FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/18/2015
Legislation Allowing for the Sale of Fireworks on Texas Holidays and Enhancing Military Voting Overseas Signed by Governor
Austin, TX - As we near the June 21st deadline for Governor Greg Abbott to veto or sign legislation, State Representative James White has been grateful for the signing of three more additional bills that he authored or sponsored during the legislative session. House Bill 307 implements a study that will look into the benefits of implementing a pay-for-performance contract within certain criminal justice programs and services. "In this type of model, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice would evaluate looking at incorporating the innovation in the non-profit, faith-based, and for-profit sectors in the rehabilitation of criminal offenders," said Rep. White.
With the signing of HB 1150, Texans will now be able to purchase fireworks on three additional holidays. "Texas Independence Day and San Jacinto Day are two remarkable dates in the history of the State of Texas. The two dates celebrate the heroic actions of Texians who fought for their freedom and the establishment of the Republic of Texas. We are patriotic Americans who celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks each year; yet we are also proud Texans and must see to it that these two unique holidays are recognized just as much. Memorial Day on the other hand is another patriotic holiday that deserves to be recognized. This is the holiday that commemorates those who have fallen to protect our country. As Texans, it is our duty to honor the memory of all who have fought in the name of Liberty," said Rep. White.
Lastly, Governor Abbott has signed Senate Bill 1115, a bill that expands a pilot program Rep. White passed during the 83rd Legislative Session. HB 1129, the original legislation, authored by Rep. White in 2013, instructed the Secretary of State to implement a pilot program to allow overseas active duty military personnel, eligible for hostile fire pay, to cast a ballot by email during the 2014 election cycle. In an effort to collect more data, this session Rep. White filed HB 1646, the companion to Senator Campbell's SB 1115. "HB 1129 established a program in Bexar County that looked to enhance how our military in combat zones could exercise their right to vote. Without this legislation, our military men and women in a dangerous combat zones must have access to a printer, scissors, scotch tape or glue, and an envelope in order to assemble their ballot. The program seeks to alleviate this burden and with the expansion of the program in SB 1115, the Secretary of State will be able to create a simpler voting process. In addition, more counties will be able added to the program creating a bigger pool of data to study," said Rep. White.