This week has been an exciting one in Austin. On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott was inaugurated as the 48th governor of Texas, along with our new Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick. It was an honor to attend the swearing in ceremony for Governors Abbott and Patrick, and I am looking forward to working with both of them on the important conservative agenda that lies ahead for this session.
This week also saw the unveiling of the first draft of the budget. This is the most significant legislation that the we will debate this session and the only bill that the Legislature is constitutionally required to pass. This version of the budget is simply the starting point for the budgeting process; members of the Legislature will vigorously debate its components and make countless changes between now and the day we pass the final budget.
Some of the highlights from the budget include increased funding for public schools to keep up with enrollment growth and an additional $400 million for increased border security where the federal government has failed to deliver. The budget also ends diversions from gas tax revenues in order to fund road construction and maintenance, returning the gas tax to its original purpose.
The proposed budget affects many other important policy areas. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me to discuss this process.
This week, I filed legislation that, if passed, would create two sales tax holidays for firearms and hunting supplies. The holidays would be on the weekend before the opening of dove season and the weekend before the opening of deer season. These holidays will provide some tax relief for the more than 1.2 million licensed hunters in Texas while encouraging economic development in many rural areas. The bill will promote outdoor conservation and help to pass our proud tradition of hunting down to future generations.
As always, if there is legislation that you have questions or comments about, please do not hesitate to contact me at 512-463-0556.