State Rep. Chris Paddie's Capitol Update: Legislature on the home stretch

State voters could have a chance to constitutionally ban Texas from having a state income tax

This is the week that we truly begin winding up the legislative session.

Last Thursday was the last day for debate on House bills and in short order, Senate bills will face the same deadline. There are less than twenty days left in the 86th Legislature and we are frantically working to finish reforming school finance, reforming property taxes, and completing a common-sense, within-our-means budget.

This week we saw hundreds of bills moved to the House floor, with some of them getting voted down, some of them being defeated on procedural grounds (points of order), some being delayed by the author for various reasons, but many of them are also headed to the Senate for further debate and some are headed to their final stop, Gov. Abbott's desk.

One of the measures that I am proud to is a constitutional amendment that would allow you, the voters, to constitutionally ban Texas from having a state income tax. While we have been working to rein in and reform property taxes this session, it is important to remember that one of the biggest draws to Texas is our lack of a state income tax.

We debated a wide range of topics this week, ranging from creating efficiencies for patients with long-term prescription drug needs to increasing support for sexual assault victims to banning telemarketers from spoofing phone numbers to harass unsuspecting consumers.

This week Gov. Abbott also signed six of the Sunset bills that we have been working on for the past year. I am looking forward to passing the additional twenty bills to the Governor, increasing the efficiencies at these agencies, reducing red-tape, and saving taxpayers and consumers millions of dollars every year.

As we continue to work through the finals weeks of the legislative session, I would encourage you to reach out if you have questions regarding a particular issue that is important to you. While I do not have enough space to discuss everything that has been accomplished, I am happy to discuss any specific concerns or support that you have for an issue. I can be reached at district9.paddie@house.texas.gov, in my Austin office at 512-463-0556, or in my East Texas office at 903-935-1141.