This is the final stretch.
In some ways it seems impossible that we are now down to the last week of the 88th legislative session. But with Sine Die in sight, these last few days are the crucial moments on some monumental bills.
Last Friday, I voted for SB 17 which will put an end to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices at institutions of higher learning. Despite the misleading interpretation by many on the left, this effort will ensure that all students are evaluated on their academic rigor and intellectual inquiry, not on their race, sex, ethnicity or social, political or religious beliefs. These departments in universities across our state have grown out of control. SB 17 will put an end to these unfair practices.
On Monday I will vote for the third time on SB 12 to protect the innocence of children from shameless predators. This legislation restricts sexually oriented performances, or drag shows, in the presence of kids. Following that third reading, SB 12 should head to the Governor’s desk to stop these displays once and for all.
May 23 is the Senate bill deadline for all bills currently being considered by our chamber. We will be working extended hours once again to ensure that legislation is heard, debated and voted on before Tuesday night’s finish line.
SB3 for property tax relief was amended and passed by the House. This version of the legislation would combine the Senate and House efforts to relieve the pressure on all Texans with property. We incorporated the increase to the homestead exemption to $100,000 with our proposed 5 % tax appraisal annual cap. Along with the 15 cent school district tax compression rate, real savings would be passed along on property taxes. This bill prioritizes transparency and stability in the tax code. It is now in conference committee and I look forward to voting for the single largest property tax cut in the history of Texas.
The latter part of the week will include meetings by conference committees as the two chambers work to hammer out agreements. These final conference committee reports will then be voted on by our chamber. We will continue through the coming weekend to ensure substantive change on property taxes, the budget and school finances.
There is always more that can be done. It is the nature of our very existence. What I can say with confidence and conviction is that I worked hard every day we were in session for the people in House District 8 and all of Texas. Listening to my constituents is paramount and will continue to guide me in my decision making in the Texas Legislature. Thank you for your trust.
State Representative Cody Harris is in his third term representing House District 8 which covers Anderson County, Cherokee County, Navarro County and a portion of Henderson County. Harris is a Republican and resides in Palestine with his family.
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