Legislative Update

March 20, 2017

Dear constituents, friends and citizens of Texas,

March 10th was the last day to file bills in the Texas House of Representatives. Committee assignments have been announced and bills are being heard in committees.  In order to advance the bills I have filed, it is important to work with fellow legislators in our effort to improve Fort Bend County and Texas.

The Texas Legislature will be reviewing a wide variety of topics this session.  Just a few of the issues I expect for us to address: proposals to reduce property taxes, reform Child Protective Services and the foster care system, revisions in public school testing and accountability programs, as well as the regulations and fees associated with handguns.

Legislative Bills

I am proud to highlight some of my legislative agenda below.  For more information, please click the active links, ad as always, I am happy to answer any questions or discuss concerns you may have.

HJR 39 - Applying to the Congress of the United States to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution for the limited purpose of proposing one or more amendments to the constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and to limit the terms of office of federal officials and members of Congress.

HB 271 - Relating to the establishment of the Veterans Recovery Pilot Program to provide certain veterans with hyperbaric oxygen treatment

HB 483 - Relating to the compensatory time and overtime pay for commissioned officers of the Department of Public Safety.

HB 868 - Relating to an allotment under the foundation school program for students with dyslexia or related disorders.

HB 931 - Relating to liability of certain electric utilities that allow certain uses of land that the electric utility owns, occupies, or leases.

HB 1105 - Relating to granting certain municipalities authority to adopt development regulations around certain military facilities; creating a criminal offense.

HB 2335 - Relating to requiring training in trauma-based care for certain child-care workers and child protective services caseworkers.

HB 2557 - Relating to the development of certain local government transportation infrastructure projects.

HB 2609 - Relating to the penalty for certain family violence committed in the presence of a child.

Committee Assignments

House committee assignments and subcommittee assignments were made in February.  It is an honor to have been selected to be on Appropriations and Human Services committees. I am working with Chairman Zerwas (Appropriations) and Chairman Raymond (Human Services) this session. Both of these committees are instrumental in the affairs of the state, as Appropriations sets the state biennium budget (2018-2019) and Human Services has the great task of reforming the Department of Family Services and thus Child Protective Services. I was also selected as the Vice Chairman for the Subcommittee on Articles I, IV, V. These articles cover general government, the judiciary department, public safety and criminal justice. These are all hot button issues as we move forward to improve the state of Texas this 85th session.
Thus far my time in session has been spent in the House Appropriations Committee and the Human Services Committee.

House Appropriations Committee

The House Appropriations Committee is one of the most influential committees in the Texas legislature. We are Constitutionally responsible for setting the state’s balanced budget for the next two years, and it is a team effort to get everyone together and moving forward toward this goal. My personal goal to make sure that throughout this budgetary process, we as a state continue to be fiscally responsible while still funding the essential pieces of our government and providing opportunities for and taking care of Texans.

The House Appropriations Committee is broken down into four subcommittees each with a Chairman and Vice Chair. I have been appointed to serve as Vice Chairman of the subcommittee that deals directly with Articles I, IV and V.

House Human Services Committee

Thus far bills dealing with the Child Protective Services (CPS) and the foster care system have dominated the discussions in the Human Services Committee.  Key components which our efforts are heavily focused include reducing worker turnover by increasing salaries and providing better training for staff, increasing the state's foster care capacity, as well as reducing barriers to adoptions.

It is an honor to serve you in the Texas House!

Very best,
Rick Miller