Capitol Update: Bad News, Good News

August 18, 2017

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. We don’t have to tell
you what a disappointment that is. Property taxes are rising at an unsustainable rate that homeowners simply can’t afford, and something must be done
about it… soon.

We will continue to fight for Texas taxpayers who want, need, and deserve a fiscally responsible government that tackles critical issues like
property tax relief and spending limit reform.

The good news is that a number of excellent bills did pass both chambers this month and were quickly sent to the Governor to be signed into
law:

  • SB 5 (Author) – Improves protections against mail-in ballot fraud by creating signature verification checks and balances. Increases
    penalties for convicted mail fraud offenders.
  • SB 6 (Coauthor) – Ends forced annexation (a form of taxation without representation) by giving property owners a vote before being
    annexed into city limits.
  • SB 11 (Coauthor) – Gives patients and families more control over end-of-life decisions.
  • HB 21 & HB 30 – Together, these bills appropriate more than $500 million toward our public education system including charter school
    facilities funding, autism and dyslexia grant programs, and more affordable health care premiums for retired teachers.
  • HB 214 – Makes elective abortion insurance policies supplemental so pro-life Texans are no longer required to fund these procedures against
    their will and deeply-held convictions.

Sen. Hancock and Rep. Craig Goldman looking on as Gov. Greg
Abbott signs SB 5 into law.

If you would like more information on any of these new laws, please don’t hesitate to contact our Capitol office. Thank you for taking the time to
read this update, and have a good weekend!

Sincerely,

Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9


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