State Rep. Chris Paddie's Capitol Update
This week, I had the honor of welcoming a great delegation for Panola County Day at the Capitol. We had the opportunity to discuss the important issues facing the legislature this session and answer questions ranging from school finance and property tax reform to pro-life issues. During these hectic weeks in Austin, it is always a welcome reprieve to have folks from East Texas drop in.
I was also enjoyed visits from local FFA groups, the Farm Bureau, local dentists and optometrists, local food banks, and forestry groups. I am reminded every day how the decisions that we make here in Austin affect so many people in different ways and I am grateful for the many folks who are willing to take their time to make sure I and other legislators are informed on the issues that are important to them. I would encourage you to reach out about any issues that are important to you and your community.
As we near the end of February, you can definitely tell that the pace of things is picking up. While the committees are just beginning to hear bills and dive into the many subject areas before them, legislators are working feverishly to get the finishing touches put on the bills they will file.
Our legislative system is governed by a strict set of deadlines for bill filings, hearings, floor debate and other legislative hurdles. If a representative wishes to work around those deadlines, they have to have the approval of four-fifths of the House, and I can assure you that is a high bar to overcome. The first major deadline that we have is the bill filing deadline, which is March 8th, a mere two weeks away. After this deadline, any legislation that has not been filed cannot be considered as a standalone bill.
With that in mind, I have been working on a wide range of legislation. Many of the bills I have filed are related to the Sunset process which we discussed last week. For those agencies, I am carrying bills relating to the Department of Public Safety, Department of Motor Vehicles, the Medical Board, Historical Commission, Office of the Commissioner of Consumer Credit, the Windstorm Insurance Association and the Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Unrelated to the Sunset process, I have filed several bills across a wide range of topics. We have previously discussed HB 1000, the Rural Jobs Act. I have also filed bills that would help landowners and oil and gas operators bring inactive wells back to production, continue to bring Texas to the forefront of automotive technology through the use of digital license plates and make sure workers are free to pursue jobs in the oil field. There are more bills to be filed in the next two weeks, so stayed tuned for the final pieces of our legislative package.
If you have questions about legislation that has been filed or have ideas for legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at 512-463-0556 or email@example.com.