Capitol Update: Sine Die

June 1, 2015

Dear Friends,

Today marks Sine Die, the end of the 84th Legislative Session.

Over the past 140 days, the House and Senate have met to file, discuss, debate, and vote up or down on thousands of bills.

I can confidently report that this has been a solid, conservative session. We addressed critical issues like border security and transportation funding while still finding $3.8 billion in tax relief for Texas families and businesses.

That’s a big win for constituents of Senate District 9 — and all Texans.

A few other legislative highlights of the session are listed below. Some of these I authored or sponsored, and all are bills I was honored to vote for on your behalf.

  • Tax CutsSB 1 cuts property taxes by increasing the Homestead Exemption to $25,000. HB 32provides a permanent, across-the-board 25% franchise tax cut for Texas businesses.
  • TransportationSJR 5 allows Texas voters to consider a constitutional amendment that dedicates a portion of the motor vehicle sales tax to road funding and addresses critical infrastructure needs.
  • 2nd AmendmentSB 11 allows licensed and trained students, faculty, and staff, ages 21 and older, to carry firearms on public college and university campuses. HB 910 allows licensed and trained firearm owners to openly carry a holstered handgun.
  • Caring for Special NeedsSB 272 allows voluntary contributions to the Special Olympics Texas fund when renewing your motor vehicle registration. (Author)
  • Patient ProtectionSB 481 protects patients from surprise medical bills, or “balance billing,” by expanding the mediation process. (Author)
  • Religious FreedomSB 2065 protects a pastor’s right to decline to perform same-sex marriages. HB 1558 ensures churches aren’t restricted from providing overnight shelter for homeless children. We have an underserved population of homeless youth in Texas, and faith-based communities should be allowed to step in and help. (Senate Sponsor) SR 1028 affirms the preservation of the definition of marriage in Texas as a legal union between one man and one woman. This definition is in our Constitution. (Author)
  • BudgetHB 1 is a fiscally responsible budget that meets our state’s growing needs while remaining well under the constitutional spending cap. (Senate Finance Committee Member)
  • Border SecurityHB 11 is an extensive border security bill that will increase manpower, ramp up training, and crack down on crime. Additionally, the 2016-17 Texas budget doubled border security funding.
  • Affordable HealthcareHB 1945 removes insurance bureaucracy, cuts red tape, and makes healthcare more affordable by allowing doctors and patients to enter into direct primary care agreements if they choose to do so. (Senate Sponsor)

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your State Senator.

As we reflect on the many challenges that our society faces today, I believe we are also presented with unique opportunities. Opportunities to stand up for our values. Opportunities to speak truth. Opportunities to engage a new generation. And opportunities to build an even stronger Texas.

Sincerely,

Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9


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