• February 19, 2019

GUEST VIEW: Gov. Abbott’s clear vision for Texas - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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GUEST VIEW: Gov. Abbott’s clear vision for Texas

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties.

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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 3:00 am

Texas is strong. Texas added more jobs than any other state in 2018. One out of every seven new jobs in the U.S. were created in Texas. And thanks in large part to the efforts of the hard-working folks of the Permian Basin, Texas exports more than any other state, making up 20% of all U.S. exports.

But we can be stronger. Governor Greg Abbott said as much in his State of the State address on Tuesday, and I want to pass along some of the key points. Governor Abbott laid out his priorities for my colleagues and me to tackle during the current legislative session.

The Texas Legislature takes limited government seriously. Not only does the legislature meet for only five months every two years, it also does not vote on any bills for the first two months of session, with one caveat.

During the first sixty days of a legislative session the legislature can only vote on a measure if it has been deemed an emergency item by the governor. This means the legislature’s main focus, simply because of time, must always be first on passing a balanced budget, and second on addressing the governor’s emergency items.

Among the emergency items laid out by Governor Abbott on Tuesday are school finance reform, increased teacher pay, increased school safety, and property tax reform. I applaud the governor for tackling these significant issues, and I am proud to say we have already started the hard work to accomplish these goals in the Texas House of Representatives.

Already this session, I have filed House Bills 708, 711, and 712 which all seek to amend, reduce, or outright repeal robin hood recapture, allowing school districts to keep their tax dollars to educate their students how they see fit. I am also committed to reforming property taxes in a way that makes sense for Texans.

There is much work to be done this session to help Texas run up the score. I look forward to working with Governor Abbott, along with my colleagues in the House and Senate to address these emergency items and pass a conservative, balanced state budget this session.

For Texas to be strong and remain strong it needs a strong backbone. That backbone is the Permian Basin, which supplies the state with more than half of all tax revenue collected on oil and gas production. As the Permian goes, so goes Texas. You can rest assured this fact is never lost on me.

Thank you for your trust and prayers.

God bless Texas!

Odessa, TX

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