Improve Public Education¬†
Education must be at the top of the ‚Äúpriority‚ÄĚ list for the Texas Legislature.¬†Specifically, we must restructure our antiquated system of school finance and end the punitive practice of “Robin Hood.” At the same time, we MUST reform our property tax system and offer meaningful tax relief for Texas homeowners – many of which are on a fixed income. School finance & property tax reform certainly go hand-in-hand and must be a part of a collective, meaningful conversation. Further, we must prioritize school safety at the highest level, while making good on the promises that have been made to our teachers – both active and retired – by creating ‚Äúcompensation incentives‚ÄĚ for our active teachers and keeping our state‚Äôs promises to our retired teachers. ¬†On all of these issues, I have a duty and obligation to proactively seek counsel from parents, educators and students to fully understand and grasp the pressing opportunities and challenges facing our state. ¬†Since taking the oath of office, visiting our schools and going into our classrooms has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.
In 2015, during the 84thLegislative Session, I proudly¬†Co-Authored¬†legislation providing the largest tax cuts in Texas history ‚Äď giving Texas business and property owners nearly $4 billion in tax relief. ¬†Going forward, I am committed to implementing meaningful property tax relief for Texas homeowners so that Texans can keep more of their hard-earned money¬†¬†‚Äď where it does the most good.¬†Further, I will¬†continue¬†my advocacy in the Texas Legislature to repeal the onerous franchise tax ‚Äď which I believe to be flawed from its inception. ¬†And, perhaps most importantly, I will vigorously oppose any and all attempts to enact an income tax in the State of Texas.
Fair & Predictable Regulations ¬†
Texas is one of the friendliest states in the country to do business ‚Äď and we must work to keep it that way. ¬†I will continue¬†my¬†work to remove unnecessary regulations in order for businesses to grow and create new jobs, while reducing the size and scope of government to create more economic freedom for individuals, families and businesses in Texas.
Aggressive steps must be taken to eliminate wasteful government spending to keep Texas on our steady path towards economic prosperity.¬†¬†Since I took the oath of office in 2013, we have made¬†great strides¬†to end¬†irresponsible diversions and accounting gimmicks within the state budget.¬† Most significantly,¬†I‚Äôve been on the front lines in the fight to¬†stop dishonest¬†accounting¬†practices to ensure a more honest, open and transparent budget that Texas taxpayers expect and deserve.¬† Further, I proudly authored legislation providing stricter spending limits within our state budget to ensure a leaner, more fiscally sound government.
Invest in Critical¬†Infrastructure¬†
With the rate of growth expected in Texas in the coming years, we must continue to invest in our state‚Äôs critical infrastructure ‚Äď including water resource development and transportation ‚Äď to meet the demands of and to serve the Texans of today and the future Texans of tomorrow. Transportation and natural resource infrastructure are core functions of government that must be addressed head-on with bold, fiscally conservative solutions.¬†On this front, I have been proud to Co-Author¬†legislation addressing our¬†state‚Äôs long term water needs by formulating a sustainable plan to provide the vital capital needed to fund the Texas State Water Plan.¬†I was also proud to actively support¬†substantial funding measures for public, non-tolled roadways across Texas to ensure that people and products can move across the state safely and efficiently.¬†¬†As State Representative for one of the faster growing regions in the nation, working¬†to¬†ensure adequate water resources and to invest in our state‚Äôs roadways¬†will continue to remain one of¬†my top priorities.
Promoting a Culture of Life¬†
I believe that every life is created for a purpose and that, as such, Texas should be known not just as a state that protects life, but one that actively promotes a culture of life.¬†¬†With love and care for our fellow Texans, I strongly believe that we¬†must¬†continue to work to¬†explore¬†new ways to meetwomen at the point of their need and to provide better options to expectant mothers other than terminating an innocent life.¬† This includes actively working against organizations that provide misleading and false information to pregnant women and minors,¬†to work aggressively against efforts to sell ‚Äúabortion‚ÄĚ as the quickest and ‚Äúbest‚ÄĚ option, to ensure women are not coerced into having abortions and to¬†make¬†adoption in Texas easier and more affordable. ¬†Further, as a pro-life Republican, I believe we must strive to protect EVERY life – including vulnerable children who are victims of abuse and neglect – by ensuring that no child in Texas slips through the cracks. ¬†¬†This includes adequately funding and systemically improving Child Protective Services, and working to advance more meaningful policies to STOP human trafficking.
The first step to immigration reform is to fully and finally secure our borders and ports of entry.¬†¬† Since the federal government¬†has failed to do so,Texas has once again taken matters into its own hands at the state level. ¬†I have proudly supported efforts to do just that, including advocating for the¬†appropriation of¬†substantial funding measures to provide more¬†resources for our¬†state and local law enforcement to protect our citizens from gang violence, human trafficking and drug cartels¬†that flow into our state over our southern border.
Keep Our Communities Safe¬†
Our neighborhoods must be safe and I am proud to support and advocate for tough laws that keep dangerous criminals off our streets.¬†¬†In that regard,¬†I¬†proudly authored and¬†passed landmark legislation cracking down on sexual offenders in our communities. ¬†Further,¬†I was proud to lead the bi-partisan charge¬†to¬†successfully¬†enact¬†sweeping reforms to address the rising epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. ¬†As I have always done, I will continue to advocate for smart and strong criminal justice policies in Texas.
Promote & Protect the¬†Second¬†Amendment¬†
Our right to bear arms is one of the most sacred freedoms protected by the Constitution and I am committed to defending and preserving this liberty.¬† This right to bear arms is not granted by the Government ‚Äď it is a fundamental right upon which Government may not infringe. As a constitutional conservative, I will continue to fight against any unconstitutional regulation of gun ownership and will work to expand the situations and places in which lawful gun owners may carry.¬† I have proudly supported both ‚ÄúOpen Carry‚ÄĚ & ‚ÄúCampus Carry‚ÄĚ legislation ‚Äď both commonsense measures that work to promote law-abiding gun ownership.
Fighting for Religious Liberty¬†
Each day our fundamental liberties¬†are under direct attack, including our First Amendment freedom of religion. During the 84th Legislative Session I¬†proudly Co-Authored legislation designed to further safeguard the protection of religious liberties from infringement. ¬†¬†Moreover, I fought for the passage of the ‚ÄúPastor Protection Act,‚ÄĚ which shields pastors and clergy from being forced to perform certain acts that may violate their religious beliefs.¬†¬†We¬†should never rest and must always remain vigilant in our efforts to preserve and protect religious liberties in the State of Texas.