The COVID pandemic has challenged us in ways we never imagined. As your Representative, I worked hard to support our community by securing more vaccines and worked hand in hand with community and hospital leaders to provide up to date information to our constituents.
COVID-19 has had an economic impact as well as a health impact. That is why I authored legislation to protect our businesses, health care workers and first responders from frivolous COVID liability claims and made sure that small businesses owners wouldn’t be taxed on their Paycheck Protection Program loans. Texans are resilient and we will come back from this pandemic stronger than ever.
Tax & Spending Reform
Texans know far better how to spend, save and steward their money than any politician in Austin. Last session, I was proud to author landmark legislation that effectively banned a state income tax in Texas and fought for the passage of legislation that helped tackle your skyrocketing property tax burden.
This session I continued to protect your hard earned money by approving a budget that was decreased by over $13 billion from the previous cycle and didn’t create any new tax revenue. We’ve achieved remarkable victories for Texas’ taxpayers – but we cannot rest. 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 abusive spending and keeps taxes low.
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. Last session I was proud to fight for and pass House Bill 3 and this session we continued our commitment by fully funding that investment to public education.
For as long as I’m in office, 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.
Improving Access to Quality Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the strengths and weaknesses of the Texas healthcare system. As a legislator, it is my responsibility to turn these lessons into reforms.
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 includes, among other things, partnering with our healthcare providers and institutions, promoting telemedicine and other innovative healthcare options, cracking down on waste, and working with our counterparts at the federal level to unleash the power of the free-market by encouraging competition and choice across state lines.
Building Safe Communities
With riots and violent crime on the rise, as well as COVID-19 continuing to threaten our public health, ensuring our state is safe is a core competency of government – and it is a top priority for me as your advocate in Austin. Defund the Police will NOT be tolerated!
Texas has stepped up to the border challenge by dedicating billions in state funds to support our state border operations with new tools, resources, technology, and personnel. 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, in word and deed. 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.
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 last 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.
Promoting Safe Schools
Safe schools in the era of COVID-19 doesn’t just mean better physical security and more guards, as we provided in the last session. It also means giving schools the resources and knowledge they need to ensure the health and safety of every teacher, student, administrator, and support staff.
Keeping our children safe will continue to be a top priority for me for as long as I can serve you at the Capitol. I’m glad that we made great strides this past session, working in a bi-partisan fashion to advance proven security measures, to ensure additional counseling services, and to improve and invest in innovative mental health resources.
That said, our work on this front never ends. More than ever, students and educators expect and demand that the Legislature gives this issue the attention and focus it deserves.
Supporting our Texas Values
The primary function of Government, at all levels, is to protect and safeguard your fundamental rights. While government can play many roles in our lives – 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.
Promoting a Culture of Life
Government must work aggressively to protect innocent human life– from the womb to the tomb. We must continue to be on the front lines in the fight for the pre-born Texans who can’t fight for themselves, while working to support and care for the women and families who find themselves facing the sometimes harsh reality of an unplanned pregnancy, including continuing to invest in vital women’s health services. We must also provide better options for expectant mothers other than terminating an innocent life, including making adoption easier and more affordable, advocating for vulnerable children who find themselves trapped in state custody under the supervision of CPS, and fighting on behalf of victims of human trafficking, sexual assault and sexual abuse. The fight for life also includes advocating for men and women who have been wrongfully accused and convicted and unjustly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
Supporting Texas Heroes
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.
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 that have created an environment where businesses can thrive, resulting in more quality, high-paying jobs for Texans. 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 legislation that threatens to stifle innovation and investment and that has proven in other states, to kill jobs and stall economies.
Supporting Texas Teachers
All Texas teachers should feel supported, protected, and well-compensated for their essential role in Texas. We must attract the best and brightest. That means providing the resources necessary to assure their safety post-pandemic.
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.