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.
Meeting with Governor Abbott
During the week of Feb. 11-15, I had an outstanding conversation with Governor Abbott and other House colleagues on legislative priorities for the 86th session. We discussed emergency items such as school finance reform and property tax relief. I look forward to working with the Governor and my fellow representatives to tackle these important issues.
Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Our first Criminal Jurisprudence Committee took place Tuesday, Feb. 12. I'm eager to work with Chairwoman Collier and the other members of the committee as we discuss the critical issues regarding Texas law and procedure this session. Happy to be introduced to members of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) and many other vital organizations that will help improve our great state's legal system.
House Bill 2
House Bill 2, filed by Dustin Burrows, is the House’s proposed property tax reform legislation. It establishes taxpayer transparency and reform, and lets citizens have a direct say towards significant increases in property tax rates. In our growing communities throughout Texas, there must be a balance between prudent property tax reform and maintaining viable services for our citizens. I firmly believe, the best way to achieve meaningful relief is through reform of our public school finance system. This, coupled with reasonable reform, is the solution! On Feb. 11, HB 2 was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, and will be considered by the committee very soon.
This week I co-authoredHB 1214, which ensures a reliable source of funding for our state and local parks. Texas has 95 state parks, many with massive amounts of deferred maintenance. These parks generated almost $900 million in tourism revenue in 2018 alone, and supported 6,081 Texans with employment. It is vital that we ensure our Texan parks will remain an asset for future generations, and HB 1214 does just that by providing adequate funding to our park system.
This week I filed another two bills.HB 1625 addresses false criminal accusations made against emergency services personnel including firemen, EMS and police officers.HB 1632 offers compensatory, intensive, and accelerated instructional services to Texas students who are educationally disadvantaged, have dyslexia, have been enrolled in two or more schools in the preceding school year, or students with 10 or more absences in a school year.