Below is a weekly legislative update from Keith Bell who is the Texas State Representative of House District 4 for the 86th Texas Legislature. District 4 is a district of the Texas House of Representatives that serves the whole of Kaufman County and Henderson County

Swearing In & new speaker of the Texas House

Tuesday, the 86th Legislature began at which time, I took the oath of office and was sworn in as your Texas State Representative. There was much to be thankful for, especially the support of many family and friends who made the trip to Austin. Nonetheless, it is an honor and I came here to work. There was plenty of business to complete on the first day of session -- including the unanimous election of a new Speaker of the Texas House.

I made a caucus commitment to support Representative Dennis Bonnen as our Speaker, and I followed through with that promise by casting my vote for him on Tuesday. I look forward to working alongside the Speaker to fulfil his commitment to public school finance and property tax reform.

Legislative action

As the first week of session progressed, the House Chamber voted on the adoption of the Housekeeping Resolution (House Resolution 3) and the House Rules (House Resolution 4).

Pertaining to HR 3, an amendment was presented which would've granted additional funds to each member's operating account. As a fiscal conservative, I voted against the amendment in order to save money for taxpayers -- this was my first no vote as your State Representative.

A number of amendments were brought forth to HR 4, one of which would have allowed constituents to use district offices to register on upcoming legislation. In my opinion, this amendment was disadvantageous to rural voters and could have provided an opportunity to create a Point of Order if entered improperly to which, is why I voted no.

I know many of you are eager to stay engaged with the House Chamber; live and archived video can be found here.

Please follow along with my Facebook page as I'll be sharing many updates throughout the legislative session.

Constituents are encouraged to stop by the Capitol Office, Room E2.702 or contact the office via telephone at 512-463-0458 or email at keith.bell@house.state.tx.us.

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