It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you for the last ten years. When I came to Austin I had three priorities. First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that Texas government was respectful of the taxpayer. Second, I wanted to ensure that the citizens, organizations, and institutions that make Denton County great had a strong voice and a strong advocate in the Legislature. Finally, I wanted to take on some larger problems and implement common sense solutions that would better the lives of all Texans long after I am gone.
I am very proud of my work on behalf of the taxpayer regarding the budget. I have served four terms on the Appropriations Committee that drafts the Texas budget. Taking into consideration population growth and inflation, General Revenue spending is actually 6 % less today than it was when I was first elected in 2000. During that same period we have reduced the property tax rate by 1/3.
I am also proud of my work on behalf of the citizens and institutions that make Denton such a great place to raise a family. I have fought hard to promote and advance the missions of the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University. I also believe in the mission of the Denton State Supported Living Center and I have worked with the parents and families of the residents to protect and improve resident’s quality of life.
As Vice-Chair of the Energy Resources Committee I know firsthand how important it is to balance our need for energy independence while at the same time protecting the environment. I have authored legislation that requires oil and gas operators to clean up equipment on the surface of the land, and landmark legislation that requires gas-drilling operators to disclose the chemicals used to produce gas from the Barnett Shale. I absolutely believe that we can produce the energy we need domestically, while protecting the environment.
Finally, I think it is important to take on the big issues that will have a long-term impact. In 2005, I passed legislation expanding the number of genetic disorders that newborn Texans are screened for. Since that time over 500 newborn Texans have been saved from debilitating disease and death as a result. I have also passed legislation creating a framework to allow for the underground injection and storage of CO2 that reduces our carbon emissions while helping to produce more Texas oil.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you for these past 12 years. Serving as your State Representative continues to be an honor and a privilege.
State Representative, District 64