My Legislative Agenda So Far

Every session, I try to keep my constituents and supporters informed about the bills I have filed.   Below are summaries of bills I have filed as of January 27th.  I will continue to update my website as I file additional legislation.  As always, if you have questions about my legislative agenda, please do not hesitate to contact my Capitol Office at (512) 463-0674.

HB 211 would make Texas the national leader in goals for renewable energy by setting our state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard at 35% generating capacity by the year 2020.  The bill also sets a minimum requirement for solar energy.

HB 213 would extend consumer protections for homeowners with mortgages outside the scope of federal regulation.  These new protections would give homeowners access to their mortgage account history, such as the current balance, including the principal due and non credited mortgage payments.  Also, the bill will give homeowners a point of contact for their mortgage account in order to answer questions and resolve disputes.

HB 352 would require the Supreme Court of Texas to describe the benefits and costs anticipated from a new rule proposal.  New rules can cost a substantial amount of money for the Texas court system and legal clients.  The Texas Supreme Court would make the cost benefit analysis available to the public for comment, and suggestions by citizens would be considered by the court.

HB 357 requires that transition services for students with disabilities start at age 14 instead of the federally required age of 16.  There is a high dropout rate for youth with disabilities. Waiting until age 16 increases the likelihood of the student dropping out of school.  The bill would require schools to designate a school transition and employment services coordinator.  The bill would also require the Texas Education Agency to develop and maintain a transition and employment manual for students enrolled in special education programs.

HB 437 would require manufacturers of antifreeze and engine coolant to include denatonium benzoate, a bitter flavoring agent, in their products to prevent poisoning.  Due to the sweet flavor and appealing color of antifreeze and coolant products, it attracts children and animals.

HB 642This bill would require school districts that already participate in the national school breakfast program, and where 80% of the students qualify for free or reduced breakfast, to offer free breakfast to the remaining students regardless of eligibility.

HB 643 would allow school districts, in which 50% or more of the students on a district campus are eligible for the national free or reduced-priced lunch program, to start and maintain a summer nutrition program for at least 30 weekdays during the summer.

HB 661 closes a loophole that allows payday lenders to operate without regulation.  Although regulations exist for such lenders, many use a loophole to operate as Credit Services Organizations (CSO) and charge interest in excess of 600%.  This bill would close the CSO loophole and require payday lenders to abide by the regulations already in statute.

HB 662 would give Travis County the authority to adopt buffer zones to protect against undesirable development in the immediate vicinity of neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, or certain other areas.

HB 683 clarifies that chief appraisers are to use a method of appraisal that takes into account the income of community housing development organizations (CHDOs) that exist solely to provide affordable housing to citizens.  In addition, the bill would allow CHDO homes to qualify for a 50% property tax exemption regardless of when the home was originally built or how old the property is before rehabilitation.

HB 885 improves pedestrian safety by allowing for the construction of pedestrian hybrid beacons, which have been proven to improve safety at crosswalks in other states as well as in pilot programs in Austin.