Report

Hugh Shine: 
A Conservative Who Gets Results

February 22, 2018

When it comes to service of our nation and state, retired U.S. Army Colonel and State Representative Hugh Shine is a leader Texans can trust. Whether you examine his 30-year military career or his tenure in the Texas House, Representative Shine is a conservative who gets results.

In addition to his service, Representative Shine knows what it takes to be a small business owner. Having run a successful business for almost 30 years, he knows how to meet a payroll and create jobs. He understands how burdensome regulations increase costs and limit opportunities. His business acumen has taught Shine how to make state government more efficient. This experience helped Representative Shine lead efforts cut millions of dollars in spending from the last budget and produce a balanced budget favorable to the taxpayers of Texas. That keeps more money in the pockets of conservatives and expands our economic freedoms across the state.

When you examine his votes on issues important to conservatives, Representative Shine is a leader in the Texas House. He is consistently pro-life and voted to defund Planned Parenthood and ban partial-birth abortions. He demonstrates his culture of Life philosophy and votes to protect unborn babies. Few members are as supportive of our right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. As a veteran, Representative Shine knows soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our rights. As a result, keeping our families and possessions safe is a personal matter.

Another issue which is personal for Representative Shine is the protection of our border and defense of our nation. During his often-decorated, military career, Colonel Shine flew drug interdiction missions and patrolled our borders to help local law enforcement officials. When other politicians claim support of border security, Representative Shine has protected our borders from illegal immigrants, drug lords, and human traffickers. So, when he pushed a bill to add more protection for law enforcement officers along the Texas border, Representative Shine’s personal experience helped pass the bill into law.

Representative Shine’s philosophy is very simple and in line with our conservative principles of supporting limited government and promoting personal and economic freedoms. He works every day to promote fiscal discipline, unleash the power of the free market, and promote security for all Texans.

Charlie Geren:
 Leading the Fight Against Sanctuary Cities

February 22, 2018

Last session when the Texas House was debating conservative legislation, there is a good chance Representative Charlie Geren was leading the effort to pass the bill.

Many legislators talk about getting tough on border security and illegal immigrants, but Chairman Geren is the one who acted. He was the House sponsor of the ‘Sanctuary Cities’ bill, prohibiting local jurisdictions from preventing officers from enforcing any part of an immigration law, including request to detain illegal immigrants to face deportation. The law gives enforcement officers more tools to keep our communities safe and remove dangerous immigrants from our streets. With the Sanctuary Cities law in place, Texas is closer to securing our border, and Chairman Geren deserves much of the credit.

The Sanctuary Cities bill was not the only conservative issue championed by Chairman Geren. He also strengthened the First Amendment rights of our religious leaders by sponsoring the ‘Sermon Safeguard Act.’ This new law protects the state’s clergy by preventing subpoenas from government entities of a religious sermon in a civil suit or administrative proceeding. The Sermon Safeguard Act helps secure our religious freedoms and protects our religious leaders from government intimidation. With it, Chairman Geren increased the security of our faith institutions and expanded our personal freedoms.

In addition to these conservative causes, Chairman Geren is an advocate for Life. He was a co-author of the partial-birth abortion ban in the House. This law provides a mechanism for state officials to prosecute people who perform this type of procedure on unborn babies. Chairman Geren also helped pass provisions related to the final, humane disposition of a baby’s remains after an abortion. Finally, Chairman Geren was a strong supporter of the efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in the state budget. These examples demonstrate how Chairman Geren leads on pro-life issues and fulfills his culture of Life philosophies.

As a small business owner, Representative Geren knows what it is like to meet a payroll and be a job creator in Tarrant County. He understands how burdensome regulations increase costs and limit opportunities. He applies his business knowledge to make state government more efficient.

In short, Representative Geren’s philosophy is line with our conservative principles of supporting limited government and promoting personal and economic freedoms. He works to advance conservative issues for his constituents in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

Dan Flynn:
 Fighting to Protect Our Rural, East Texas Values

February 21, 2018

As a businessman and rancher, Dan Flynn knows it takes hard work to be successful in rural Texas. That same work ethic is apparent in his work as a state representative for East Texas. As Chairman of the House Pensions Committee, he uses his experience in banking and financial services to ensure our public pension systems are sound and their business operations are transparent for the beneficiaries who rely on a public pension.

Chairman Flynn also knows what it takes to fight for conservative principles. Having served as County Judge of Van Zandt, he understands rural Texas and knows that faith, limited government, and fiscal responsibility are the basis of sound legislative policy. Flynn is committed to fighting even harder, now that big-city, special interests are trying to control another seat and force mandates on rural Texas.

Flynn kept the promises made during his last campaign. He made stopping illegal immigration a priority. Chairman Flynn was a co-sponsor of the bill to end ‘Sanctuary Cities.’ This law gives enforcement officers additional tools to keep our communities safe, remove dangerous immigrants from our streets, and hold illegal immigrants for deportation hearings.

Flynn’s financial experience helps him root out waste in the state budget. With the help of Chairman Flynn’s leadership, the legislature passed a balanced state budget which cut more than $200 million in spending from the prior budget cycle. That keeps more money in the pockets of conservatives and expands our economic freedoms.

Chairman Flynn fights for the most vulnerable of our society as a matter of faith. He is unequivocally pro-life and believes every child is a gift from God which is why he helped pass a law to ban partial-birth abortions and voted to defund Planned Parenthood, solidifying his status as a defender of Life.

He also understands the importance of public schools and knows they are the lifeblood of rural communities. Flynn voted to add $150 million to the public-school finance system, which will allow districts to provide tax relief to property owners. In addition, he fought to secure an additional $41 million for certain small schools in the final bill. Flynn supported these provisions without increasing taxes at the state level, demonstrating his true fiscal conservative philosophy.

Chairman Flynn knows big-city, special interests are trying to take more control of the legislative agenda. The special interests want what is good for Dallas and Houston and force those same policies across the state. That is not conservative, and it is not good for rural Texas.

Jason Villalba:
 Working to Reduce Local Property Tax Increases

February 21, 2018

Last year, as legislators grappled with ways to reform Texas’s property tax system, Representative Jason Villalba fought for solutions in both the Regular Session and called Special Session. He worked to ensure adequate funding of public schools, while fighting for property tax reform. While the legislature addressed some of the underlying problems surrounding the complicated public school finance system, the ultimate goal of reform was not completed.

For that reason, Villalba plans to work on solutions that limit increases in local property tax, control the regulations coming out of the Texas Education Agency, and end the impacts of the Robin Hood provisions of the system.

During the first-called special session, Representative Villalba worked to add $150 million to the public-school system, which will allow districts to provide tax relief to property owners. In addition, he voted to add $60 million for districts to buy down their bond debt and another $60 million to help charter schools build new facilities for learning. Villalba ensured these provisions helped students without increasing taxes at the state level, proving he is a champion for taxpayers and students alike.

In addition to helping reduce local property taxes, Representative Villalba supports conservative principles. True to his word, he kept his campaign promises and made stopping illegal immigration a priority. He voted to add more than 250 troopers and enforcement technology to secure our borders. He was a co-sponsor of the bill to end ‘Sanctuary Cities’ and give our law enforcement officers additional tools to keep our communities safe and remove dangerous immigrants from our streets.

For Villalba, fighting for the most vulnerable of our society is a matter of faith. He is unequivocally pro-life and believes every child is a gift from God. He helped pass a law to ban partial-birth abortions and other late-term assaults on unborn babies. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood in the state budget and fund women’s health programs from non-abortion providers with those same funds, demonstrating his commitment to a culture of Life.

Representative Villalba’s philosophy is very simple and in line with our conservative principles of limited government and promoting personal and economic freedoms. As a member of the Business and Industry Committee in the House, he works every day to unleash the power of the free market and promote pro-business policies for Texas.

Lyle Larson:
 Fighting to Rein in Skyrocketing Local Taxes

February 20, 2018

First as a county commissioner and now as a state representative, Lyle Larson has never wavered from his conservative principles. He continues to fight for taxpayers as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee working to secure our water supplies and protect our private property rights.

Another way Chairman Larson fights for our private property rights is to help rein in skyrocketing local taxes. Rather than arguing over state-imposed caps on local officials, Larson believes in local control. He worked to give voters the right to veto any big property tax increases attempted by local officials. He believes if voters have the power to veto an increase, local officials will be more cautious before raising taxes. This reform would increase government transparency and increase citizen engagement.

When it comes to working for our public schools, Chairman Larson believes a quality education is the key to continuing our economic success. That’s why he helped pass budget provisions to add $150 million to the public-school finance system, allowing districts to provide tax relief to property owners. He knows legislators must continue to change the public-school finance system to institute real property tax reforms. Larson understands the link between the issues as local officials must raise property taxes when the state cuts its share of school finances. While we can discuss local spending caps, the only way to reduce local property taxes in a meaningful way is to properly fund our public education system in Texas – including ending the Robin Hood system. His knowledge of this critical relationship demonstrates he is a champion for taxpayers and students alike.

When you examine his votes on issues important to conservatives, Chairman Larson is a leader in the Texas House. He consistently votes to secure our borders from illegal immigrants. He co-sponsored the ban on ‘Sanctuary Cities’ and has led the effort to add troopers and technology resources to keep Texans safe. He is unapologetically pro-life. He follows a culture of Life philosophy by voting to defund Planned Parenthood and end partial-birth abortions. Few members are as supportive of our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Larson believes all Texans have a right to self-protection and supports all hunting right for law-abiding citizens.

Chairman Larson’s philosophy is in line with our conservative principles of limited government and promoting personal and economic freedoms. He works every day to protect taxpayers and promote pro-business policies for Texas.

Sarah Davis: 
An Advocate for Taxpayers and Open Government

February 20, 2018

As an attorney, Sarah Davis fights to protect individuals and businesses from frivolous, personal-injury lawsuits. As a state representative, she brings that same fighting spirit to the job of protecting taxpayers from spending and increased taxes. She also is an advocate for transparency and open government reforms. In short, Representative Davis’ philosophy of limited government, individual responsibility, and personal freedom are conservative principles that benefit Texas.

In the legislature, Davis serves as Chair of both the General Investigating and Ethics Committee and the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Health and Human Services. In these roles, she is well positioned to advocate for open and honest government and control spending of the medical costs for the state.

In her role on the Appropriations Committee, Chairman Davis is responsible for controlling our rising health care costs. Following her lead, the legislature passed a balanced state budget which cut more than $200 million in spending from the prior budget cycle. That keeps more money in the pockets of conservatives and expands our economic freedoms across the state.

In addition to controlling spending, Chairman Davis also works for conservative solutions for cutting taxes. Chairman Davis was a leader in the House and pushed for the elimination of dozens of taxes imposed on professionals which was especially beneficial to many of her constituents who are doctors, lawyers, and accountants.

Davis knows that property tax reform is key to the continued success of Texas. She understands we must fix our broken school finance system before we can reform our property tax system. She knows local officials increase our property taxes for schools every time the state cuts its share of the finance system. Chairman Davis understands this critical relationship and will continue to work toward solutions of the system.  For that reason,Davis plans to work on solutions that limit increases in local property tax and end the impacts of the Robin Hood provisions of the system.

As a leader on the Appropriations Committee, Davis worked to add $150 million to the public-school system, which will allow districts to provide tax relief to property owners. In addition, she added $60 million for districts to buy down their bond debt and another $60 million to help charter schools build new facilities for learning. Chairman Davis ensured these provisions helped students without increasing taxes at the state level, proving she is a champion for taxpayers and students alike.

Wayne Faircloth:
 Working to Protect Taxpayers and Promote Texas

February 20, 2018

As a businessman, Representative Wayne Faircloth knows what it is like to meet a payroll and operate a successful small business. He understands how burdensome regulations increase costs and limit opportunities. He puts his business skills to work and makes state government work for his constituents. As the chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus, Faircloth fights for measures to create jobs and rebuild businesses across the district.

On issues important to conservatives, Representative Faircloth kept the promises he made during his campaign. He made stopping illegal immigration a priority and consistently voted to secure our borders. He was a co-sponsor of the bill to end ‘Sanctuary Cities.’ This law prohibits local jurisdictions from preventing officers from upholding any part of an immigration law, including request to detain illegal immigrants to face deportation. His actions give enforcement officers additional tools to keep our communities safe and remove dangerous immigrants from our streets.

For Faircloth, fighting for the most vulnerable of our society is a matter of faith. He is unequivocally pro-life and believes every child is a gift from God. He helped pass a law to ban partial-birth abortions and other late-term assaults on unborn babies. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood in the state budget and fund women’s health programs from non-abortion providers with those same funds. These actions prove he is a defender of Life as well as a champion for taxpayers.

Few members are as supportive of our right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. Like Faircloth, conservatives believe all Texans have a right to self-protection and support all hunting rights for law-abiding citizens. As a concealed handgun license holder, he also cut the CHL fees so other Texans can obtain licenses without excessive fees.

Where Representative Faircloth really shines is when it comes to working to improve the district. He pushed through reforms to the Texas Windstorm Insurance program to make rebuilding efforts easier for local businesses and home owners. He also secured increased funding for higher education institutions to allow them to expand opportunities in the district. Faircloth helped pass budget provisions to add $150 million to the public-school finance system, which will allow districts to provide tax relief to property owners. In true conservative philosophy, however, Faircloth helped add these provision without raising taxes at the state level, demonstrating he is a champion for taxpayers and students alike.

Representative Faircloth’s philosophy is very simple and in line with our conservative principles of limited government and promoting personal freedom. He works every day to protect taxpayers and promote pro-business policies for Texas.

The Conservative Case For CPS Reform

May 16, 2017

By Rep. James Frank

The state’s child welfare system is a critical focus for the Texas Legislature during the 85th Legislative Session. Governor Abbott made it an emergency item, and the leadership of the House and Senate has repeatedly pledged to improve the beleaguered Child Protective Services (CPS) system. Hundreds of kids in foster care lack a placement in a home. They end up sleeping in offices or hotels, or they get shipped from their hometown to a foster placement in another part of the state. It is a system that does not or cannot act with urgency to ensure that children who have suffered from abuse and neglect can get services they need and be placed in stable, loving homes.

CPS is in need of transformation by making it more accountable to local communities and the children they serve. As a result, legislators are considering proposals from Republicans in both chambers (HB 6 and SB 11) transitioning CPS to a community-based model where foster care services will be managed regionally, enabling collaboration with local stakeholders in order to deliver more innovative, local services to children in foster and kinship care. Community-based care seeks first and foremost to ensure all children remain safe in care. However, the model encourages innovation throughout the system. It enables features such as prioritizing the placement of kids within reasonable distance of their own communities ensuring that children experience minimum placement disruptions and maintain their connections to family and their culture.

In the past, the Legislature has responded to crises in CPS by throwing more money at the status quo. This time, let us choose a path of real reform.

A longtime resident of Wichita Falls, Representative James Frank is currently in his third term in the Texas House of Representatives. Frank serves as the Vice-Chair of the Human Services Committee and is on the Natural Resources Committee and the Local & Consent Calendars Committee.

Local Control

May 9, 2017

By Rep. Paul Workman

Margaret Thatcher once famously quipped that the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Austin is fast approaching this condition.

The mayor and city council have mandated to private businesses in and out of Austin how they need to hire ex-offenders. They are spending $200,000 of taxpayer money to help illegal aliens stay in Austin while driving citizens out by curtailing development. They have told private property owners that if they want a development permit more quickly, they must get sign-off from a union front organization. To be “green,” the mayor and council signed a 30-year contract for solar power at almost twice the rate at which electricity can be purchased, costs be damned.

These, along with many other socialist-type ordinances and regulations drive up the cost of living in Texas, compelling me to file a number of bills aimed at reining in the city’s overreaches. After all, Austin exists because of a state-issued charter. The state has an obligation to ensure laws enacted by state-chartered cities do not have negative effects on their citizens or the state.

The state has a duty to step in based on the following principles: when an ordinance of one jurisdiction conflicts with an ordinance from another municipality(s); when ordinances from one jurisdiction affect citizens of another jurisdiction; when ordinances threaten the economic health of our state; and when ordinances infringe on the personal liberties of its citizens. These and other City of Austin ordinances fit more than one of these principles.

Personal liberties and economic health are vital to making our communities great places to live, work and raise a family. In these limited occasions, state action will help encourage city councils to protect the rights of its citizens, not remove them.

Rep. Paul Workman represents House District 47 which includes western and southern Travis County, including about 40% City of Austin constituents.

Looking Out for Our First Responders

April 28, 2017

By Rep. Jason Villalba

As a State Representative, my top priority is making sure that our families are safe from those who would seek to harm us. For me, that starts by supporting our first responders. Since my first day in the Legislature, I have been a tireless advocate for law enforcement and all other first responders.

In 2013, I passed HB 1009, which created the first ever School Marshal program in America. By appointing well-trained, covert and armed school marshals to protect our students in public schools, Texas has taken a bold step to prevent the types of tragedies that we have seen in other parts of the country. During the 84th Legislative Session, I passed legislation to expand the School Marshal program to include Texas community and junior colleges. This session, I filed HB 867 to allow Texas private schools to implement the School Marshal program.

This session, in response to the tragic events in my hometown of Dallas, where we lost five of Dallas’ finest, I carried Senator West’s SB 12 in the House, which provides for more secure bulletproof vests for police officers in Texas. The bill provides vests for 50,000 to 60,000 Texas officers to better protect them from high-caliber bullets.

As well, in response to the continuing violence against first responders, I filed HB 429 in collaboration with the state and local law enforcement authorities. Under HB 429, an attack on a first responder would be considered a hate crime – which provides that those who attack first responders would be subject to graduated penalties.

Finally, I am also concerned about safety at our local places of worship. Therefore, I filed HB 659 to allow churches and synagogues to commission private security officers or hire private citizens not affiliated with a security company. HB 659 allows churches and synagogues to hire these volunteers so long as they have undergone the required training and passed a simple background check. HB 659 provides a lower priced security option and, if the guard is a parishioner, it can decrease travel time in case of emergency.

As a champion of conservative values, I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Texas House to protect our first responders and the good people of Texas that I am blessed to represent.

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