Updates from YOUR Texas Senate - Don Huffines for Texas Senate

  

Updates from YOUR Texas Senate

The Texas Legislature is picking up the pace, and that’s especially true in your Texas Senate, where I am honored to represent the north half of Dallas County! I’m excited to update you on the progress of bills to protect students and taxpayers in Dallas County, to end the “vehicle inspection tax,” and to define the priorities of state government for the next two years.

 

The Texas Legislature is picking up the pace, and that’s especially true in your Texas Senate, where I am honored to represent the north half of Dallas County! I’m excited to update you on the progress of bills to protect students and taxpayers in Dallas County, to end the “vehicle inspection tax,” and to define the priorities of state government for the next two years.  

Senate Bill 1122 - Abolishing Dallas County Schools

"This is about unaccountable bureaucracy gone wild. It's that simple.” - Edwin Flores, Dallas ISD Trustee - April 11, 2017
Dallas County Schools (DCS) is a rogue central bureaucracy that doesn’t hire teachers or educate students. It does levy a property tax on every homeowner and business in Dallas County, and it carries $70 million in taxpayer supported debt! The entity’s track record is appalling. Their busses have run more than 480 red lights in recent years. They are chronically late, causing students to miss school. And with a sweeping financial corruption scandal that continues to develop, they are clearly a rip-off for taxpayers. My Senate Bill 1122, which is also authored by Senators Van Taylor & Bob Hall, was heard in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday of this week. Read this Dallas Morning News report on the hearing and the bill. Dallas ISD, the biggest “customer” of DCS, is in support of Senate Bill 1122, which makes the end of DCS a much more likely outcome. The bill will protect the best interests of students, taxpayers, and schools by creating a thoughtful and orderly wind-down of DCS. I look forward to passing this bill out of the committee, and then voting it out of the Senate on its way to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature!

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Senate Bill 1588 - Ending the “Vehicle Inspection Tax”

Multiple studies and real-world data confirm that so-called “safety” inspections do nothing to make our roads safer. The federal government stopped requiring state-mandated inspections in 1976, and 34 states do not impose this worthless mandate on drivers. It’s just a tax on your time and money, and it’s time for it to end. My Senate Bill 1588 will end the “vehicle inspection tax,” saving Texas drivers $130 million per year and returning more than 9 million hours of time (our most precious resource). The bill was heard in committee this Tuesday, and AAA Texas as well as the auto insurance industry both testified that so-called “safety” inspections have no positive impact on road safety. I’m optimistic that the bill has more than enough votes to clear the Senate, pass the House, and reach Governor Abbott’s desk. 

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Senate Bill 1 - The State Budget

Per our state constitution, the Texas Legislature is only required to pass one bill: a biennial budget. The Senate’s budget passed our chamber 31-0. It establishes conservative priorities and prudent, limited spending for state government. Here are some highlights:  
  • As passed by the Senate, the budget is fiscally responsible, prioritizes border security, and places an emphasis on protecting the children of Texas.

  • Senate Bill 1 allocates $106.3 billion for the fiscal year 2018-2019, and reduces spending by 0.5% from the previous fiscal year!

  • The bill also: 

    • Allocates $2.6 billion for student enrollment growth

    • Provides $3.4 billion for Child Protective Services

    • Dedicates $5 billion to transportation funds

    • Maintains $800 million for border security

    • Supplies $25 million for high caliber bullet proof vests for police officers

Senate budget leaders are currently in negotiations with the House to finalize the budget. As we continue to finalize the budget, I will work to make sure that state government limits spending, remains fiscally responsible, and draws conservative priorities like funding for border security. 

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With only approximately six weeks left, we’re nearing the closing stretches of the 85th Texas Legislature. I’m honored to represent you and serve you in the Texas Legislature, and I’m so pleased to report that priorities for Dallas - like honoring law enforcement, advancing fiscal responsibility, and protecting kids - are making great progress through the legislative process. 

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