Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 22, 2013

Senator Nichols: My five cents


AUSTIN — 3. Property tax ceiling

On Tuesday the Senate passed out an important measure dealing with property taxes.

The Texas Constitution currently allows for a freeze on the ad valorem taxes on a residential homestead for the disabled or those who are over 65 within a school district, county, city, or junior college district.  However, there are many special purpose districts that levy property taxes, but are not constitutionally required to offer a property tax freeze.

SJR 32 by Senator Ken Paxton would create a constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision other than a school district to establish a limitation on the amount of ad valorem taxes that the political subdivision may impose on the residence homesteads of persons who are disabled or elderly and their surviving spouses.

This measure closes a loophole in property tax law and ensures a level playing field for all our disabled and over-65 citizens. I was proud to vote in favor of it.

4. House passes anti-texting bill

On Wednesday, the House passed a controversial bill to ban texting while driving state-wide. Specifically, HB 63 by Representative Tom Craddick would outlaw texting, emailing, reading or instant-messaging. Drivers could face a fine of up to $100 and repeat offenders up to $200. All but 11 states have passed similar measures, and supporters of the bill argue Texas should follow suit in the interest of public safety and saving lives.

The bill passed out of the House 98-47 and will soon go to the Senate. However, even if

it makes it through the Senate, it could very likely be vetoed by Governor Rick Perry who vetoed the same measure last session. Only time will tell, and I will keep you updated.  

5. Ladies in Red

On Thursday the famous "Ladies in Red" returned to the Capitol once again. These ladies are all members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women, one of the largest women's political groups in the country.

They storm the Capitol every legislative session as grassroots lobbyists to advocate for their conservative beliefs, and are most definitely a force with which to be reckoned!

Their passion and energy for their cause is admirable, and their legislative day is always one I look forward to.


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