• July 23, 2019

Landgraf: Texas Legislature delivers - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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Landgraf: Texas Legislature delivers

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, June 16, 2019 4:00 am

The Texas Legislature has only one issue they must address during the legislative session: adopt a balanced state budget. Everything else - enacting, revising, and repealing the state’s laws - is just a plus. I am pleased to report that we got the crucial items done right this session and I am writing this to inform you how that affects us in West Texas.

First, House Bill 1 ensured we were able to complete our one constitutionally-mandated requirement and adopt a two-year state budget that is balanced and fiscally responsible. As a true believer in fiscal conservatism, this is a bill of which I am proud to have co-authored and one that I know will help keep the Texas Miracle going for another two years.

HB 1 will go a long way in ensuring that the vital communities and institutions of West Texas stay stronger than ever, including UT-Permian Basin, Odessa College and the Texas Tech medical school. Higher education investment in the Permian is key to this state’s economy, which I thank the legislature for recognizing and acting upon it.

In sync with HB 1, Senate Bill 2 ensures no taxes are raised or created. I believe this is necessary as it is the lack of government intervention and low taxes that helped us start the Texas Miracle in the first place. Furthermore, I co-authored House Joint Resolution 38, authored by Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano), which forever eliminates the possibility of a state income tax. This is a measure I could not be more proud to be a part of.

To round out the most crucial items passed into law this session, House Bill 3, our landmark property tax reform and school finance bill, will undoubtedly create the most good out of any bill.

HB 3 cuts down on “Robin Hood” and will reenergize our Texas public schools by putting more money directly into the classroom for student benefit, increasing the state’s share of education funding to lessen the burden on property owners, altering school finance formulas to reduce recapture, and providing dynamic teacher compensation in order to promote teacher quality.

The reduction of the Robin Hood recapture scheme and lowering property taxes in the Permian Basin will prove vital our local economy and livelihood. No longer will we be sending huge sums of money to other school districts in Texas and with property tax relief, it will no longer feel like we are just renting our land from the government.

God bless Texas!

Odessa, TX

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