Sine Die – Legislative Update
By John Cyrier
I write to you from the Texas Capitol in Austin with just days remaining before the legislature adjourns. Since January, we have been working to address many important issues, and I am pleased to report good progress.
In January, Governor Abbott presented the legislature with four emergency items. These include reforming Child Protective Services, ending ??
?sanctuary” laws among local governments in Texas, strengthening state ethics laws, and resolving to join a constitutional convention (if one were to be called) to curtail the growth of the federal government.
Last week, the House gave final approval to Senate Bill 11, which begins to move the state to a “community based” care model for foster care. This will keep more children in their home communities and enlist the help and resources of non-profit and faith-based groups. This will increase the state’s ability to care for neglected and abused children, so that we put an end to foster children sleeping in hotels and state offices due to a lack of foster homes. The legislation also improves the medical care of children in the care of the state. This is one of the most important issues we faced this session and I am very glad the bill is headed to the Governor’s desk.
We took action to end sanctuary cities in Texas. Sanctuary laws are local policies that prohibit law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration laws or cooperating with federal immigration authorities. As a result of these laws, criminals have been returned to the streets and immigration laws have not been uniformly applied across Texas. By ending sanctuary laws, we will ensure the fair and uniform application of existing federal immigration laws, and make sure that criminal offenders are removed from our streets.
The legislature approved the State’s participation in a convention of the states to address the growth of the federal government, with the end goal of returning more power to the states as was intended by the founders. We are also addressing ethics reform legislation. We have already passed laws to improve transparency and additional bills to strengthen ethics laws are eligible for action this week.
I am also pleased to report that our office was successful in advancing legislation that affects our district. I passed nine pieces of legislation through the Texas House and added a tenth to another piece of legislation as an amendment. Most of these are being heard in the senate. I am also sponsoring four senate bills currently in the house.
For much of this legislative session, I have had the honor to preside over the house chamber at the dais. During one of those times, certain members within the house sought to derail the work of the people through a process called “chubbing,” which is similar to a filibuster in the senate. These members were made aware that some of the legislation they were stopping through their chubbing included experimental treatments for chronic patients and cancer research. In a touching moment, the house came together to put differences aside and pass these important bills. Our communities sent us to Austin to solve problems and get things done. As we enter the final days of the legislature, I hope this common devotion to the people of Texas will conclude our time in Austin on a positive and productive note.
Rep. John Cyrier is a Republican member of the Texas House representing Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, and Lee counties.