As the final week of the 86th Legislative Session approaches, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has contacted our office over the last several months. Whether you have called my capitol or district office, sent an email or letter, or even taken the time to come to Austin for a visit, I want you to know how much I value and appreciate your input. Without your feedback, I would not be able to represent my district in a way that represents our common values. It is the honor of a lifetime, and one that I do not take lightly, to represent such a great community of people and I’m humbled to have been blessed with such an incredible opportunity to serve as your Representative.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol. . .
Legislative Update: This last week was Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, and in fitting fashion the Texas House put the final touches on S.B. 16, which would establish a student loan repayment assistance program for future peace officers. These brave men and women put their lives on the line on a daily basis to protect our communities, and the passage of this legislation represents a small token of our appreciation, while also ensuring the best and brightest have an opportunity to become a peace officer.
I recently passed a bill out of the House Public Education Committee that would protect our teachers’ right to maintain discipline in the classroom. Teachers currently have the authority to remove students from the classroom for disruptive behavior. However, sometimes teachers are penalized on their annual appraisals for exercising this right. The bill I sponsored — S.B. 1451 — would prohibit a school district from unfavorably evaluating or disciplining a teacher solely on the basis of student disciplinary referrals. Maintaining a productive learning environment for our children leads to better educational outcomes and this bill would help prevent retaliation against teachers who are working towards this goal.
I’ve also had several Conference Committee meetings on House Bill 3, which seeks to bring much needed school finance reform and property tax relief to all Texans. My colleagues in the House and Senate have had some very productive discussions, and I’m hopeful that we will find a common sense solution to do what’s best for our students, teachers, retired teachers, and fellow taxpayers.
Reminders: The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: May 22nd from 9am – 11am at the San Augustine 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.