Over 240 years ago, a group of farmers and lawyers published the Declaration of Independence, formally beginning the Revolutionary War against the most powerful empire on Earth. The ideals that drove those men and women to revolution; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; continue to drive us today. I hope you enjoyed a restful and reflective Independence Day with friends, family, and fireworks.
Last Periódico, I outlined the $250 billion biennial state budget that both Texas and Senate District 19 will benefit greatly from. Now that the period for the Governor to veto bills is over, we can officially see which bills have become law.
Of the 7,541 bills and resolutions filed across both chambers, 1,429 made it to the Governor’s desk. All of those became law except the 56 that were vetoed. I’m proud to say 34 bills and resolutions I authored and sponsored passed to law.
We gave authorization for Texas A&M – San Antonio to create a new fee for an athletics program. This authorization follows a student referendum approving this fee increase by an overwhelming majority. I worked side-by-side with Rep. Leo Pacheco on this important step for Texas A&M – San Antonio. Now it remains for the Texas A&M System Board of Regents to approve this fee; the school is hoping to have an athletics program beginning fall of 2020. I worked on another bill that impacts San Antonio: approval to sell the G. J. Sutton Building, east of downtown. This building has been closed for years, costing taxpayers $300,000 annually for upkeep and security. Legislative approval is required to sell state property–– I teamed up with Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins to give Texas General Land Office that authorization. The approval stipulates that the future property retains the Sutton namesake.
To assist public safety in the District, I passed a bill to authorize the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas to commission peace officers to better protect their reservations and enforce state laws. These officers would be subject to the standard requirements of all Texas peace officers. This will reduce the strain on local Maverick County law enforcement, who supported this legislation.
I sponsored a bill to administer transportation grants for rural counties who have experienced increased damage of roads and bridges. The damage is attributed in part to the volume of load-bearing commercial trucks working the oil fields in the area. The bill will modify grant requirements and establish a competitive bidding process to assist those counties rebuild infrastructure so Texas can continue to be a world leader in oil and gas production.
As part of an omnibus judicial reform bill, I fought to include a new judicial court for Medina County. Previously, the county was in the 38th Judicial District, composed of Medina, Real and Uvalde Counties. Now with the new 454th Judicial District composed solely of Medina County, both Districts will have better representation and ability to focus on fewer cases.
As an amendment to another bill, I added further protection for a customer who purchases a vehicle from a dealership that goes out of business. In those situations when the dealership failed to apply for the title prior to closing business, the customer is stuck with a title-less car. This bill provides a pathway for the customer to obtain the title directly from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Two additional bills: legislation to authorize the City of Pearsall to use money derived from their hotel occupancy taxes for economic development projects. Another codifies a local agreement between Edwards Aquifer Authority, Medina County, and Uvalde County to provide limitations for the groundwater conservation processes around the Edwards Aquifer.
This legislation, while varying in subject, shares one common thread: they benefit Senate District 19. From Pleasanton to Pecos, I try to represent the diverse District I represent and fight for policy issues important to everybody. Thank you for your support and for following along this Legislative Session.
PETE FLORES is a Republican Texas Senator representing Senate District 19. To contact Senator Flores, you may E-mail his office at district19.flores@senate. texas.gov. For daily updates, follow him on Facebook: SenatorPeteFlores and on Twitter: @PeteFlores_ TX.