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Senate Republicans Work Through the Weekend To Hear Important Legislation on Behalf of Texans

July 22, 2017

Senate Republicans continue their work to pass Governor Abbott’s conservative legislative agenda

AUSTIN – Texas Senate Republicans continued their work to pass Governor Abbott’s complete conservative special session legislative agenda by hearing multiple bills today. The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, the Select Committee on Government Reform, and the Finance Committee address pro-life issues, limiting the growth in property tax bills, and fighting for Texas teachers.

In the Senate Finance Committee, members heard important legislation to address teacher pay raises, as well as solutions to the rising costs of insurance in the teacher retirement system. “Our teachers deserve a raise for their invaluable service to our state. There is no more important investment we can make in education,” Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), and former sixth grade teacher said. “As a former teacher and a mother and sister of teachers, I understand this is a labor of love, but we can and should do a better job of retaining our teachers and attracting the best and brightest to education. There is no profession that will have a more significant impact on the success of our state!”

The Select Committee on Government Reform took testimony from regular taxpayers who came from all across the state, as far as the panhandle, to testify about the pressing need for property tax reform and relief in Texas. Committee Chair Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) opened the hearing stating, “It’s all about the Taxpayers and that is what our focus will be on!” Data shows that Texas has the unfortunate distinction of having the fifth highest property tax burden in the United States. Testimony before the committee was roughly two to one in favor of property tax relief. Texas Senate Republican Caucus Treasurer Van Taylor (R-Plano) added, “The purpose of government is to protect our God given rights, not to tax us out of our home.” Chair Bettencourt added, “We are talking about you setting priorities, just like every Texas family and every Texas business has to do!”

The Committee on Business and Commerce heard important pro-life legislation, Senate Bill 8, by Caucus Vice-Chair Creighton (R-Conroe) and protecting private property rights for Texans, as filed in Senate Bill 12, by Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway). Committee Chairman Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) stated, “Private property ownership and the right to life itself are two of the most foundational liberties established and protected by our Constitution. We appreciate everyone who testified before the committee today on these important issues.”

“Texans can continue to trust that their elected representatives in the Texas Senate will continue to hear and vote on the conservative proposals set forth by Governor Abbott in a timely fashion,” Caucus Chair Bettencourt concluded.

Committee hearings resume on Sunday, with the Senate Committee on State Affairs, the Senate Select Committee on Government Reform, the Senate Education Committee, and the Senate Business and Commerce Committee all scheduled to take public testimony.

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Here are three important minutes that illustrate how essential Senate Bill 3 is for teachers in Texas.

Listen to these brave, hard-working and caring teachers tell their heartbreaking stories of working multiple jobs and getting squeezed financially by rising healthcare and living costs. It is past time we give these teachers relief. Your Republican Senators are committed to making sure we "Love on those who love on our kids," as Senator Nelson said.

The Committee voted to send SB 3, Across-the-Board Pay Raise for Teachers, to the full Texas Senate, where it passed unanimously and was sent to the House. Let Texans know that the Texas Republican Senate Caucus stands with our teachers!
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Senator Kolkhorst said it best, "Any baby born in Texas is going to be respected as a human being. Where Washington D.C. has been unclear, we're going to be very clear. Texans stand united for life."

Let all Texans know the Texas Republican Senate Caucus stands for SB23 - the Texas Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
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