Because of its low taxes and responsible spending, Texas is a beacon of economic prosperity and a model for the rest of the United States. We must ensure that we prioritize spending to focus on the true needs of our state — quality schools, transportation infrastructure, border security, and flood mitigation to name a few. We must incentivize state agencies and employees to look for efficiencies and ways to reduce or eliminate wasteful or unnecessary spending. Taxpayer dollars must be spent prudently on true public needs, not pet projects of politicians or special interest groups. I will work diligently to reduce the tax burden felt by Texas residents and businesses.
We must also ensure that Texas homeowners are not taxed out of their homes. While our conservative leaders in Austin made great progress with the property tax reform legislation that passed this last session, we must continue to reduce property taxes. I support property tax appraisal caps, an increase in the homestead exemption, and other measures to reduce the property tax burden. I also support transitioning away from property taxes as a source of government revenue.
I am a product of area public schools and have many public school educators in my family. I know how hard teachers work to impact the lives of our children, and we must ensure that these efforts are acknowledged and rewarded. Teachers should be free to make the best use of their talents without worrying about unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. I oppose high-stakes standardized testing and believe we should empower educators to teach in a manner that best meets the needs of their particular students without having to teach to a test.
While I strongly support our Texas public schools, I also fully believe that families, not government bureaucrats, are best positioned to decide what educational options are best for their children. We must protect the rights of Texas families to utilize private or home schools without interference from the government.
As a lifelong resident of the Houston area, I’ve seen too many of our neighbors devastated by flooding events. Flooding is a problem that affects all of us regardless of political affiliation, socio-economic status, race, etc. Unfortunately, many on the left are trying to inject political considerations into the allocation of flood mitigation funds. We must ensure that these dollars are spent wisely and projects prioritized based on demonstrated need.
The crisis on our southern border is not just a federal problem. The negative consequences of illegal immigration, including drug smuggling and human trafficking, impact our communities every day. I applaud the legislature for investing heavily in Department of Public Safety personnel working to keep our border secure. We must work hand in hand with federal officials to keep our communities safe. As a state representative, I will support legislation to ensure that local officials are required to cooperate with federal law enforcement in enforcing our immigration laws.
The left has become increasingly brazen in their anti-gun rhetoric, so much so that our incumbent state representative has spoken publicly praising the gun control policies of countries like Australia and Japan where individuals are effectively prohibited from owning guns. I will oppose any legislation that infringes on our 2nd Amendment rights.
I am strongly pro-life and have enthusiastically supported the bills passed by our legislature in recent years to defend innocent human life. I have also gone to Austin to formally register my support for pro-life legislation at the Capitol to ensure that our lawmakers knew these bills had widespread support from all over the state. I also strongly support legislation that encourages and promotes adoption.
Businesses can thrive only when government stays out of their way. Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation environment is a main reason why businesses continue to flock to Texas. Despite this, there is still room for improvement in our regulatory environment. There have been examples in recent years where overzealous state regulators abused their power, causing businesses to incur extraordinary legal bills to defend themselves. We must ensure that state agencies with regulatory authority take a compliance-focused approach, working amicably with the businesses they regulate to ensure compliance with state law and taking punitive measures only when warranted. Working Texans should also not be forced to deal with unnecessarily burdensome licensing and regulation simply to be able to provide for themselves and their families.
One of the biggest impediments to passing pro-taxpayer legislation at the Capitol is a professional lobby effort in Austin that is funded by local governmental entities with tax dollars. Not only do these taxpayer-funded lobbyists work against bills designed to protect taxpayers and reduce the power of government, but many also publicly attack our elected conservative leaders. While a bill to end the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying passed the Texas Senate during the most recent legislative session, the bill died in the Texas House (and our incumbent state representative voted against this bill). I support any measure to end taxpayer-funded lobbying in Texas.
Our shared values are under attack. Radical atheists are aggressively pushing to secularize every aspect of our life. We saw it with the attack on Chick-fil-A this past legislative session and we continue to see it with their attempts to take God out of the public square. Christian principles were the very foundation upon which our union was built. We must fight to preserve them and our First Amendment right to freedom of religion. We should all be able to practice our faith without the fear of persecution. In the Texas House, I will always stand firm in defense of religious freedom.