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

Committee Assignments Announced

On Jan. 23, I was named to the Committee on Public Education and the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. One of the most important aspects to the legislative process are the committees and their respective membership.

I am honored that Speaker Bonnen has provided me the opportunity to leverage my experience as a trustee - I appreciate his confidence.

The appointment to Public Education will place me in a front row seat to help solve a number of our state's top priorities; school finance and property tax reform.

In my view, this is important because it allows me the opportunity to represent issues that are critical to you, our district, and to Texans across the state.

The Committee on Public Education pertains to school districts and the public school systems of Texas, while the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence has authority over criminal law and procedure in the courts of Texas, in addition to probation and parole. Both of these committees are essential for this legislative session, and will position Texas for a prosperous future.

Committees will begin meeting in the coming weeks, and I look forward to hearing from you on any ideas or concerns you may have.

Eminent Domain Reform

Shortly after committee assignments were announced, I joined my colleagues at a press conference in support of eminent domain reform. Representative DeWayne Burns, the author of House Bill 991, laid out his vision to protect property rights for landowners across Texas.

The goals of the bill are to: Provide landowners with a more accountable, fair, and transparent system. Implement protections for landowners against entities that act in bad faith. Allow property owners to engage in a more honest negotiation process by providing them with more information. Ultimately, this legislation will result in more positive feedback from landowners, ending in a quicker process and less litigation. The press conference can be viewed here: http://tlchouse.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=16037

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