Submitted by Ken Paxton, State Senator
Jan. 8 was the first day of the 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature (the Legislature convenes for 140 days every other year in odd-numbered years). On that day, I was sworn in as State Senator for District 8. I am humbled and honored to continue serving you in Austin, now on the other side of the rotunda.
The first bill I have filed this session is Senate Bill (SB) 179, a measure to eliminate the corporate franchise tax by phasing it out by January 1, 2017. An economic analysis prepared by the Beacon Hill Institute shows that the elimination of the franchise tax will generate real economic growth as businesses will have over $9 billion to invest in new job creation and capital investments.
As our state’s economy grows due to job creation and capital investments, our state budget will quickly overcome any short term tax revenue loss. The elimination of this tax will keep Texas competitive and strong by allowing Texans to grow their own businesses and possibly attracting businesses from other states that have higher taxes.
Additionally this week, I have joint-authored SB 182 to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry a concealed handgun on public university campuses. Senator Brian Birdwell filed SB 182 to ensure that Texans’ constitutional right to bear arms will be protected on the campuses of our states’ universities. I will continue pursuing legislative opportunities to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans, particularly at a time when leaders at the federal level are seeking measures to limit this precious freedom.
To track either of these bills or any other legislation of interest, please visit http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Reports/BillsBy.aspx. On this site, individuals can search by bill number, author or sponsor, committee, subject, action, or legislation filed on a particular date.
You may also create a personal list of bills for tracking purposes and can even receive electronic notification when there are actions affecting particular legislation. You may receive e-mail notification when selected calendars, committee hearing notices or committee minutes are posted. These services are free of charge. To create a “My Texas Legislature Online” personal list, go to http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/MyTLO/Login/Register.aspx.
The Texas Legislative Council Document Distribution service distributes hard copies of bills and other documents, general information and legislative reference publications members. For more information on obtaining copies of any of these documents, visit their website at http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/.
Finally, vote information on bills is included in the Senate or House journal if a record vote is requested at the time the vote takes place, or if a member registers within a specified time limit to request that his or her vote is recorded in the journal. This allows constituents to keep track of how their legislators voted on a particular bill. For more information on tracking legislative votes, visit http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Help/findvoteinfo.aspx. To learn who represents you in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, visit http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ and enter your address.
I hope these resources will prove to be useful. I believe it is important for voters to know the issues being discussed and considered by their government, and I strongly believe that constituents have the right to know how their elected officials voted on any particular issue. I look forward to serving you in Austin, and, as always, I welcome your feedback during this time.
State Senator Ken Paxton is a McKinney native.