Capitol Update: Helping Retired Teachers

March 15, 2019

This week, the House announced HB 9, which will provide a long term solution for the Teacher Retirement System. It will increase the state’s contribution from the current 6.8% to 8.8%, which will allow the fund to reach actuarial soundness within by 2021. It also authorizes a 13th check beginning in 2021.

Capitol Update: School Finance Reform Unveiled

March 8, 2019

HB 3 will put nine billion additional dollars of state funding into our public school system.  This is a huge commitment by the state which is long overdue.  It increases per student funding by almost $900 per year. By providing this additional money, we are able to reduce recapture payments by school districts by 38% this biennium.  Those are substantial dollars that will stay in our local schools and not go back to the state.  We will also see an across the board property tax rate reduction of four cents.


March 5, 2019

“I applaud Chris Paddie for authoring House Bill 3 and for taking us one step closer to passing transformational school finance legislation this session,” said Speaker Bonnen.

Capitol Update: East Texans in Austin and Pending Legislation

March 1, 2019

I am pleased to let you know that HB 1000, the Rural Jobs Act, will be heard in the International Relations and Economic Development Committee this coming Monday. 

Capitol Update: Panola County Day and Legislative Deadlines

February 24, 2019

As we near the end of February, you can definitely tell that the pace of things is picking up.  While the committees are just beginning to hear bills and dive into the many subject areas before them, legislators are working feverishly to get the finishing touches put on the bills they will file. 

Capitol Update: What does the Sunset Commission do?

February 16, 2019

I want to use this week’s Capitol Update to tell you a little bit more about the Sunset process. The Sunset Commission is responsible for making recommendations to the Legislature to improve the performance, transparency, and efficiency of state agencies. 

Capitol Update: Rural Jobs Act

February 9, 2019

The Rural Jobs Act provides an incentive for private investments to find their way to rural areas that have been generally overlooked.  One of the great things about this legislation is that private investors have to make their investments and meet meaningful investment and job creation metrics before they receive any money. 

Capitol Update: Property Tax and School Finance Reform

February 2, 2019

As I’ve discussed with many of you, one of the legislative priorities that was set forth this session is school finance and property tax reform.  This past week, Gov. Abbott, Speaker Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Patrick held a press conference to unveil the property tax reform portion of these priorities. 

Capitol Update: House Committee Assignments

January 25, 2019

The Energy Resources Committee has authority over oil and gas production as well as alternative energy. The Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee has authority over many of the industries that have licensing requirements in Texas and the Redistricting Committee is one of the procedural committees that only has a heavy workload for a limited amount of time every decade.


January 23, 2019

“I am excited to be working on issues that are vitally important to our East Texas economy,” said Rep. Paddie. “These committee appointments will allow our district to have influence on many of the important issues that will be addressed by this legislature. Now that we have committee assignments, I am looking forward to getting to work and tackling the many issues facing our state.”