On Tuesday the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton began and, as your Senator, I hold my constitutional duty as a member of the Court of Impeachment in the highest regard and will continue to honor my oath. While I enjoy keeping you all updated and in the loop on what’s going on in the Capitol, in this unique situation, I am a juror and under a gag order that prohibits myself and my staff from discussing the specifics of the trial. Please do not be alarmed if you have reached out to my office with questions regarding the trial and have not received the responsiveness and engagement that you are used to, we are simply abiding by the gag order placed on the court. Of course, all comments are welcome, and my staff is happy to note them for me to read.
Last Friday, 774 new laws that Governor Abbott signed went into effect. My goal for this session was to pass strong, conservative legislation that ensures that the Texas Miracle lives on. Below are a couple of bills that I either authored or sponsored that are now effective in Texas.
HB 3162 restores life-affirming values in healthcare by amending the Texas Advance Directives Act to revise provisions related to life-sustaining treatment and DNR orders for patients who are incompetent or mentally/physically incapable of communication. Current law allows a Hospital committee to withdraw a patient’s basic life-sustaining treatment with a 10-day notice. This bill will extend the period to twenty-five days and provides for a seven-day notice, giving patients and their families more time to transfer to a different physician or facility that will respect their decision. It was an honor to work on this legislation with Representative Klick, Texas Right to Life, Texas Alliance for Life, and Texansfor Life Coalition.
SB 129, Caleb’s Law, upgrades the State’s outdated child pornography laws to reflect current technologies and criminal trends so that law enforcement and prosecutors can efficiently protect the most vulnerable in our society – our children. I filed this bill in honor of Caleb Diehl from Nocona, who was reported missing on April 1, 2015. After his disappearance, an investigation uncovered that Caleb was abused by his part-time employer who had prior allegations of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
SB 22 establishes a grant program to provide financial assistance to qualified sheriff’s departments and prosecutor’s offices in counties with a population of 300,000 or less. The grants can be used to increase salaries, hire additional staff, and to purchase equipment. The need for consistent quality law enforcement across the state is needed now more than ever due to President Biden’s refusal to secure the southern border. This has resulted in every county sheriff and prosecutor in Texas becoming a border sheriff or border prosecutor in addition to their normal duties. I’m proud that we could give these sheriffs and prosecutors the support and funding they deserve.
HB 33 prevents overreaching federal regulations on oil and gas production in Texas by ensuring state agencies can not contract with or assist federal agencies in enforcing regulations that do not exist under state law. Oil and gas play a massive role in the Texas economy and power our state as a reliable energy source. It’s important that we protect our industry from liberal Green New Deal policies.
HB 3137 prohibits local entities from requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance coverage for damages resulting from the use of a firearm. I believe these types of ordinances violate the 2nd amendment and infringe on a protected right under the U.S. Constitution by requiring a person to pay what is essentially a tax to exercise their rights.
HB 4758 criminally charges manufacturers who intentionally target minors with their marketing, advertising, and selling of e-cigarettes. These companies are preying on youth with packaging that looks identical to popular candy, flavored juice boxes, and other edible treats, which entices youth to consume these dangerous nicotine products.
Last week dove season began, and I was lucky enough to join my two sons for a successful first hunt. I look forward to the next hunt with my boys, and wish all my fellow hunters the best of luck this season!
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and my office if there is ever anything that I can help you with.