FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/15/2016
Representative Keough Kicks off 85th Session by Filing First Bills
Austin TX, — As the 85th legislative session gets underway, Representative Keough filed his first 11 pieces of legislation, which he expects to present during the upcoming session. Included in the prefilled legislation were House Bills 44, 72, 85, 99, 113, 121, 125, 205, and 288, along with House Joint Resolution 17 and House Concurrent Resolution 26.
"House Bill 44 addresses the property tax system by cutting in half the current homestead appraisal cap to 5% and expanding it to all properties in Texas. Under the current 10% cap, home appraisals have been jumping to unimaginable levels causing people to be taxed out of their homes. My bill would reduce the cap to a more manageable level, and extend that protection to all property types, not just the homesteaded ones. House Joint Resolution 17 will propose a Constitutional amendment to make permanent the new lower cap, which voters would have to approve in November 2017."
"House Bill 85 would require voters to elect a Chief Appraiser for the local appraisal district, changing the current selection of that position from local taxing entities to the general public. This bill would bring much needed transparency and accountability to a public office, where currently, the public has little say. In keeping with the promises made to my constituents when I returned from the 84th legislative session, I will continue to work daily on appraisal system reforms. House Bill 85 is a step towards making our appraisal system more accountable to the property owners at large."
"House Bill 99 would make it a crime in Texas for a law enforcement officer to enforce any federal law or executive orders that violate the 2nd amendment rights of Texas' citizens. Everyday our citizens face new legislation and executive orders from Washington D.C. that at any given time could adversely affect their rights to keep and bear arms. House Bill 99 would ensure that Texas law enforcement officers who are sworn to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and Texas continue to uphold their oath. This bill would punish those who choose to illegally enforce a law or executive order that by its very existence is a violation of the Constitutional protections afforded to all Texas gun owners."
"House Bill 113 would repeal the current transportation code that allows for the operation and use of red light cameras at intersections throughout Texas. Many municipalities did not follow current laws when they entered into contracts with various out of state companies to put up these devices. Additionally, the devices have not produced evidence of reducing traffic accidents, or red light offenders, but instead have consequently increased accidents at intersections where the devices are present. Because of this, and the fact that these devices are in their very nature a violation of many Texas drivers constitutional rights, I am proposing that the devices become ineligible for use throughout Texas."
"House Bill 121 would ensure that anyone who received a civil citation from a city for a traffic infraction related to a red light camera, be afforded their ability to renew their vehicles registration tags. Currently, many Tax Assessor Collectors throughout the state withhold registration renewals for motorists who have civil fines related to red light cameras. The civil fines are not monies owed to the State of Texas or to the County who receive the revenue from your vehicle registration. As a result, withholding someones registration is adversely affecting the State and Counties revenue stream for road and bridge maintenance all so a civil fine owed to a municipality could be collected. HB 121 would require the Tax Assessor Collector to issue registration regardless of civil penalties owed."
"House Bill 125 would amend the current structure of how a Judge could appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem for family law cases. This bill would make it easier for judges to exercise appropriate judgment when making decisions about cases pending before them."
"House Bill 288 would change the way Texans early vote by reducing the early voting period from two weeks to just one week. Currently, elections in Texas have an early voting period which last two weeks, and costs our local governments millions of dollars to administer. While voting is an encouraged right, I believe a one week early voting period would still allow ample time for a citizen to vote, while cutting costs for those who have to pay for multiple elections per year."
To read the specific legislation, visit www.legis.state.tx.us, or for more information, contact Representative Keough’s Capitol office at (512)463-0797.
Representaitve Mark J. Keough represents Texas House District 15, which encompases the southern portion of Montgomery County which includes Shenandoah, Oak Ridge North, The Woodlands, and Rayford Road Communites.