Capitol Update: Government Transparency and Teaching Students the Constitution

March 22, 2019

Brooke and I were honored to welcome a contingent from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines to Austin.

This week the House began debating legislation as a body and we passed several measures over to the Senate for consideration.  Next week, we will debate House Bill 1, the general appropriations act, better known as the state budget.  HB 1 is the only legislation that we are constitutionally required to pass each session.

Some of the bills that the House passed out this week include:

  • HB 234 which would prevent cities from regulating and charging fees to children who set up lemonade stands. Sadly, this common sense legislation was needed as some local governments have begun trying to regulate the time honored tradition of children having lemonade stands.
  • HB 1244 which requires high school students to pass the civics test administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the naturalization process. This test will replace the end of course exam for US History in Texas high schools.  This provides an alternative to high stakes testing while also assuring that our kids are learning the basics of our history, Constitution, and government.

    I was proud to support the Annual Harrison County Farm City Week Jr. Livestock Sale once again this year!

  • HB 81 which brings up the Public Information Act information relating to parades, concerts, or other entertainment events paid for with public funds. It is important that this information be made available to taxpayers as it is ultimately their money that is being used to pay for these events.

I also continued to present bills to House committees and worked to get the bills that were presented in weeks past voted out of committee.  This week, I presented legislation to allow Texans to use digital license plates; this is cutting edge technology with benefits for consumers and law enforcement.

I laid out several bills in committee this week.

Another bill I authored will help to reduce the number of inactive and abandoned oil and gas wells in the state which should lead to increased oil and gas production, more jobs, and royalty payments for land owners.  The final bill I laid out this week would work to ensure that nursing homes give patients and their families all of the information necessary to provide informed consent with regards to using psychoactive drugs.  This is important legislation that will work to protect the most vulnerable Texans.

If you have questions about any of the legislation that was debated this week or any legislation that is coming up for debate, please make sure to reach out to me at or 512-463-0556 (Austin) or 903-935-1141 (Marshall).