In less than 90 days in the 87th Texas Legislative Session, Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado, tabled bill to improve the protection of peace officers and tighten some existing penalties for retaliation against peace officers.
Brad Buckley, R-Salado
House Bill 2366, tabled on February 26, according to Legislative acts, would provide criminal penalties for the use of fireworks against peace officers and increase penalties for using laser pointers against peace officers, Buckley’s office said in a message with release.
“Protecting Texans’ right to peaceful assembly is of paramount importance to our representative democracy,” Buckley said in the press release. “However, the use of fireworks and laser pointers against law enforcement officers puts them at risk, as does any other congregation who wishes to do so in a legal and peaceful manner. I will continue to support law enforcement officers who have the resources and guidelines to protect our communities. “
Buckley’s bill would make these acts a third degree felony if they harm an officer and a first degree felony if they cause grievous bodily harm to an officer.
The bill also describes the unlawful use of fireworks as an explosion or ignition of the fireworks with the intent to interfere with the official duty of a law enforcement officer or to flee from someone who the “actor” knows is a law enforcement officer who is trying to lawfully arrest or detain the “actor”.
In support of the bill, Governor Greg Abbott said, “Representative Buckley’s bill will increase penalties for these crimes and help keep law enforcement agencies safe. I encourage lawmakers to pass this much-needed protection. “
Since the 87th legislative session began in January, Buckley, who represents the 54th District that covers Killeen, part of Bell County and all of Lampasas County, has drafted nine bills and co-authored five other state capital’s website.
Among the bills he has drafted is House Bill 125, which relates to state aid to local governments disproportionately affected by the property tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans.
In 2019, Buckley met one of his goals of increasing reimbursement for affected communities.
As part of the grants committee, he helped raise funds for the current reimbursement program by $ 13 million. The 2020-2021 budget provides $ 20 million (up from $ 6.25 million) over a two-year period to reimburse eligible cities and counties.
The Homestead Exemption for Disabled Veterans was passed in 2009 during the 81st Legislative Session, which found that veterans who have been granted 100% disability status by the Department of Veterans Affairs are exempt from paying property taxes.
During the 82nd legislative session in 2011, Texan lawmakers added surviving spouses of qualified disabled veterans who have passed away as those who qualify for the exemption.
The exemption allows disabled veterans not to pay property taxes, which in Killeen and other towns within the towns has an impact on tax revenue used to fund the local police force, school and various town departments.
The current law provides that only counties with all or part of a military facility and communities immediately adjacent to the facility are eligible for reimbursement.
This means that Killeen and Copperas Cove will qualify as they are immediately adjacent to Fort Hood, but Harker Heights and Nolanville are not currently.
According to voting papers at Texas Legislature Online, Texas House has not voted on bills since January.
Aside from the election of the President of the House on January 12th, the adoption of budgetary decisions for the January 13th session and the rules for the January 14th session, the House has given itself permission to sit five times for more than three days postpone, show voting documents.
Bills from Shine and Slawson
Representatives Hugh Shine, R-Temple, and Shelby Slawson, R-Stephenville, also wrote and co-authored a handful of invoices.
Shine represents District 55, which covers the rest of Bell County that Buckley does not, including small portions of northern Killeen and all of Fort Hood.
Hugh Shine, R Temple
During this term, Shine drafted 22 bills and four proposals to amend the constitution.
Shine added that all of his bills are a priority for him.
Of the 22 legislatures Shine has drafted, more than a dozen relate to property tax initiatives, including House Bill 988: “Regarding a property owner’s power to bring a lawsuit to compel a district, chief appraiser, or appraisal panel Meet the procedural requirement that applies to an Ad Valorem tax protest. “
This bill is to be publicly negotiated on Monday.
Shine is on two committees at that meeting, he said in a press release on Friday. He is a member of the Business and Industry Committee, which focuses on manufacturing, wages, and corporate regulation, and oversees the Workforce Commission and Worker’s Compensation.
He is also part of the Ways & Means Committee, which focuses on government revenues, overseeing local taxes, general tax issues and fees, central valuation districts that administer the property tax system, and the State Comptroller’s office.
Shine also co-authored two bills, including one to fund public schools.
“I am a co-author of House Bill 1246 for our public schools funding to fund public schools for total enrollments rather than average daily attendance,” Shine said.
Slawson represents District 59, which includes eight counties, including all of Coryell County.
Shelby Slawson, R-Stephenville
So far in this session she has drafted three bills and two proposals to amend the constitution. She has committed herself to drafting two more invoices.
Slawson’s bills relate to citizenship and voter registration, as well as banning abortions after a child’s heartbeat is detected.
She is the author of a constitutional amendment to limit the amount of time a person can serve in Texas law or as a nationally elected officer in the executive branch to 12 consecutive years.
One bill at Texas House that has received a lot of attention lately is Bill 3, introduced on February 24th by Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock. It was read for the first time on Monday.
Burrows told the Texas Tribune that “the proposal can serve as a starting point for lawmakers to determine what the state’s response should be in the event of another pandemic.”
Opponents of the law said it would give the governor too much power, including the power to command private property, in the event of a pandemic.
Texas GOP chairman Allen West told supporters House Bill 3 “should affect us all,” the Tribune reported.
The sweeping bill would “reaffirm the governor’s ability to suspend state laws and require local jurisdictions to obtain foreign ministerial approval before changing voting procedures, including during a pandemic,” the bleachers report said.
Shine said Friday that the bill has met with strong opposition from both Members of the House and voters in his district since its inception.
“I think there is a lot of concern among the members of the emergency department being granted to the governor and I think this could be a bill to start a discussion, but without a Senate attendant, I’m not sure how important this is bill is really, “said Shine.
He added that a House bill generally needs a similar Senate bill to be successful, and vice versa.
“As we speak, there is no attendant in the Senate,” Shine said on Friday.
Buckley emailed a brief statement on House Bill 3 on Friday.
It said: “HB 3 will be heatedly discussed on the floor of the house in the next few weeks. The draft law aims to codify emergency statements made during a pandemic. I intend to press ahead with reforms that will ensure that the voice of the people is heard and that lawmakers have a role to play in the critical decisions that must be made during a crisis. “