News

REP. PADDIE TO PROVIDE MEALS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AND MEDICAL WORKERS; MAKES MATCHING DONATION TO MISSION CARTHAGE FOOD PANTRY

May 5, 2020

MARSHALL – Rep. Chris Paddie invites Panola County first responders and healthcare providers to come by the Texas Tea Room to pick up a meal as a small token of our community’s appreciation for all that they are doing during these difficult times.

The restaurant will be open to the public, as they are every day, but this Thursday, May 7th, the first 100 healthcare workers and first responders will receive a free meal. The Texas Tea Room is located at 100 E Sabine Street and will be open from 11a.m. to 6p.m. First responders and healthcare workers are encouraged to bring an ID to show when they order their meal.

In addition to these meals, Rep. Paddie will make a matching donation to the Mission Carthage Food Pantry. Those who are in need of assistance can contact Mission Carthage at 903-693-4673 or https://www.missioncarthage.com/food_pantry.

“These are difficult times for many in our community. As we continue to ask many to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many folks have lost their livelihood through no fault of their own. I am making this donation to Mission Carthage to help them continue to serve our neighbors,” said Rep. Paddie. “I am also pleased to provide a hot meal for law enforcement, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, and so many more who are working diligently to keep us all safe and healthy as we make our way through these difficult times. While this is just a small token of our community’s appreciation, it is one way that we can say thank you for all that you do for us day in and day out.”

FALSE: Rumors of Destroyed Crops and Livestock

May 4, 2020

May 1, 2020

Dear State Representative:

I am writing you today to address the recent stories of farmers and ranchers dumping crops and euthanizing livestock. The Texas Department of Agriculture is aware of these issues and the spread of misinformation. The purpose of this letter is to keep you informed of what is happening in the agriculture industry during this pandemic and to assure you there is no major disruption or shortage within the Texas food supply chain.

One poultry plant in East Texas is temporarily closed due to the specialty product they supply. The main market for that plant was to sell to premium cuts to restaurants, which have been closed for about a month. We have seen labor shortages across the nation in packing plants that can be attributed to cutting back on operational hours, staff concerns on getting COVID-19, and facilities shutting down to perform cleanings or modifications.

TDA has heard claims that the government told people to “liquidate their crops and livestock”. This is simply untrue. The federal government has stated that they would compensate farmers and ranchers if they had to liquidate their crops and livestock. TDA is not dictating or paying people to kill animals or plow under crops.

In a couple of the areas in the U.S. there have been a small number of slaughter facilities that have humanely euthanized swine and poultry due to the inability to process them in a timely manner. It’s important to understand that slaughter facilities are not equipped to feed animals for a prolonged period of time once they arrive. Most animals that are shipped in, are slaughtered within 24 hours of their arrival. This facility was unable to return the animals because the farms and feeding pens had already replaced these animals and could not take any more. The slaughter facility was faced with the decision to either let the animals starve, or humanely euthanize them.

We hope this information will help clear up any concerns you and your constituents may have. TDA would like to emphasize that there is no disruption in the food supply chain. If you have any questions or concerns, or need clarification on the information above, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Sid Miller

Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner

REP. PADDIE TO PROVIDE MEALS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AND MEDICAL WORKERS; MAKES MATCHING DONATION TO MISSION MARSHALL FOOD PANTRY

April 17, 2020

MARSHALL – Rep. Chris Paddie invites Harrison County first responders and healthcare providers to come by the Catfish Express and Mega Bites trailers to pick up a meal as a small token of our community’s appreciation for all that they are doing during these difficult times.

The trailers will be open to the public, as they are every day, but this Saturday, April 18th, the first 100 healthcare workers and first responders will receive a free meal. The trailers are located at the Grand Plaza Shopping Center at 1203 E. Grand Ave and will be open from 11a.m. to 7p.m. First responders and healthcare workers are encouraged to bring an ID to show when they order their meal.

In addition to these meals, Rep. Paddie will make a matching donation to the Mission Marshall Food Pantry. Those who are in need of assistance can contact Mission Marshall at 903-472-4944 or missionmarshall.org.

“These are difficult times for many in our community. As we continue to ask so many to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many folks have lost their livelihood through no fault of their own. I am making this donation to Mission Marshall to help them continue to serve our neighbors,” said Rep. Paddie. “I am also pleased to provide a hot meal for law enforcement, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, and so many more who are working diligently to keep us all safe and healthy as we make our way through these difficult times. While this is just a small token of our community’s appreciation, it is one way that we can say thank you for all that you do for us day in and day out.”

Texas/Louisiana Border COVID-19 Response

April 6, 2020

To enforce Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is increasing its presence along the Texas/Louisiana border. DPS Troopers will set up roadway screening stations to gather required forms from road travelers along the border.

The established screening stations will take place on major roadways in the border counties, including interstate highways and other high-volume routes.

As a reminder, it is important for those who fall under the self-quarantine mandates outlined in the Order to remember that a violation is subject to criminal penalties. Additional information about the Executive Order and its requirements can be found online at www.dps.texas.gov/COVIDtravel.

The Order does not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response and critical infrastructure functions.

If you have any further questions, please contact our district office at (903) 935-1141 or our Capitol office at (512) 463-0556.

Non-Essential Closures and Travel Restrictions

April 1, 2020

Through these rapidly changing and uncertain times I am working to keep you as informed as possible. I have been providing updates on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I would encourage you to follow either of these accounts for the most up-to-date information.

Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order issued yesterday, which will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on April 2nd, this coming Thursday, has extended his original order that closed all bars, restaurants and food courts until at least April 30th. In addition, he has ordered all schools closed until at least May 4th.

In addition to these closures, Gov. Abbott has ordered all non-essential businesses closed beginning Thursday morning and is encouraging all businesses to use telecommuting or other means to work remotely where possible.

Many of are left wondering what this means for your day-to-day life. Most importantly, you will still be able to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, restaurants (for take-out), and the doctor’s office (for medically necessary reasons). Further, you will still be able to leave your house to get some exercise, be it a walk, a run, a hike or bicycle ride. It is important to remember that should you leave for one of these reasons, it is important that you maintain the hygiene standards and social distancing that we have all become so accustomed to in the past few weeks.

Folks who have jobs that are deemed essential will still be able to go to work if their employer has determined that they are not able to work remotely. Many have asked if their job is essential. There are several categories determined by the Department of Homeland Security and you can see them here to determine if your job falls within that category.

If you are an employer that is not included on this list but you have good reason to believe your business should be classified as essential, you can contact the Texas Department of Emergency Management to request that classification at http://tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices/.

Of particular interest to many in East Texas is Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order requiring a 14-day quarantine for individuals who have traveled from Louisiana to Texas. The Order specifically excludes those traveling in connection with commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical-infrastructure functions.

Employers are encouraged to communicate with the Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) to preclear their essential employees. Currently, the most efficient way to communicate with TDEM is to contact them at https://tdem.texas.gov/ga-11-and-ga-12-travel-exemption-form/. In the meantime, employers should provide their essential employees with a letter stating that they are an essential employee and describe their essential role. Individuals with specific questions may contact TDEM at cikr@soc.texas.gov.

I understand that we are currently experiencing great disruption to our normal lives, jobs, and worship and I can assure you that every level of government is working to protect everyone’s health and safety as we continue to battle COVID-19. We need everyone’s continued efforts to prevent and stop the spread of the virus: it is the quickest way to get everything going again!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my office if we can be of any assistance during these trying times.

If you would like to receive updates by email, please sign up here.

 

After ‘Super Bowl’ Session, Rep. Chris Paddie Announces for Re-Election

August 23, 2019

Following a highly-successful legislative session hailed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen as “the super bowl of sessions,” conservative State Rep. Chris Paddie today announced his intention to seek re-election to Texas House District 9. House District 9 covers Cass, Marion, Harrison, Panola, Shelby, and Sabine Counties.

“We set out to provide our families with meaningful property tax relief and to finally fix our school finance system at the same time,” said Paddie. “I’m proud to say we got it done.”

A relentless conservative and taxpayer advocate, Paddie passed a tax relief package that cut $5 billion in property taxes—reducing school tax rates by roughly 5% in 2020 and 10% in 2021. The new law also gives taxpayers a vote on their local property taxes—putting an end to annual skyrocketing property tax bills that resulted from massive appraisals. Paddie also funded a full-day pre-K program, gave Texas teachers a much-needed raise, provided a 13th paycheck for retired teachers, and cut Robin Hood by 47%—instead funding schools based on student needs, not property wealth.

“These are big accomplishments but we can’t be complacent,” said Paddie. “We need to pursue further conservative solutions that provide long-term tax relief. I intend to lead the way.”

This session also saw Rep. Paddie appointed Chairman of the House Energy Committee, the foremost legislative body overseeing the oil and gas industry. His goal is keeping Texas the No. 1 producer of oil and gas in America. Remarkably, Paddie was also appointed Vice Chair of the powerful Texas Sunset Commission, which examines the efficiency of all state agencies and decides whether their operation is continued, consolidated, or eliminated altogether.

Paddie also ensured $800 million in additional border security funding, banned all red-light cameras, and passed a constitutional amendment to ban a state income tax for all time.

‘A’ rated by the NRA and TSRA, Paddie passed measures that empower people to carry in churches, schools, apartments, and disaster zones—so people can protect themselves in crises.

A strong Christian, Paddie also voted to ban local governments from funding Planned Parenthood or any abortion provider and authored the bill to ensure women receive information on all the available alternatives to abortion before having the procedure.

Chris Paddie is a Texas A&M alum and Vice President of Hanszen Broadcasting Inc. He and his wife, Brooke, and their sons, Christopher and Noah, attend Immanuel Baptist Church.

Capitol Update: Last Days of the 86th Legislative Session

May 31, 2019

Thank you, Governor Greg Abbott and Speaker Dennis Bonnen for your outstanding leadership and a great session.

This is the final Capitol Update of the 86th Legislative Session, which ended on Monday, May 27th.  This session was a productive one, producing property tax relief, additional and reformed funding for public schools, raises for public school teachers, and a 13th check for retired teachers.

SB 12 is the legislation that provides a 13th check for our retired teachers.  SB 12 also brings the Teachers’ Retirement System into actuarial soundness by increasing the state’s contribution to TRS from 6.8% to 8.25%.  In addition to the $1.1 billion for these measures, the budget has an additional $230 million to cover shortfalls in the retired teachers’ health insurance program, ensuring that those premiums will not increase.

In the final days of session, the House and Senate resolved the differences in each chamber’s version of the budget, resulting in the final version of HB 1, which passed both chambers almost unanimously.  In addition to the $11 billion in increased school funding and property tax relief that we talked about last week, the budget has an additional $200 million for school safety improvements, added security personnel and technology, and emergency response training.  With these funds, we are giving our school districts the tools they need to prevent another tragedy like the one we saw last year at Santa Fe High School.

The budget also includes over $2 billion in relief for damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, including funding for disaster relief grants for schools districts, colleges and universities, and other state agencies affected by the storm.  It also includes over $600 million to apply for federal matching dollars, which will help the Gulf coast recover from the devastating storm.

The budget also includes $6.1 billion for non-tolled highway construction.  This money will go a long way in reducing traffic and congestion while also providing funds to address deferred maintenance to our aging infrastructure.  It also increases funding by over $200 million to reduce wait times at driver license offices.  This is one of the most constant complaints I receive from constituents and this increased funding should help to resolve the issue.

While this is the final Capitol Update of the 86th Legislative Session, I will be providing more in-depth reviews of the major accomplishments of this Legislature in the coming weeks.  If you have any questions or there any topics that you would like to see addressed, please make sure to reach out to me at district9.paddie@house.texas.gov or call me at 903-935-1141 (Marshall office) or 512-463-0556 (Austin office).

Capitol Update: HB 3 – Property Tax Relief and School Finance

May 25, 2019

This is the last week of session, which ends this coming Monday, May 27th.  This has been a busy and productive session and we are starting to see the big pieces come together after weeks of negotiation.

One of the biggest goals of this session has been to overhaul our broken school finance system while providing property tax relief to Texas property owners.  This week Speaker Bonnen, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and Gov. Abbott held a press conference to announce the agreement that has been reached on HB 3.

HB 3 will provide an additional $4.5 billion for public schools, providing an increase to the per student amount of money each school receives, funds full-day Pre-K for low income students, and funds a high-quality reading program for K-3 children to make sure all Texas kids can read at grade level by 3rd grade.  HB 3 also provides additional transportation funding, which is a huge boost for rural schools and provides additional funding for schools with higher concentrations of under-served students.

HB 3 also provides $5 billion for property tax relief!  In 2020, school property tax rates will be lowered by 8 cents and by 13 cents in 2021.  The percentage that your property tax bill will decrease will vary based upon your local school rates.  One of the additional benefits of the increased state funding is that we will see a drastic reduction in the amount of local property tax dollars sent to the state under the current recapture program, meaning that our local dollars will stay with our local schools.

HB 3 also provides over $2 billion to raise compensation for teachers.  It provides for a base increase in teacher pay, but also has money earmarked for merit and incentive pay for high performing teachers as well as money to mentor new teachers and to incentivize teachers who work with students during the summer break.  Combined with SB 12, we will contribute almost $1,000 more per teacher to the Teacher Retirement System, bringing that system closer to being actuarially sound and providing a cost of living increase for all retired teachers.

While the finalization of HB 3 was one of the biggest happenings of the week, these finals days are busy and there is much more going on in Austin.  If you have questions about HB 3 or anything else going on, please do not hesitate to contact me at district9.paddie@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0556 (Austin office), or 903-935-1141 (Marshall office).

Education And Business Leaders Praise Representative Chris Paddie’s Legislation To Reform School Finance And Property Taxes

May 24, 2019

National Federation Of Independent Business’ Annie Spilman: “House Bill 3 is a big deal for small business. House Bill 3 is a big deal for small business. Property tax rates are a perennial problem that’s gotten worse and worse over the years. We’re at a point now where property taxes in Texas are rising faster than people’s incomes. That affects everybody, but it can be devastating for small businesses. Small business is the engine that drives the state’s economy. We need meaningful reforms that ease the property tax burden on Texans and makes it easier for small businesses to expand and create jobs. On behalf of our small business members, I want to thank Governor Abbott, Speaker Bonnen, and Lieutenant Governor Patrick for coming together and agreeing to this transformative plan.” (Annie Spilman, Texas State Director, National Federation Of Independent Business, 5/23/19)

Texas REALTORS® Tray Bates: “We thank our state leaders for delivering substantial reforms that benefit all property taxpayers. We are pleased to see the state’s increased investment in teachers and classrooms, coupled with transparent property tax notifications and automatic rollback tax-rate elections. We thank our state leaders for delivering substantial reforms that benefit all property taxpayers.” (Tray Bates, Chairman, Texas REALTORS®, 5/23/19)

Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI) President Mia McCord: “Legislators showed their commitment to public school students. Our state leaders and legislators showed their commitment to public school students, teachers, and Texas taxpayers. There is no substitute for strong leadership, and I thank the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker, and our Education Chairmen for all of their hard work in bringing the school finance commission’s guidance to fruition. Texas will be better for it.” (Mia McCord, TCCRI, 5/23/19)

Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Kevin Roberts: “It is a strong plan that will lower the burden on taxpayers, improve educational outcomes, and protect and grow our economy. The plan delivers on the promise to cut property taxes, fund education, and enact important reforms that will keep Texas the most prosperous state in the nation. TPPF applauds the extraordinary leadership of Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and Speaker Bonnen in working together to put the interest of Texans first. It is a strong plan that will lower the burden on taxpayers, improve educational outcomes, and protect and grow our economy.” (Kevin Roberts, Executive Director, Texas Public Policy Foundation, 5/23/19)

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Capitol Update: Standing with Law Enforcement

May 18, 2019

We are into the single digit days of the 86th Legislative Session and while there are only a few days left, there is still a lot of work to do. We are very close to seeing the final version of the state budget, which will have significantly more funding for public education, including raises for teachers and funds for property tax relief. I will have a more thorough update on the budget once the final version is released.

This week the House passed SB 16 which will create a student loan repayment assistance program for law enforcement officers. We have a growing shortage of law enforcement officers across the state and this program will be instrumental in helping attract new men and women into law enforcement.

I was also proud to work on SB 14, which will encourage the deployment of broadband internet service in rural areas. One of the biggest disadvantages that we face in rural Texas is the lack of access to affordable high speed internet. As the world continues to become more connected and automated, it is going to be vitally important for rural areas to have access to this utility. It is my hope that with SB 14, rural Texas will be able to close the gap with urban areas.

This week, the House passed the remaining Sunset bills that I have spent the last interim and this session working on. This week we passed bills to improve efficiency and extend the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Veterans Commission, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, among others. One of the things to be looking for in the future is a study of what is the best way to operate drivers license program, with the understanding that the current situation is unsatisfactory and must be improved. This is an issue that I look forward to working on in the future.

We also passed a package of bills that will address flooding in the state of Texas. We passed SB 8 which will create regional flood mitigation plans, much like how we now have a state water plan that ensures we will have enough water as our state continues to grow at a rapid pace. SB 7 will provide low cost funding for counties and cities to complete flood mitigation projects across the state. With this statewide approach, the legislature is working to mitigate the loss of life and property damage currently sustained as a result of frequent flood events.

If there is an issue that you are passionate about or concerned about, please make sure to reach out in the final days of the session, it is only with your input that I am able to effectively represent you. You can reach me at district9.paddie@house.texas.gov or 512-463-0556 (Austin office) or 903-935-1141 (Marshall office).