In order to keep the citizens of Frisco informed we publish the information from Representatives and Senators in it’s entirety. It should not be viewed as an endorsement. We do our best to leave it in the format of their newsletter.
We are now once again in session in Austin! Every other year, in odd numbered years, the Texas Legislature meets for 140 consecutive days beginning on the 2nd Tuesday in January. With one month in the books, things are now heating up at the Capitol. Committees have been assigned in both the House and Senate and bills will now begin to move through the legislative process.
This past Tuesday, Governor Abbott identified five emergency items – border security, transportation, early education, higher education, and ethics reform – for expedited consideration by the Legislature. Throughout the 84th legislative session, I will be providing you with timely updates on the happenings around the State Capitol.
Your office in the State Capitol is now located in the Capitol Extension, E2.604. The first few weeks of session my staff and I have had the good fortune of meeting with many great Americans from Denton County. Please don’t hesitate to drop by anytime you are in Austin or to call us at (512) 463-0694 to set up an appointment.
One priority of mine during the beginning of the 84th legislative session is to meet with all new members of the Texas House. We have added 28 new members this session to our 150 member body. During these first few weeks, I have gone and met individually with nearly half the freshman class in their offices. I will continue to make an effort to get to know every newly-elected Representative and to forge strong and lasting relationships with them all.
Consulate General of Ireland
Ireland has recently opened a new consulate office in Austin and I had the extreme pleasure of sitting down with the newly appointed Consul General, Adrian Farrell. With this new office, Texas and Ireland will continue their close ties and encourage new businesses, trade and economic links between the two.
District 106 Intern Capitol Visit
Our office is blessed to have 11 fantastic student interns who help provide support for our district office and all of House District 106. These high school students were selected from over 100 applicants and traveled to Austin this past Wednesday to experience the political process and session firsthand. As a small token of my appreciation, I filed an honorary resolution (HR 466) for them and was privileged to read it aloud on the House Floor. The Interns also received a private tour of the Texas Capitol and were treated with a surprise visit from Denton County’s Republican Chair, Dianne Edmondson.
House Committee Assignments
For the 84th legislative session, I have been assigned to serve on the Elections and Special Purpose Districts Committees. I’m excited to get to work in these new capacities not only for House District 106 and Denton County, but also for the great state of Texas! You can view all committee assignments here.
Republican Caucus Policy Committee
I am pleased to announce that I have been re-elected to the House Republican Caucus Policy Committee. Of the 98 Republican members, only 12 are elected to serve on this committee. I’m honored to be able to provide sound policy recommendations on the many critical issues that will be addressed during session to my fellow Republican members.
Both chambers have released their versions of the budget. House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2 will now make their way through the budget process. Below you will find some preliminary numbers on these introduced budgets.
Comptroller’s Revenue Estimate
- $113 billion in funds available in general revenue spending
House Introduced Budget (HB 1)
- $98.8 billion (up 3.9% from ’14-’15 biennium)
- No appropriations from the Economic Stabilization (Rainy Day) fund
- ESF balance estimate of $11.1 billion at the end of 2017
Senate Introduced Budget (SB 2)
- $101.5 billion (up 6.6% from ’14-’15 biennium)
- Includes $4 billion in tax cuts
- Does not fund Public Integrity Unit or Racing Commission
Rest assured, I will fight to ensure that your hard earned tax dollars are being spent responsibly and that you see real tax relief.
After nearly eight hours of testimony, versions of Open Carry and Campus Carry have passed through the Senate State Affairs Committee. Senate Bill 17 (Open Carry) by Senator Craig Estes would let permit holders carry holstered handguns openly and Senate Bill 11 (Campus Carry) by Senator Brian Birdwell would allow concealed handguns to be carried on university campuses. These pro-2nd Amendment bills will now need to be passed by the full Senate before being sent over to the House for consideration.
State of the State & State of the Judiciary
On consecutive days this week, Governor Greg Abbott and Chief Justice Nathan Hecht addressed a joint session in the House Chamber. I’m looking forward to working with Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to implement the many conservative priorities that they have been championing.
Denton County Days
Denton County will be hosting its 15th biannual “Denton County” legislative days down in Austin. Constituents and businesses from the county will have the chance to meet with legislators and convey their priorities. I’m excited to host these attendees as well as show the rest of the legislature which county truly has the best constituents in the state!
Please know that you will always have a line into your offices in the district and at the Capitol. We work for you and we will never forget that. Please do not hesitate to call, write, email, or drop by to let myself and my staff know any thoughts, ideas or concerns. I strive every day to be a true servant-leader and value your input on the happenings across the state and in our area. Thanks so much and God Bless!
For Texas and Liberty,
Pat Fallon, Member
Texas House of Representatives
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