Over the last four months, the Texas House of Representatives has been working hard to deliver real results for Texas families. With one month left in the 83rd Legislative Session, I wanted to share a quick update on what we’ve accomplished and our priorities in the coming weeks.
Improving public education has always been my top priority. This session we passed House Bill 5, which I was proud to co-author. The bill gives students greater curriculum flexibility to pursue their individual interests as they prepare for college or to enter the workforce. The bill also reduces the number of required standardized tests, so teachers aren’t forced to “teach to the test,” and enhances school accountability through a new state rating system that would measure schools on academic performance, financial performance, and community and student engagement.
The Texas House has already fulfilled our Constitutional duty by passing a balanced state budget that will preserve the state's fiscal stability and economic prosperity while protecting the citizens of Texas through vital services and programs. The budget does NOT raise taxes on our citizens or businesses and includes an additional $2.5 billion in education spending.
In the coming weeks the House will push for additional tax relief for Texas small businesses. This includes making the $1 million small business tax exemption permanent. Governor Perry has said he will not sign the budget if the Legislature does not pass “significant tax relief.” I support the Governor’s position and will work him and my colleagues in the House to get the job done.
Merry Christmas Bill
Earlier this session I filed the “Merry Christmas Bill” that would protect our right to celebrate traditional winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukah in public schools without fear of punishment. I also created a petition website to collect support from across the state –www.merrychristmasbill.com. To date thousands have signed on in support of the Merry Christmas Bill and I expect it to pass the House in the coming weeks.
I’ve always believed that a “good leader is a good listener” and I welcome your feedback on these and other issues.
Working together we can make the greatest state in the Union even greater!