Update: Passed!

Dear Friends, As the 85th Regular Legislative Session winds down, Governor Abbott’s pen is warming up. Below are some noteworthy bills signed into law this week: ✓ SB 24 (Joint Author) – Sermon safeguard legislation; protects sermons from court subpoena. ✓ HB 455 (Voted Yes) – Allows property owners to participate in an appraisal review …


Capitol Update: Property Insurance Reform Passes

Dear Friends, Back in February, we wrote to you about a bill we were working on, SB 10, to bring some common sense reforms to the property insurance litigation process and prevent skyrocketing premiums. Governor Abbott mentioned the problem in his State of the State Address earlier in the year: “One reason Texas attracts so …


Capitol Update: Good Bills, Good Policy

Dear Friends, There’s no way around it: A lot of bad bills are filed each legislative session. Part of our job as legislators is ensuring those don’t make it to the Governor’s desk. Of course, from time to time we get the opportunity to work on good legislation, too. Here are a few noteworthy bills …


Capitol Update: A Lasting Friendship

Dear Friends, This morning, Governor Abbott signed into law one of the first bills to reach his desk, House Bill 89. HB 89 is a pro-Israel bill that came through the Senate Business & Commerce Committee, which I’m honored to chair this session. At the end of 2016, Robin and I had the life-changing privilege …


Capitol Update: Property Tax Problems

Dear Friends, Property taxes are a problem, and that’s putting it mildly. Have you received your 2017 appraisal notice? Some appraisals here in Tarrant County are downright shocking, like the ones discussed in this WFAA story. As an immediate course of action, if you think your appraisal is too high, don’t hesitate to file a …


Capitol Update: A Look at the Numbers

Dear Friends, We’re half-way through the 85th Texas Legislative session, and it has been another productive week in the Texas Senate. For the past three months, those of us who sit on the budget-writing Finance Committee have conducted hearings and held late-night “workgroup” meetings to take a detailed, line-by-line look at each government agency or …


Capitol Update: Your Insurance Policy

Dear Friends, Did you know that Texas homeowners pay some of the highest property insurance premiums in the country? With our wide-ranging severe weather, these rates are an unfortunate fact of living in a state otherwise known for its strong economy and reasonable cost of living. The Texas Legislature certainly can’t control the weather, but …


Capitol Update: Two Steps Forward

Dear Friends, The Texas Senate passed two important pieces of legislation this week. Without a doubt, each is a significant step forward for good governance. Here’s a little bit about what each bill does: SB 4 – Eliminating Sanctuary Cities ✓ Requires state and local law enforcement departments to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs …


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