I filed my first three bills this week: HB 1188, which allows counties to receive full reimbursement for indigent health care that they are required to provide. HB 1315, which is a local bill that will allow Atascosa County to use its hotel occupancy tax for an economic development fund. And, HB 1540, which would allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays. This bill is estimated to bring in between $7-$12 million dollars while not being a new tax.
I have also begun work on several bills that will address voter fraud issues, particularly concerning mail-in ballot fraud. This is an issue that has come to the forefront with occurrences in the past election cycles and I’m hopeful that my serving on the House Select Committee on Voter ID and Voter Fraud will allow me to finally do something about it. My goal is to protect the integrity of every single vote that is cast in our state.
I also began work on a bill that will make the optional tire disposal fee mandatory when a person purchases new car tires. Texas has a serious problem with old tires being discarded on roadways and on people’s private property. My hope is that making the fee mandatory, like it is with car batteries, will lead to more people turning in their old tires so that they may be properly disposed of.
In other news, the Senate passed its version of the Voter ID bill and it will be referred to the Select Committee on which I serve. I’m eager to begin work on this important legislation. The Senate also passed the Sonogram bill this week and it will be heard by the House sometime in the near future. This is another important bill that I am proud to support because it allows an expectant mother to make a fully informed choice by seeing and hearing her unborn child before having an abortion. As always, I welcome your comments. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff and let your voice be heard during this session.