Securing Our Border & Ensuring Safe Communities
Ensuring our state is safe is a core competency of government – and it is a top priority for me as your advocate in Austin.
While Biden and open-border liberals refuse to secure our porous border, Texas has stepped up to the challenge. We’ve dedicated billions in state funds to support our state border operations with new tools, resources, technology, and personnel. In this most recent session, we authorized an historic $5.1 billion in additional border security. We have cracked down hard on the cartels and organized crime. We have declared war on human traffickers, while providing support and care for the women and children they prey upon. And we have reformed our laws to ensure our criminal justice system is tough, fair, and smart.
With all that we have accomplished, we cannot rest. We must remain ever vigilant and continue to prioritize public safety. We must unequivocally support our law enforcement. We must aggressively work to secure our border. And we must continue to advance laws and invest in the resources necessary to ensure every Texan, no matter where he or she lives, is safe.
Property Tax & Spending Reform
Texans know far better how to spend, save and steward their money than any politician in Austin. This session I was proud to support and help pass a historic property tax bill that will provide Texas property owners with real and lasting relief. By raising the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000 those with an average home value of $331,000 will save an average of $1,300 a year.
During the 86th legislative session, I was pleased to author landmark legislation that effectively banned a state income tax in Texas.
We’ve achieved remarkable victories for Texas’ taxpayers – but there is more to do. Going forward, be assured that I will continue to aggressively support and work to advance legislation that protects your pocketbook, limits the size and scope of government, reduces excessive spending and keeps taxes low.
Protecting Our Kids & Fighting Sexualization Efforts
I will continue to aggressively fight against the disturbing and growing efforts to indoctrinate and harm our kids. This session we passed House Bill 900 to prevent sexually explicit and inappropriate literature in public school libraries.
Likewise, I was proud to co-author, vote for and help pass SB 14 which bans dangerous and irreversible gender modification procedures on children. I promised to fight for a strong and smart bill and I kept that promise with the passage of SB 14.
We further protected children this session by passing SB 12 which will prohibit Texas children from attending drag shows and other inappropriate sexually-oriented performances.
It’s sad that we even have to pass bills like these, but safeguarding our kids will always be a top priority for me.
Strengthening Public Education
Investing in our children is the best investment we can make. With three children in the public schools myself, nothing is more important to me. During the 86th legislative session, I was proud to fight for and pass House Bill 3 which modernized our school finance formulas, promoted local control, supported teacher pay raises, reduced Robin Hood and recapture and directed money straight to the classroom where it does the most good. And this past session, we continued our commitment by investing $50.4 in to public education.
I will continue to make sure our students, their families, and our hard-working educators are supported with a smart, sustainable stream of state funding and bold reforms that work to unleash the potential of the next generation of Texas leaders.
Protecting Our Economy & Securing the “Texas Miracle”
Businesses and people are flocking to Texas – and it’s not by mistake! We have aggressively implemented free-market, taxpayer-friendly policies where businesses can thrive, resulting in more quality, high-paying jobs for Texans. As part of the historic property tax reform package just passed, over 67,000 small to medium sized businesses will now be exempt from paying the Texas Franchise Tax.
We must work collectively to protect the policies that have made Texas an economic powerhouse, while advancing smart reforms that lower taxes, ensure regulations are fair and predictable and crack down on abusive, frivolous lawsuits. And we must remain ever vigilant to stop job-killing legislation that stifles innovation and investment.
Improving Access to Quality Healthcare
While healthcare and prescription drug costs continue to skyrocket, we must work collaboratively to find a “Texas Solution” that expands coverage to vulnerable Texans currently without health insurance, safeguards protections for pre-existing conditions and protects the doctor-patient relationship. This session we passed a bill that will allow for the wholesale importation of prescription drugs from Canada through the Texas Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Program.
Likewise, I was proud to co-author HB 4 during the 87th legislative session which broadly expanded tele-health services for reimbursement, including preventative health, case management, physical therapy, and more. We also established a self-replenishing fund for prescription rebates to give 3 million Texans access to low-cost medications. This program will serve the uninsured and under-insured.
Promoting a Culture of Life
We made monumental progress in the fight for life last session when we passed The Heartbeat Bill outlawing abortion once a heartbeat is detected as well House Bill 1280 which banned abortion in Texas when the Supreme Court reversed it’s ruling on Roe v. Wade.
We must continue to support and care for the women and families who find themselves facing the sometimes harsh reality of an unplanned pregnancy. This session I fought for, and passed, an amendment to the budget that added $25 million to the Alternatives to Abortion program. This program, in tandem with many others, helps provide women the care, resources, and support they need to carry their baby to term.
Supporting Texas Teachers
All Texas teachers should feel supported, protected, and well-compensated for their essential role in educating the future generations of Texans.
We must continue to invest in education, ensuring your taxpayer dollars are getting to the classroom – where they do the most good. And we should keep advancing sound policies that strengthen our system of education. That means fully funding the teacher retirement system as well as ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. This session we gave our retired teachers a much needed cost-of-living adjustment as well as a 13th check.
Safeguard our Texas Values
The primary function of Government, at all levels, is to protect and safeguard your fundamental rights. While limited government has a role – time and again we’ve seen that government action and bureaucracy often creates more problems than it seeks to solve. Bottom line: I believe in you – the people of Texas – and I trust you to make the best decisions for yourselves, your families and your businesses. Without reservation, I will continue to work on the frontlines to safeguard your fundamental freedoms, including your right to worship, to assemble, to speak, to petition your government, to keep and bear arms and to protect your property rights.
Supporting Texas Veterans & First Responders
Whether it’s providing tax relief or employment resources to our returning or wounded veterans, or ensuring additional training, tools, resources and support for our fire fighters and police officers, we must do everything in our power to actively and aggressively support our Texas heroes. After all, it’s the least we can do for the men and women who literally put their lives on the line to keep us safe and free.
This session, I was proud to author and pass House Bill 1740 which provides free entry to our beautiful State parks for any active or retired military as well as our GoldStar families. Research shows that outdoor activities can have a beneficial effect for those suffering from PTSD as well as improve mood, anxiety, depression and stress.
Human Trafficking & Sexual Abuse
A father of three children, I am deeply moved by the horrible tragedy of human trafficking. Traffickers should get a one-way ticket to jail. With legislation I passed during the 86th legislative session, that is exactly what will happen.
But punishing the victimizers isn’t enough. The scars of sexual abuse never go away. We must support the victims of sexual abuse and assault in every form. Last session, we funded the testing of all Texas rape kits, made it mandatory for law enforcement to track every sexual predator they investigate, and extended the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse.