December 1, 2023

The Texas House Makes a Mockery of Representative Governance

The Texas House is preparing to pull the rip-cord on the latest (4th) special session this year, after being gaveled-in for basically one day.

So far, Governor Abbott has called four 30-day special sessions, and, over those four months, the vast majority of Texas House Legislators have only labored for approximately one full work-week. Each special session is set to last 30 days at a cost to taxpayers of about $1 million per session.

*The special session called for Texas to be on a pathway to elimination of property taxes. Only $7B was applied to rate compression, which is far less than the $20-$30B that would have been required to put us on a path to elimination of locally-collected School M&O. As well, much of the property tax relief (approx $5B) was in the form of increased homestead exemptions, which will only provide temporary relief.

Texas Taxpayers should be aware that nearly all the topics of the special session represent issues the Senate passed in the regular session, but the House failed to address (or even consider in committee). After no less than four-month-long special sessions, the Texas House Leadership continually proves itself incapable of addressing even a small sampling of the profound issues that face Texas.  

What Texans expect from their State Representatives:

  • 40 hour work weeks
  • 160 hours per special session
  • 640 hours over 4 special sessions

What we actually got for our $4 million over 4 months:

  • 39 hours

Instead of what the Governor and each of us expected them to address, our Texas House Representatives collected their per diem while campaigning in their districts.

While there are many questions we as taxpayers should be asking, given that we are just months from the Republican Primary, perhaps the most important is: Who can be held accountable for this utter mismanagement?

The answer is simple: Speaker Dade Phelan and every single Represenative who voted for him and operates within his web of influence.

Last session, only three Republicans in the Texas House voted against “Drunk Dade”, even after Phelan had made it crystal clear he would continue putting Democrats in charge of powerful committees. Not only did Phelan give radical Democrats control of 8 committees, he gave Democrats the majority of seats on the Business and Industry Committee.

During the regular session last May, Phelan decided to use the final days to satisfy his own vendetta against Attorney General Paxton, allowing crucial legislation to die on the vine. Also in May, Phelan used his power as Speaker to sustain a Democrat effort to kill landmark border legislation (HB20) that would have created a permanent Texas Border Force and required the state to recognize the invasion as an illegal act, allowing the new Force to repel illegals, finally ensuring that Texas would secure its own border after a two-year invasion of nearly nine million illegals.

This past special session, while many had hoped that House Republicans would resurrect HB20, they instead chose to only enact a provision that makes illegal entry a criminal offense. Although this is a positive development, Texans need to understand that this was proposed almost a year ago by multiple legislators in the 88th Regular session.

Phelan, however, allowed all of these measures to die in committee.

To add insult to injury, the Texas House refused until the very last special session to take up any of the Senate bills that would have dealt with Colony Ridge (north of Houston), ostensibly the largest illegal settlement in Texas. In 2017, our Representative Lynn Stucky voted to create the Municipal Management District (MMD) for Colony Ridge.

In the time that Phelan squandered from the start of the regular session to now, well over 1.2 million illegals have crossed into Texas, and the newly passed criminal offense law does not go into effect until March, 2024

Texans were also counting on our Legislators to fight for Texas kids. Rather than having a real debate on public school funding vs school choice, our Texas House Leadership once again showed that they are completely unserious about solutions. Rather than going back to the drawing board after the proposed compromise was gutted, Phelan has now officially signaled that the 4th Special is, for all practical purposes, over.

Wherever you live in Texas, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Am I getting my money’s worth out of all these special sessions?
  2. Is my Representative a “Dade Phelan” lieutenant?

If you live in House District 64, you should note that your Representative vocally supported Phelan (his leadership and results), voted twice for Phelan, took over $100K last primary, and voted to impeach Attorney General Paxton. In fact, of all of the members of the Texas House, Lynn Stucky was among three who received the largest contributions from Phelan leading up to the March 2022 Republican Primary.

As your representative for Wise and Denton County, I will answer to you and not to House leadership. I will stand for our conservative principles, even if I stand alone. And yet with the December 11th candidate filing deadline looming, there are even now scores of Republicans running against House incumbents across Texas.

Their mission is the same as mine – to rescue the Texas House from Dade Phelan and his gang, and to tenaciously fight for our conservative agenda and to halt the slow slide of Texas toward the globalist and Marxist agenda. Even if we conservatives only win a handful of seats across the state, we will have the makings of a new House Freedom Caucus that will hold leadership accountable to the people.

On March 5, we have a very real opportunity to save the Texas House. Talk to your family, your friends, and your neighbors, and tell them that now is the time to stand up for our district and for Texas.