Texas Legislative Session Issue Update: Election Reform

Dear Friend:

Each week for the next couple of months I’m going to report to you on important progress made during this legislative session.  This week the update will focus on election reforms, including “Voter ID”, that were passed by the House and Senate.  This session I was proud to serve on the House Committee on Elections; we tackled some very important issues and passed bills that I truly believe will help preserve the integrity of our election process in Texas.  The following is a list of just a few of the bills that were passed that address election integrity and process:

SB 14 – The “Voter ID” bill, which I was proud to co-author, requires that an individual show their photo identification prior to voting.  This bill ensures that law-abiding citizens’ votes are not cancelled out by those voting illegally and truly helps prevent major fraud in our election process that has been happening for years.

HB 174 – This common sense legislation, which I also co-authored, requires that the Secretary of State cancel the voter registration and eligibility to vote for deceased persons and those that are not citizens of the United States.

HB 360 – This bill requires that when a local taxing entity holds an election to approve the imposition, increase, or reduction of a tax or issuance of bonds, the ballot language must clearly state the dollar amount of bonds to be issued or the amount of the tax or tax rate increase being proposed and any projects to be supported by the bonds.  Current law allows a local taxing entity to write proposed ballot language for a proposition in a way that obscures the intended use for the additional funding, and this bill will help fix this ambiguity.

HB 2449 – This legislation makes it illegal to obtain another person’s ballot to be voted by mail.  There is currently a shameful practice being conducted in Texas called “vote harvesting”, whereby individuals collect mail-in ballots and sell them to the highest bidder in elections.  It’s a despicable practice that must be stopped.  HB 2449 strengthens laws to penalize those engaged in vote harvesting.

I look forward to continuing to serve on the Committee on Elections throughout the coming interim. Over the next year and a half, we will conduct hearings and consider additional election related reforms in preparation for the next legislative session in 2013.  It is a pleasure to serve you in the Texas Legislature.

Thank you,

Phil King
State Representative

NOTE: The bills on this list have passed both chambers of the legislature, but may still not have been signed by the Governor

4 responses

  1. HB 360 sounds great. Thank you.
    But, do you realize the Weatherford Municipal Utility Board has found a way around this.
    The WMUB has contracted with Johnson Control’s Engineering to conduct surveys of “problems” within the utility system and recomend the needed soulutions. Johnson Controls can provide the management of the needed fix and will find financing without having to have a bond elections. This could be upwards of $50+ million dollars over the next several years.
    Yes, I understand the difference between C Os and G Os.
    The problem is, this seems to be being used as a way of getting around getting the approval of the taxpayers/ratepayers in obligating them for massive utility rate increses.
    I feel some rules are needed for this specific concern in reference to municipal utilities, which operate mostly out of sight because of the lack of knowledge of how municipal utilities operate by the public. Weatherford’s MUB is a good example, the public is inconvienced and not able to attend WMUB meeting because they are held in the working day for most of thier ratepayer/taxpayers.

  2. Senator Blutarsky

    The mother of all the remaining bad Public Private Partnership (PPP) bills, SB 1048, passed Wednesday 114 – 30. This bill will allow the government to privatize virtually every kind of TX public infrastructure except roads and charge user fees or lease payments for the public to use public buildings: schools, hospitals, nursing homes, water supply facilities, ports, libraries, etc.

    Texas is for sale and our politicians apparently come cheap. Not a whimper of debate and no questions asked as they took the vote.

    The Good Guys who voted AGAINST SB 1048 are:

    Charles Anderson; Jimmie Aycock; Dwayne Bohac; Erwin Cain; Bill Callegari; Stefani Carter; Wayne Christian; Tom Craddick; Gary Elkins; Dan Flynn; John Frullo; Lance Gooden; Kelly Hancock; Will Hartnett; Dan Huberty; Bryan Hughes; Jason Isaac; Lois Kolkhorst; Jim Landtroop; George Lavender; Jodie Laubenberg; Tyron Lewis; Jerry Madden; Sid Miller; Tan Parker; Ken Paxton; Charles Perry; David Simpson; Randy Weber; Bill Zedler

    We see whose side King is on……………..

    1. Thanks Blutarsky for doing your home work!

  3. Senator Blutarsky

    Here is another where King knifed us in the back !

    A sleeper bill, SB 875, threatens property rights by granting entities immunity from public nuisance & trespassing laws designed to protect landowners. Rep. Dennis Bonnen added a destructive amendment in the House that prevents landowners, ranchers, farmers…ANYONE from protecting their land from pollution! This includes water pollution as a result of fracking.

    According to David Weinberg of the League of Conservation Voters, “This amendment changes the Civil Practice and Remedies Code to apply to all nuisance actions, brought by individuals and the government. The amendment gives immunity to any polluter in a suit for nuisance or trespass, if the polluter proves its conduct was authorized by federal or state permit. The Bonnen Amendment takes away individuals, farmers, ranchers, businesses, and local governments’ right to protect their property from pollution.”

    With “con-servatives” like this, who needs liberals!

%d bloggers like this: