Thank you for reading. We’re already halfway through the 86th Session. As always, you may contact my office with your views via phone (512-463-0661) or mail (P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768). Here is what we have been up to these past two weeks in Austin.
The Texas Plan for Our Schools
On March 5th, I was proud to stand with Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty, and many of my colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives at a news conference announcing the filing of House Bill 3. House Bill 3, which we are calling The Texas Plan, is comprehensive legislation that fundamentally transforms the public school finance system in Texas. It invests $9 billion toward student achievement, teacher quality, and property tax reform. It will put more money into Texas classrooms than ever before. This legislation comes as the result of years of research, data, testimony, and, more importantly, bipartisan work to address an important issue for our state. House Bill 3 brings meaningful support to our students, teachers, school districts and taxpayers. I look forward to working with my fellow members in the House and Senate in the weeks ahead to make meaningful school finance reform a reality.
Support for Pro-Life Legislation
Last week, I signed on as a Joint Author for Chairman Leach’s House Bill 16, also known as the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. While other states have policies that equate to legalized infanticide, the Texas legislature wants to make it clear that we value and defend all life. House Bill 16 would grant the highest standards of medical care to any baby who survives an elective abortion. I am proud to support this pro-life legislation that will help to protect innocent lives across Texas.
Providing Property Tax Relief
I have filed House Bill 2537 which seeks to bring property tax relief to Texans. If passed, the bill would use surplus revenue to pay down out public school’s maintenance and operation taxes. Currently, half of property tax revenue goes towards this purpose. However, providing an alternate source of funding would reduce the need for our skyrocketing property taxes. I, along with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, am prioritizing property tax reform for this legislative session while ensuring that our public schools are properly financed.
Speaking with Congressman Crenshaw on the floor of the Texas House
Project Recovery Funding Applications
Project Recovery serves residents living within Harris County but outside Houston City Limits. They offer several programs to provide funding assistance to those affected by Harvey, 2015 and 2016 floods. To apply or learn more, go to www.harrisrecovery.org. Contact 832-927-4961 or e-mail RebuildHarris@csd.hctx.net with questions.
Hurricane Harvey Registry
The Hurricane Harvey Registry is an optional survey for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in any capacity or even those not affected. It just released its initial report that revealed the extent of Harvey’s impact on housing, debris, and physical and mental health. The report largely focuses on data collected in Harris County and seeks to provide ideas on the best ways to connect those who register with long-term recovery resources. To take the survey or read the initial report, go to harveyregistry.rice.edu.
Dr. Tom Oliverson
Republican State Representative
House District 130