Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 14, 2013

Rep. Travis Clardy's Capitol update

Jacksonville Daily Progress

AUSTIN — With only fifteen days left in the regular session, the days are getting longer and hotter in Austin.

This week, both chambers were under a great deal of pressure to address the priority items of the session. Both the House and Senate vigorously debated several options to fund our vital water and transportation infrastructure projects. Debates went long into the night and there is still much to be done before sine die (the final day of the regular session). As I wrote in weeks prior, moving forward, we must ensure that our state can fulfill our basic needs and provide for future economic prosperity. Rather than raise taxes or take out more debt through bonds, we must use the money that we have in general revenue and the economic stabilization fund to meet our emergency needs. Even if it takes a special session, my colleagues and I will ensure that these challenges are met head on and addressed to the fullest extent possible.  

This week was especially notable because the House casted votes on a great majority of the bills that made it through the various committees and onto the floor just in time for a very key deadline in the legislative process. As of Thursday, according to the rules, the House can no longer vote on bills originating in the House. Due to this fact, the House will shift focus over to bills which have made their way over from the Senate. Likewise, the Senate will spend its time voting on proposals originating in the House. After that, the final stop is the Governor’s desk, where many legislators hope their law will officially become enacted.

In terms of our bills, House Bill 1302, “Justin’s Law,” which prohibits any person convicted of a violent sexual crime against a child from working at amusement parks or seeking jobs as taxi cab, bus, or limo drivers, was passed over to the Senate with unanimous support. This accomplishment echoes the law’s prior success in the Legis-latures of both Louisiana and Oklahoma and re-flects the resounding enthusiasm the bill has generated this session. Finally, this week’s news about Amanda Berry’s safe return to her family after ten horrifying years of captivity by a self-described sexual predator who worked as a school bus driver reminded me of the moral imperative we have to ensure the safety of our children through the laws we write and uphold. I am very proud of the progress we are making here in Texas on this very important issue.

Visit my official member page at: http://www.-house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=11 to view all the legislation we're working on and please reach out to my Capitol or District office to share your thoughts on the issues.