Here at the House – Progress on tax relief, veterans’ issues, and groundwater protection
By State Rep. John Cyrier
In my last legislative update, I wrote about a recently unveiled House tax cut plan that I co-authored to provide nearly $5 billion in tax relief to every individual and business in Texas. This past week, the House voted to approve the plan, which now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The House legislation would sla
sh the state’s sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent and reduce the state franchise tax, which is paid by small businesses and major employers alike. The independent Legislative Budget Board estimates that these tax savings would result in 72,300 new Texas jobs, grow personal income in Texas by $17.6 billion, and increase our state’s economy output by $21.7 billion by 2020.
This tax relief is made possible because the House’s budget, which was approved earlier this session, holds state spending well below the constitutional spending cap. However, we were still able to devote new state resources to areas that need them most, including more funding for public schools, transportation, and border security.
I am also pleased to report progress on several bills that I authored. Two of my bills on veterans’ issues are making good progress. The House voted to give final approval to HB 175, which creates a pilot program to offer a promising investigational medical procedure to veterans who are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. The Elections Committee has given approval to HB 2840, which ensures the right of military personnel to vote a full ballot when deployed. This bill now heads to the full House for consideration.
The Natural Resources Committee will likely consider action this week on two of my groundwater protection bills. HB 3163 protects volunteers who serve on groundwater conservation districts from personal lawsuits by those who disagree with board actions to protect local groundwater. HB 3116 gives another permitting tool to the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District in order to better protect local groundwater.
I can also report progress on HB 2521, which I joint-authored to direct more state revenue to counties for road maintenance. This bill has now been approved by the full House. The House also approved HB 3738, which I authored to replace federal oversight of equine infectious anemia testing with state oversight.
If you have questions for me about these, or any other legislation, please feel free to reach our office at (512) 463-0682 or email John.Cyrier@house.state.tx.us.
Rep. John Cyrier is serving his first term as State Representative for District 17, which includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, and Lee Counties.