Aliseda, from Beeville, was elected last year and had been instrumental in passing conservative legislation during his first House session.
The selection was voted on by all 101 House Republicans and Aliseda was one of more than 30 Republican freshmen representatives eligible for the honor.
“This session, Rep. Aliseda provided a key leadership role in many debates including election integrity, border security, sanctuary cities and conservative fiscal governance,” the HRC said in a press release this week.
“I can’t remember another instance where a freshman legislator had such a profound impact on a legislative session,” said Caucus Chairman Rep. Larry Taylor. “José hit the ground running when he arrived in Austin and hasn’t stopped yet. We are all fortunate to benefit from his experience and leadership.”
“I’m honored to receive this recognition from my colleagues and am very proud of my freshman session in the Texas House of Representatives,” Aliseda said. “We made progress on many important issues and brought a renewed sense of public participation in the democratic process.”
“The voter I.D. bill was really about voter impersonation,” Aliseda told the Bee-Picayune Tuesday. “It had to do with stopping ACORN. It’s about dead people voting.”
The law makes it necessary for anyone voting in an election in Texas to show a photo identification card when showing up at a polling place. “It stops false voters, period,” Aliseda said.
The bill not only passed the House but also the Senate, and Gov. Rick Petty already has signed it into law.
Aliseda also worked with other lawmakers on some minor mail ballot voter fraud bills and other election issues.
The lawmaker said it was important that the Republicans had a significant majority in the House this session because similar voter I.D. and voter fraud bills had been successfully blocked by Democrats for more than a decade.
Aliseda also helped push a sanctuary city bill through the House this session but the bill never got out of the Senate.
He said Perry may add that bill to a special session that the Legislature is involved in now. Currently, two items are on the agenda for the first week of the session, the state’s budget and a health care cost containment proposal.
The maximum length of time a special session can last is 30 days and Aliseda said the sanctuary city bill may make it back to the Legislature by then.
The bill, if it passes, will make it illegal for cities, counties and other governmental entities to order their agencies to not check on the immigration status of offenders.
The sanctuary cities issue is already controlled by a federal law against the practice. But Aliseda said the federal law has no “teeth” in it. The law passed by the House would deny state funds for governmental entities which do not enforce the law.
“We have to pass a law to make people follow the law,” Aliseda said. “That’s what it’s come to in this country.”
Aliseda said he also worked to stop some bad legislation from being passed. Some of that legislation would have resulted in the release of some dangerous criminals onto the streets of Texas.
The lawmaker also fought against smoking bans on all places that sell alcohol. “My attitude is that it’s a private property right,” Aliseda said.
A former Bee County judge, Aliseda said he also was a solid vote against raising state taxes and fees.
“We cut our budget by $15 billion,” Aliseda said. “I don’t know of any other state that has done that.”
He also said the lawmakers left the Texas pension program “pretty strong.”
Also a former county attorney, Aliseda said he supported several Second Amendment bills, including the campus carry bill and some others.
Although the campus carry bill did not make it through the House, both houses did pass the employee parking lot bill which allows people to keep guns in their vehicles in parking lots on property where they work.
“We also stopped the Democrats from stifling oil and gas exploration,” Aliseda boasted.
Aliseda said that he will be representing some new counties in the future following redistricting in the House. He said his district, which will include Bee, Live Oak, McMullen, San Patricio, Duval, LaSalle and Atascosa counties, will be slightly more conservative than before.
Aliseda came to Bee County as a Navy officer and was county attorney and county judge before being appointed to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, where he served almost six years.
He is a businessman, attorney and rancher.
Aliseda and his wife, Aida, have three children, Valerie, Luis and Mark Villarreal.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.