The Texas Tribune - Full video of the LBJ Library Future Forum's panel discussion, "The Future of Texas," featuring state Reps. Donna Howard, D-Austin, Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, and Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass. Tribune Editor Emily Ramshaw moderated.
Representative Davis talks about what she thinks we can expect this session, how optimistic she is about Governor Greg Abbott's leadership and more.
Bay Area The Citizen - Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) and Representative Gary Elkins (R-Houston) have filed legislation that would ban red light cameras. Senator Huffines and Representative Elkins are proud to join the tens of thousands of Texans who have voted against and petitioned for the removal of cameras all across Texas.
...Representative Elkins, who is the author of House Bill 1131, added: "From their inception, red light cameras have been wrong for Texas. These cameras are nothing more than taxation by citation. It's time that we exercise better judgment on safety and law enforcement."
Memorial Examiner - State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) has filed HB 1314 that will phase out Texas' Franchise Tax (also called the Margin Tax) over the next 10 years and provide significant tax relief for Texas business owners.
HB 1314 will lower the franchise tax rates to 0.9 percent and 0.45 percent in 2016, and then reduce them by 10 percent annually until they are phased out over 10 years. Most taxable entities currently pay 0.975 percent, while entities that primarily operate in retail or wholesale trade pay 0.4875. This will allow the state to wind down the tax in small increments, reducing the fiscal impact while at the same time allowing for the positive effects of economic growth and job creation.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - What happens in Texas stays in Texas. At least it should, according to a controversial bill filed by a state lawmaker. State Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy, has filed a proposal that requires government workers to release information sought under the Texas Public Information Act to Texans only. If a request comes in from out of state, the bill lets government workers decide whether they want to comply.
“I’m a big fan of open government,” said Schofield, who served for years as former Gov. Rick Perry’s policy adviser, working on issues ranging from public information requests to voter ID. “The purpose of Texas government is to serve Texans.
The Texas Tribune is coming to the Wortham Center to hold a free lunch event on Houston and the Legislature, previewing the just-started 84th Session.
The panel includes state Sen. Rodney Ellis and state Reps. Garnet Coleman, Jim Murphy, and Debbie Riddle, with the Tribune's Evan Smith moderating -- and time for audience Q&A.
Thursday, February 12
11:30am - 2pm
Wortham Center - Grand Foyer
Clear Lake Area Republicans announced that they will be hosting a Candidate Debate for Republican Party of Texas Chairman.
Wade Emmert, Tom Mechler, Robin Armstrong and Jared Woodfill will be participating with award winning radio host, Sam Malone as moderator.
The debate is scheduled for Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at the University of Houston - Clear Lake Bayou Building, Atrium 2. The program will start at 6:45 p.m. with the debate beginning at 7:00 p.m.
You will have the opportunity to have your opinion recorded though a straw poll ballot that will be distributed at the time of your $5 paid admittance.
All are welcome to attend, especially voters residing in Texas Senate Districts, 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 18.
Find out what Senate District you are in here: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/zip.aspx
For more information on the Clear Lake Area Republican PAC visit www.clearlakearearepublicans.com
KXAN Austin - Many parents look forward to the one weekend in August where they can save money on school supplies. Now, state leaders are looking to expand the state’s ‘Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday.’
Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) and Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) on Tuesday filed a bill that would increase the sales tax exemption from $100 to $200 and also include electronic devices like computers, tablets and e-readers.
“It’s time to bring the sales tax holiday into the 21st century,” said Ellis in a statement. “Texas needs to increase the sales tax holiday amount and add the electronic devices that our students regularly use to succeed in the classroom.”
Community Impact Newspaper - The University of Houston has taken preliminary measures to file a tuition revenue bond worth $60 million to fund the construction of a new campus in Katy.
Jason Smith, University of Houston’s vice president for governmental and community affairs, said the preliminary revenue bond request was filed Jan. 22, and the university has asked District 18 Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and District 132 Rep. Mike Schofield to file separate bills for the tuition revenue bond. Those bills are expected to be filed in February, Smith said.
Dennis Paul Newsletter - Due to the importance of transportation needs in Texas and specifically in district 129, House Bill 1081 would allow automobile sales taxes to be directed to the state highway fund.
The Spring Observer - This week, State Reps. Will Metcalf and Dan Huberty joint authored House Bill 552 to phase out and repeal the Franchise Tax.
“It is important to understand the devastating effects that the Franchise Tax has on small businesses throughout the state,” Metcalf said. “This tax can even be levied against a business operating with a net loss for the year. This is essentially a double tax for any small business with revenue of $1 million or higher.”