By Kelly Young

AUSTIN – State Rep. Chuck Hopson learned this week what committees he will be serving on during the new biennium.

Hopson will be reprising the same roles he took in the previous session, by serving on the Appropriations Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Redistricting Committee.

Hopson was quite pleased to learn of his appointments.

“Being assigned to the Appropriations Committee is so important to East Texas because I can make sure that we have a voice in the Legislature,” Hopson said. “It will mean that the leadership will hear about the things that are important to East Texas, and it will mean help for the parks this time, too.”

According to Hopson, the Appropriations Committee has already been active, working late into the night Wednesday. The committee is busy reviewing the spending for all of the state’s various agencies to determine what needs each department has and what funding they are requesting.

So far this session, Hopson’s office has filed nine bills, while working on several more. Bills filed thus far include House Bill 727, which would allow motorcyclists older than 21 years of age to not wear a helmet; HB726, which would repeal informal marriage in Texas; and HB529, which would assist law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty receive medical benefits.

Hopson is authoring two bills (HB2205 and HB4500) that he hopes will help lessen the burden suffered by property owners.

“I introduced legislation that would increase the Homestead Exemption for homeowners from $15,000 to $45,000. Hopefully, this will help give the taxpayers some needed tax relief,” he said.

Two years ago, legislation was passed which required cosmetology businesses and barber shops to use an autoclave to sterilize their equipment. According to Hopson, his office is currently working on a bill which would remove the autoclave requirement, as long as, another method of sterilization is used to sanitize the equipment.

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