Rep. Leach Announces Legislative PrioritiesJanuary 12, 2023
|With the first week of session behind us, Representative Leach wanted to take the time to share with you his Legislative priorities for the 88th Session. These priorities are based on the needs and desires of his constituents in Collin County and are the result of numerous meetings with constituents, communications with elected leaders, countless conversations with voters during our campaigns and his own deeply held values and policy positions.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF – Provide meaningful property tax relief, starting with raising the Homestead Exemption from $40,000 to $65,000 and lowering the annual 10% appraisal value increase cap to 5%.
PROTECT TEXAS CHILDREN – Texas children must be protected from dangerous and unnecessary “gender modification” procedures. Such treatments must be banned in the state of Texas – and medical professionals and parents who expose their children to such procedures must be held accountable.
REINING IN ROGUE PROSECUTORS – Prosecutors are elected to enforce Texas law and to pursue and hold accountable Texas lawbreakers. The practice of District Attorneys publicly and proudly thumbing their nose at the legislature and refusing to enforce entire classes of Texas crimes is an affront to the rule of law itself. This must end – and Prosecutors who continue to do so must be held to account.
STATEWIDE APPEALS COURT – Some of Texas’ most pressing cases with statewide impact – including cases that challenge state laws and/or the Texas Constitution and disputes involving state agencies – are heard primarily in the Third Court of Appeals, elected exclusively by voters in Travis County. This must change. The Legislature should create a new appeals court, comprised of judges elected statewide, to hear these cases.
SUPPORT TEXAS TEACHERS – The Legislature must continue to support Texas teachers, including providing our retired educators with a much-needed and deserved “13th Check”.
HOLDING FATHERS RESPONSIBLE – Texas law must safeguard innocent pre-born Texans, and it must also reflect our strong commitment to support Texas women and their children. Likewise, Texas fathers must be responsible for the support of their children — and Texas law should be changed to ensure the legal requirements for Texas fathers — including all financial support obligations to the child and mother — commence at the time of conception.
ELECTION INTEGRITY – Election fraud crimes are serious and should be treated as such. To that end, the Legislature should restore the crime of “election fraud” to a felony.
CUTTING THE CORD ON “GOLDEN PARACHUTES” – The practice of governmental entities awarding “golden parachutes” – sweetheart, taxpayer-funded severance packages for public employees terminated for misconduct – must end.
SECOND CHANCES FOR DESERVING TEXANS – Texas offenders convicted of low-level misdemeanors who have paid their debt to society and successfully completed their sentences should be afforded real second chances, starting with an automatic record sealing process free from undue burdens and unnecessary red tape.
EMPLOYING THE “UNEMPLOYABLE” – Every year, tens of thousands of Texas men and women convicted of low-level, non-violent offenses are released from prison — Texans who are ready to work, willing to work and trained for professions and industries who need their work. The Legislature should cut unnecessary barriers to entry for these Texas offenders, ensuring they are able to quickly obtain gainful employment, reducing the chances of recidivism and filling some of Texas’ most pressing workforce needs.
STATE PARKS FOR TEXAS HEROES – We should do everything we possibly can to support our Texas veterans, active military, law enforcement and first responders. A great way to do this is to ensure these Texas heroes have free entry to all Texas State Parks.
CRACKING DOWN ON CATALYTIC CONVERTER CRIME – The crime of catalytic converter theft is rapidly increasing – causing costly damages to Texas vehicle owners, dealers, manufacturers and business owners, and creating massive headaches and challenges for Texas law enforcement. We must build upon laws passed last session to further crack down on this crime and give law enforcement the tools needed to hold the criminals responsible.
DEATH PENALTY REFORMS – If Texas is going to continue to utilize capital punishment, it must be carried out in a way that is just, fair, transparent and trustworthy. Any flaws or weaknesses in the system must be fixed – and fixed now. This should start with the final passage of meaningful Law of Parties legislation – preventing the execution of Texans who, simply put, do not deserve to be executed.
As always, he looks forward to being on the front lines in the fight to make Texas even more free, prosperous and safe than it already is. He is confident that advancing these policy proposals will do just that and he looks forward to filing legislation on each of them in the coming days.