Capitol Update: Finance & Free Markets

March 9, 2015

 

Dear Friends,

February was a busy month at the Capitol, and March promises to be the same. Here are a few of the things we’ve been working on.

Free Market Legislation KH board

Like many of you, I believe that free market principles are the foundation of Texas’ strong economy. I recently filed two bills – SB 609 and SB 639 – for that reason. These bills level the playing field across the associated industries to increase consumer choice and convenience, to enhance competition, and to open the door for innovation. Of course, that also means special interest groups that are content with the status quo will be working against them. If you’d like to learn more about the bills or follow their progress during the 84th Legislative Session, please visit Texas Legislature Online.

Senate Finance Committee: Building the Budget

It is a privilege to sit on the Senate Finance Committee. TogetherKH fortworth
with the House Appropriations Committee, it’s our task to build the state‚Äôs balanced budget for the 2016 – 2017 biennium. That means all state agencies, including public universities, are required to testify at Finance hearings to explain how they operate and why they are requesting a particular budget.

As you might imagine, we learn some interesting things during these hearings. For example, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is engaged in what I consider to be a blatantly unethical practice. This department oversees all combative sports in Texas and has been writing a clause into their licensing agreements so that the TDLR Commissioner gets front row seats at all events. That is inappropriate, egregious abuse of power, and it must stop.

On the other hand, there are also ways our state government should be investing its money. A number of our key state facilities are in disrepair. We’ve learned about holes in bathroom walls, rodent infestations, and leaky roofs to name just a few of the existing problems at state agencies. Not only are these properties assets owned by taxpayers, but they must be held to basic health and safety standards for the employees who serve our state. The Senate Select Committee on Government Facilities held its first hearing to address these items on March 5th.

Hearing from You

Thanks to everyone from District 9 who recently visited your state Capitol building here in Austin. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to visit with groups like Leadership Southlake, the UTA College of Education’s PhD students, the Tarrant County Days delegation, the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Irving Chamber of Commerce. To those of you who were prevented from joining us due to inclement weather, we missed you. Please try to visit again soon.

If your organization or family is interested in visiting the Capitol, please don’t hesitate to contact my office using the information below. We would be glad to see you in Austin.

Sincerely,

Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9


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