(This is the first of a two-part series.)
A special forum hosted by Cooke County Young Republicans allowed House District 68 Rep. Drew Springer [R-Muenster] to provide updates on his legislative actions since January.
Springer authored or co-authored more than 120 bills during regular and special sessions of the 83 Legislature, some of them minor and some of them related to agriculture and land and resource management on a statewide basis.
The representative’s territory spans 21 counties and some 20,000 square miles, and he said he joined two special committees in helping draft laws.
“We protected a lot of things, more than we did create new items,” Springer said Saturday. “There were a few folks who tried to come in and change agriculture.”
Springer also said Saturday that some of his new bills specialize in setting boundaries for large Texas cities such as Austin, Houston and San Antonio, whose municipalities, he said, tend to set laws that become trends followed by smaller towns.
“Cities cannot act like their own states,” he said. “We’ve got all these individual freedoms and we’ve got to protect those. If we start letting every city act like its own state, they’ll pass a lot of stuff and we’ll end up looking like California or New York and we’ll have all these problems.”
A full list of Springer’s bills are available at www.legis.state.tx.us. Some of his proposed House of Representative and Texas Senate bills are provided below. (Courtesy of the Texas Legislature website.)
HB 2514 — Gives school districts in rural areas the more flexibility with their school start date. Many schools in rural areas have struggled with the late school start date because it significantly shortens the classroom time in the fall, a time very important to agriculture and the rural way of life.
HB 2516 — Ensures that fines collected for burn violations be returned to the county of offense to be distributed by the commissioner's court to local volunteer fire departments. This will keep the money collected local and ensure it is being used for the purpose most believe it is intended to go to.
HB 2517 — Requires citizens to give notification before starting a controlled burn. This will save fire departments valuable time and resources by eliminating redundant trips when people call in smoke. If the department knows a fire is authorized in the area, they are able to tell without making a physical trip to the location.
HB 2518 — Eliminates an unfunded mandate on counties by lowering the minimum compensation for jurors to the amount of funding the state provides. This will supposedly save counties $6 per juror, per day, a sum that will add up over time.
HB 2519 — Takes away an unfunded mandate on counties by changing the requirement of establishing a library to an option of establishing one.
HB 2521 — Allows a local economic development committee to develop plans that positively impact the middle class in a civic area while still allowing for low-income housing development.
HB 2522 — Changes the Historically Underutilized Business program to reflect the shifting demographics in the State of Texas. This bill will level the playing field for all businesses, regardless of the race of the owner, to compete for state contracts.
HB 698 — Makes it easier for citizens in rural areas to receive their concealed handgun licenses by requiring the Department of Public Safety to establish an alternative method of fingerprinting for citizens that live more than 25 miles from an authorized provider.
HB 1568 — Eliminates the healthcare funding for any school districts that offer insurance or other benefits to a person not a district employee or a spouse or child of a district employee.
(This is the first of a two-part series.)
- Local News
GISD teachers thank school board at meeting
Gainesville Independent School District (GISD) teachers rallied at the Monday school board meeting to thank the board for the recent GISD district extra duty pay given out at the first of December.
NCTC honors graduates at commencement ceremonies
North Central Texas College hosted two commencement ceremonies last week to honor the Fall 2013 graduates.
Additional candidates file before deadline
Local candidates in the March 2014 election assembled on the Cooke County Courthouse steps recently for a group photo. Pictured, left to right, are Carroll Johnson, Lee Tatum, John Morris, Aaron Smith, Vince Rippy, Jason Brinkley, Byron Berry, Neil Trice, Leon Klement. Front: Patty Brennan, Rebecca Lawson, Susan Hughes, Dorthy Lewis. Not pictured is B.C. Lemons.
Icy weather forces changes during NCTC finals week
North Central Texas College officials dealt with the county’s recent winter weather by rescheduling semester finals and managing campus walkways, but an expected freeze during this coming week should pose fewer problems.
Chamber guests donate food for VISTO
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce held its holiday mixer at Fuzzy's Taco. The restaurant provided nachos for the event. In addition, mixer guests were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for VISTO's food pantry. Pictured above are Shari Kuykendall, Kelly Corbett, Mary Jo Graham, Rhonda Beam and Renea Stephens. Fuzzy's patrons can still donate to the food drive.
NCTC president is also a talented artist
A bronze bull dog named Sadie Mae is one of several works of art created by North Central Texas College President Dr. Eddie Hadlock. The busy college president makes time in his schedule to enjoy art.
Abigail's Arms agents talk to Lions Club about new program
A recent Gainesville Lions Club meeting included a program about a community initiative to help sexual assault victims.
Fatality reported near Love County
LOVE COUNTY, OKLA. — Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported a pedestrian fatality that followed a one-car collision Monday evening on State Highway 32.
Combs announces allocations for December
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported Wednesday that state sales tax revenue in November was $2.41 billion, up 2.8 percent compared to November 2012.
Morris seeks re-election
Incumbent County Court-at-Law Judge John Morris has opted for an additional term in 2014, following a long history of local service.
- More Local News Headlines
- GISD teachers thank school board at meeting