Muenster, TX - "There has been a lot of talk about the major accomplishments of the 86th legislature, and rightly so," said Rep. Drew Springer. "We passed real school finance reform with real property tax relief without the threat of a court order for the first time in modern history. We are lowering school property taxes by an average 8 percent in 2020 and 13 percent in 2021, and yet still increasing the state's share of education funding from 38% to 45%. An additional $9 billion in public education funding is being provided for pay raises for teachers and increased school safety, among other things. The legislature did all this and more and still passed a conservative and balanced budget that maintains a healthy balance in the state's Rainy Day Fund to help us with any potential future disasters."
Rep. Springer added, "Protecting the interests of House District 68 on statewide issues is a main portion of the job. Over and above that responsibility, much of the reason you have a state representative elected locally is to handle local issues at the state level."
Some of the highlights for HD 68 from the 86th Session include:
HB 463: A constituent of HD 68 once received an air ambulance bill for over $50,000 despite having an air ambulance membership. Many residents in rural Texas have air ambulance memberships which cover the cost of a flight should one be needed for them and their families. However, as the constituent found out, many of these memberships do not make it clear that an air ambulance from a different provider may be dispatched leaving a person who needed this emergency service with a hefty bill. HB 463 will require air ambulance companies that operate a subscription program to enter into reciprocity agreements with other air ambulance companies in the region that also operate a subscription program by 2020.
HB 4347: A funding mechanism to build the Medal of Honor Host City Museum on the Gainesville campus of the North Central Texas College is included in HB 4347. Rep. Springer stated, "This is something that I have been diligently working toward for two sessions. This museum will be a lasting tribute to our nation's greatest heroes and will educate and inspire visitors for generations to come. My staff and I will continue to follow through on the administrative steps now necessary to start on the physical construction, but the hardest hurdle - finding the funding - has been cleared."
HB 3542: Rep. Springer explained, "No one in Texas should live without clean and available water. In HD 68, the communities of Perrin and Sunset (and many others across rural Texas) have been dealing with substandard water and sewer utilities for years." HB 3542 helps fix the problem by creating minimum safety triggers, allowing state agencies to offer help and assistance to these sole providers of water in thousands of communities across the state before they become impossible to fix.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished for the citizens of Texas, especially the citizens of HD 68, during this legislative session. I authored or helped pass over a dozen bills that solve specific problems for HD 68. I look forward to continuing to represent our district's rural values by authoring and advocating for common sense, efficient legislation," stated Rep. Springer.