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Protests at Texas Capitol against SB 4, Sanctuary Cities Ban.

Protests happening today, March 15, 2017…

Protesters gathering in the star rotunda at the State Capitol showing their support for immigrants and dislike of Senate Bill 4

Watch video here…

Texas House approves ban on texting while driving, again

By: Sean Collins Walsh – American Statesman

Once again, the Texas House has given preliminary approval to a statewide ban on texting while driving. And once again, it faces an uphill battle to become law.

Preventing Texas motorists from using their cell phones behind the wheel has been a priority of state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, since 2009.

In a 113-32 vote, the House on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to Craddick’s House Bill 62. It faces an uncertain future in the Senate because of opposition from conservatives who see the ban as a way to limit drivers’ freedom.

Craddick pitched the bill as a commonsense public safety measure. “It’s the major cause of accidents and deaths in this country and in this state,” he said.

The bill would assess a $99 fine on first-time offenders and a $200 fine on repeat offenses.

Craddick’s three previous attempts have been defeated in various ways. Last session, the bill passed the House but did not have enough support to come up for a vote in the Senate. In 2011, it passed both chambers only to be vetoed by then-Gov. Rick Perry.

Forty-six states have banned texting while driving, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Using a cell phone while driving is also banned in Austin, among other Texas cities.

Texas Senate Sends Transgender Bill To House

By: Chuck Lindell
American Statesman

After a second day of sharp disagreement and impassioned debate, the Texas Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to the transgender bathroom bill, sending it to an uncertain reception in the House, where Speaker Joe Straus has said he isn’t a fan and prefers to address other priorities.

The 21-10 vote was unchanged from Tuesday’s initial vote on Senate Bill 6.

Prior to the vote, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — the bill’s leading advocate — said during a radio interview that fellow Republican Straus appears to be ignoring the will of Texas voters.

“I think the speaker is out of touch with the voters,” Patrick said on KLIF in Dallas. “This is an issue that people, supporters, constituents, voters want.”

Future of the Texas Rainy Day Fund

A closer look at the Economic Stabilization Fund shows that it was originally structured from tax revenue set-asides during years of high commodity prices. Crude oil and natural gas production taxes have contributed more than 85 percent of its revenue over time. The strength of the fund contributes to Texas’ AAA credit rating, resulting in lower interest rates on bonds for Texas taxpayers.

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

The state’s constitution sets the maximum balance of the ESF for each biennium at no more than 10 percent of general revenue funds deposited in the preceding biennium. The current cap is $16.2 billion. In 2014, a constitutional amendment redirecting a portion of oil and gas revenue to the State Highway Fund also required an unspecified floor, set prior to each session by a select committee tasked with taking into account the state’s needs and credit rating. This floor, or the sufficient funds balance, is currently set at $7 billion.

As of today, the ESF’s total balance sits at about $11.9 billion.

Appropriations from the fund can be made for the following reasons:

  • If the Texas Comptroller certifies that General Revenue appropriations exceed the GR funds available for the current biennium, the Legislature can tap the fund to cover the budget gap with a three-fifths vote of members present in each chamber;
  • If the Comptroller certifies that anticipated revenues for the succeeding biennium will be less than revenues available in the current biennium, the Legislature can use the ESF to make up the difference with a three-fifths vote of members present in each chamber; and
  • The Legislature can appropriate ESF funds at any time and for any purpose with a two-thirds vote of members present in each chamber.

Since 1990, the fund has been tapped to the tune of $10.6 billion for various purposes including water projects, disaster relief, public education, economic development, and health & human services. Of these various appropriations, only twice, in 2003 and 2011, were funds used to close a budget gap. In 2013, the legislature appropriated $2 billion to support water projects and $1.8 billion to pay the Texas Education Agency for a delayed installment. Neither of these would constitute an emergency or “unforeseen shortfalls.”

Approved by voters in 2014, changes to the funding formula for the ESF now direct up to half of previous revenue streams to the State Highway Fund. In concert with the oil and gas markets leveling off, the balance of the fund relative to the state budget will inevitably shrink. Although oil and gas production severance taxes have increased, the ESF received approximately $600 million less in revenue than the previous year.

Because the ESF does not rely on a stable revenue source, the prudent course would be to safeguard the fund for true emergencies, like natural disasters, one-time appropriations to repay debt, or conversion of government pensions to a defined
contribution system.

With recent budget spotlights on university “special items” funding and non-essential spending on corporate welfare (i.e., The Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and others), finding savings in the current budget in order to preserve the ESF is not just conservative, it’s common sense.

MAY 24TH PRIMARY RUN-OFF INFORMATION

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MARCH 24th, 2016 PRIMARY RUNOFF CANDIDATE INFO &
Important Election Dates

Last Day to Register to Vote

Monday, April 25, 2016
First Day of Early Voting Monday, May 16, 2016
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Friday, May 13, 2016

(NEW LAW: 11th day before election day; regular ABBM and FPCA)

Last Day of Early Voting Friday, May 20, 2016
Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, May 24, 2016 (election day) at 7:00 p.m. (unless overseas deadline applies)
FOR MORE VOTING INFORMATION VISIT:
Texas Secretary of State – Elections Division
VoteTexas.gov
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES IN MAY 24th RUN-OFF ELECTION:
Click on each candidate to view websites…

RAILROAD COMMISSIONER
>Gary Gates
>Wayne Christian

JUDGE, COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS, PLACE 2
>Ray Wheless
>Mary Lou Keel


JUDGE, COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS, PLACE 5
>Scott Walker
>Brent Webster


MEMBER, STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 9
>Mary Lou Bruner
>Keven Ellis


STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 1
>David Simpson
>Bryan Hughes


FEBRUARY 1st TEXAS SENATE DISTRICT 1 ON YOU TUBE

debate3Texas Senate District 1 Debate
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2016
Co-Hosted by:
East Texans For Liberty and
We The People-Longview Tea Party
Candidates Scheduled:
Bryan Hughes, David Simpson, and Mike Lee

James K. “Red” Brown declined to attend our debate when called to re-confirm.

PART ONE:

PART TWO:

WATCH: HOUSE DISTRICT 7 DEBATE TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2015

CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO

TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 7 DEBATE
Hosted by:
We The People-Longview Tea Party

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2016
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

CANDIDATES SCHEDULED:

MR. DAVID WATTS
www.WattsForTexas.org

david watts pic
MR. JAY DEAN
www.JayDeanForTexas.com

JAY DEAN.jpg

MARCH 1, 2016 PRIMARY ELECTIONS

vote

LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE IS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2016.  CLICK HERE for Voter Registration Form.
EARLY VOTING:  February 16th to 26th
LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR A MAIL-IN BALLOT:  February 19th
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY:  March 1st

WHO IS ON THE BALLOT:  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES
GREGG COUNTY ELECTION DAY VOTING LOCATIONS

GREGG COUNTY EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS HAVE NOT YET BEEN POSTED

Everything you need to know about voting:
www.VoteTexas.gov

Mike Lee Joins Race For Texas Senate District 1

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Press Release December 11, 2015

Mike Lee, retired Navy Hovercraft Pilot, announced that he has filed to become a candidate for Texas Senate District 1. A twenty-year veteran of the United States Navy, Mike served in many capacities during his tenure. Whether serving as a Navy Drill instructor training recruits, a naval corrections officer or in his final assignment as one of twelve Hovercraft (LCAC) pilots in the world, Mike cites his time in the military as an educational and motivating period of his life. “I served at the deck plate level, boots on the ground. If a mistake was made, people died! Mistakes weren’t an option.” Mike goes on to say,” I learned a great deal about effective leadership and saw first hand what happens when the upper brass brings politics into their decision-making. At the deck plate level, we made decisions with no nonsense.” Mike and his wife Tracy own and operate Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City, Texas. They openly admit that Mike spends most of his time traveling northeast Texas speaking in support of family values and our Constitution at his own expense. “I do this on my own time with my own funds because I am committed to the success of East Texas and its people.”

Mike cites his reasons for running, “I’m just a normal guy who understands the values and needs of East Texas families. I am honest in business, in life, and in politics. I put the welfare of others before my own. I did it in the military and I continue to do it now. I think they call that integrity!” He continues, “I was asked to run by many people who feel that the status quo is no longer satisfactory. If you keep voting in the same people, you keep getting the same political results. My supporters and I are tired of mediocre politicians and their mediocre results.”

When asked to comment, Tracy states, “If elected, Mike’s accomplishments in the military and successes as a business owner will bring fresh leadership and a no nonsense approach of getting things done in Austin. The people of East Texas will see things happen, not just hope for it.”


(Mike Lee along with Bryan Hughes, David Simpson and James K. “Red” Brown have all been confirmed to attend the debate co-hosted by We The People-Longview Tea Party and East Texans for Liberty on Monday February 1, 2016.)


Texas House District 7 Candidates

JAY DEANJAY DEAN
www.JayDeanForTexas.com
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READ ABOUT JAY DEAN HERE…

david watts picDAVID WATTS
www.DavidWattsForTexas.org
david watts

READ ABOUT DAVID WATTS HERE…