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LANDGRAF: Great expectations for 2020 - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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LANDGRAF: Great expectations for 2020

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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2020 2:30 am

A year from now the 87th Texas Legislature will be in session. Texas is one of only four states that hold session every other year. Unlike the other three states, Nevada, Montana and North Dakota, Texas maintains this limited government approach while also supporting a huge population of over 28 million and a massive economy that would be the 10th largest in the world if Texas were its own country.

Part of the reason this is possible is because, in Texas, we measure twice and cut once. While the Texas Legislature is not in session, committees meet to take time to drill down on issues, learn from experts, vet possible solutions, and, most importantly, listen to the thoughts and concerns of the people of Texas. Members also take the time to research and vet specific policy proposals of their own.

I have the honor of serving as the Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee. I'm also a member of the House Business & Industry Committee and the House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety. These committees have jurisdiction over various issues such as matters pertaining to commercial motor vehicles, Texas highways, manufacturing, industrial safety, and policies to reduce mass violence--all relevant topics to the residents of Andrews, Ector, Ward and Winker counties.

Ultimately, each committee will issue a report to the legislature with their recommendations and findings after hearings are concluded. Many of these recommendations will turn into widely supported bills in 2021.

Due to the billions of dollars of state oil and gas production tax revenue that has come from the Permian Basin in recent years and the current uncertainty surrounding the Middle East, our corner of Texas is getting an awful lot more attention these days than in the past. And that is a good thing!

Passing the GROW Texas Fund legislation is my top priority for 2021. The legislation, which would have set aside a portion of oil and gas production tax revenue to be reinvested in the infrastructure of energy producing regions of the state, was widely supported by members of the Texas House in 2019. I believe we can build on that momentum and strike while the iron is hot to pass the GROW Texas Fund next session.

Additionally, I will once again work to reduce or completely repeal Robin Hood recapture and high-stakes testing in our public schools. And of course, I will be working closely with colleagues on ways to reduce mass violence in Texas while preserving constitutional due process and protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans.

I am excited to work my tail off in 2020 to give us the best chance of success across all of these areas in 2021 and beyond.

God bless Texas!

Odessa, TX

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