Don’t mess with Texas. This classic campaign against littering is about to get a boost by a proactive piece of legislation that I filed this morning. HB 2425 creates a beverage container recycling program that establishes a deposit of 5 to 10 cents (depending on container size) on covered aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers under a gallon. This recycling program will take waste off the sides of our highways and beaches, boost thousands of jobs and provide the state over $200 million dollars annually. It is a common-sense, pro-business and pro-environment bill that mimics similar programs in Iowa, Michigan, California and Oregon. Learn more about this initiative from my friends at Texans for Clean Water.
Animal Shelter Protection
Current Texas law allows veterinarians and shelter employees to provide necessary vaccines and life-saving medicine to animals under a so-called “owner exemption” provision. But a state agency wants to dramatically increase regulations and burdens on shelters, their employees and veterinarians by overturning this exemption. This would mean being unable to treat animals for basic health issues, from kennel cough to an open wound that may be causing them pain. I have filed House Bill 859 to make sure the status quo will allow shelters to continue providing necessary care to animals.
Eliminating the dual credit limit
Students in high schools in my district should have the same advantage as students attending Early College High Schools, which is why I have filed House Bill 505. My bill removes the current limit of two dual credit courses for high school students in Texas. (Dual credit courses allow students to receive both high school and college credit for the same course; currently, only students in Early College High Schools can take more than two dual credit courses during any given semester.) Allowing students to enroll in more than two dual credit courses per semester lets them work on a college degree while they are still in high school. This opportunity could save students and their families a significant amount of money toward college tuition.This week, my bill was voted out of the Public Education committee by a unanimous vote, and I am optimistic about its passage this session.
Update on Jumpolin
As many of you know, the magazine that had scheduled a launch party at the spot formerly occupied by the Jumpolin pinata store has filed a formal request to move their event, saying they were unaware of the circumstances surrounding the building’s demolition. The city of Austin is working with the party organizers to find a new location, and I applaud the local activists and Councilmember Pio Renteria for their quick action and commitment to resolving this issue.
At the state level, I am exploring legislation that will stiffen the penalties for property owners who are convicted of wrongful eviction. Property owners who commit such egregious acts should be faced with penalties that will make them think twice before they unlawfully evict another family from their place of business. I will join others in closely watching the lawsuit that the family has filed against the building owners. I want justice for Jumpolin.