AUSTIN, TX. – On Tuesday, HB 3222 authored by Rep. Springer, was heard and left pending in the House Committee on Environmental Regulations.
HB 3222 introduces population size as an additional factor to be considered when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality assesses penalties for political subdivisions of the state. Currently, a large city such as Houston can be assessed the same fine as small municipalities with fewer than 1,000 residents.
Penalties assessed for political subdivisions are funded through revenue from their local citizenry, so in reality, citizens of smaller cities and counties are forced to pay more on a per person basis than citizens of areas of higher populations.
“Like most Texans I believe it is important to have clean air and water in our state,” said Springer. “However, I do not think it is fair for the people of rural Texas to individually pay more per person because they happen to live in a less populated area of the state.”
In best practice, penalties assessed to entities by the TCEQ should act as a deterrent while additionally, as stated in TCEQ’s own philosophy, be based “on the law, common senses, good science and fiscal responsibility.” HB 3222 gives the TCEQ one more additional tool to ensure they are able to adhere to this.
Last Thursday Springer’s HB 3218, which would allow a concealed handgun license (CHL) holder to carry a concealed weapon essentially anywhere in the state was heard in the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety.
Since first allowing Texans to acquire a CHL in 1995, license holders have consistently proven their ability to be responsible with firearms. In fact , CHL holders have been statistically 16 times less likely to commit a crime than the general public, while peace officers are only 7 times less likely to commit crimes than the general public.
“If a criminal is going to do something harmful with a firearm, they are going to do so whether or not the law says a firearm may be used in that location,” said Springer. “Given the statistics on how responsible CHL holders are compared to the general population, it seems to me that laws in the penal code that restrict the presence of guns only apply to law abiding citizens.”
“The action of private citizens could be the difference between life and death for themselves and their family or friends,” Springer continued. “We will never be able to fully secure all areas of our lives or eliminate the use of deadly weapons by criminals. The goal should be to allow responsible adults to protect themselves, especially in the absence of peace officers or other authorities.”
Rep. Springer is always open to questions and suggestions for the session. Please feel free to contact his Capitol office by phone (512) 463- 0526 or by email Drew.Springer@house.state.tx.us at any time for more information.
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