Bell 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.
HB 1632 & HB 1625 Passage
On Tuesday, April 23, I reached a major milestone as your State Representative. I’m so excited to announce that two of my bills, HB 1632 and HB 1625, have officially passed the Texas House of Representatives! HB 1632 offers compensatory, intensive, and accelerated instructional services to Texas students who have dyslexia. The House also passed HB 1625, which provides additional criminal liability to persons making false allegations against law enforcement agencies for the purpose of initiating criminal proceedings against emergency services personnel. Extremely thankful to my House colleagues who voted for the passage of these bills helping Texas students and first responders.
As 2019 continues, the crisis at the border is reaching new levels of illegal alien apprehension. Less than seven months into the fiscal year, the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol Sector has apprehended more than 164,000 people to date, surpassing the total number of apprehensions made in fiscal year 2018. On average, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley arrest more than 1100 people per day. I am glad to have voted for House Bill 1, which allocates nearly $800 million this biennium to secure our southern border. Texas has to step up and do what is right to protect this state and our country. With Washington DC refusing to address the ongoing crisis, I stand with my fellow representatives in funding border security.
House Bill 1262, another bill of mine, passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 24. HB 1262 grants owners of Texas trailers, semi trailers and pole trailers weighing under 7,500 pounds the ability to register their trailer for a term between 1 to 5 years, rather than the current 1 year term. It offers trailer owners the benefit of not having to register and pay on a yearly basis, while still bringing the state the same amount of annual revenue.
Laying out HB 1261 to Committee
On Thursday, April 25, I laid out House Bill 1261 before my colleagues in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Texas Penal Code only provides a presumption that a person has placed a child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical/mental impairment when they expose their child to the drug methamphetamine. HB 1261 provides that the same presumption that is applied when a person exposes a child to methamphetamine will also be applied when a person exposes a child to cocaine. These are similar drugs causing similar harms and should be treated as such under Texas law. Especially thankful for the assistance from Sheriff Hillhouse and Judge Scott McKee for their continual support of the bill.
HB 3383 Passage
On Friday, April 19, House Bill 3383 was passed on the Floor of the House. HB 3383 offers enhanced protection against involuntary annexation for "Tier 1" counties. It helps rural municipalities by amending current Texas Local Government Code so that a larger subset of counties meet the criteria to qualify as "Tier 2" municipalities. This will mean property owners of these areas would be entitled to a vote when larger municipalities attempt to annex them.
I was honored to pass House Resolution 1224, congratulating the Forney High School softball team on winning the 2018 UIL 5A State Championship. So proud of these inspirational young ladies for the countless hours of hard work they put in throughout the season, and for the excitement that they've brought to the Forney community!