After leaving the U.S. Army, I became a Spanish professor in Fort Worth. Our district has a unique interest in public education. More than 50,000 students attend the University of Texas at Arlington. Many more constituents are current or retired educators. Make no doubt, inspiring our younger generation through our public schools is a fundamental role of government. While educating our children, we must not adopt a one-size approach, recognizing the needs of each individual child. Our schools need to be challenging, and students should be prepared for college or the workforce at the time of graduation.

During the 86th Legislature, we passed landmark school finance reform. HB 3 provides $3.6 billion for reducing Robinhood recapture, $2 billion for dynamic teacher pay – including mandatory pay raises for every Texas teacher, $4.5 billion for public schools by increasing the state share of education funding, and included more than $5 billion in property tax relief.

We also passed a huge bill for the future of the Teacher’s Retirement System. Not only is the pension fund once again actuarially sound, but the Legislature also funded a one-time 13th check for retirees and ensured healthcare premiums do not rise.

Property Taxes

During the 86th Legislative Session we took steps toward cutting property taxes and provided transparency in the process. Through the Texas Property Tax Reform & Transparency Act of 2019, we implemented mandatory election triggers if taxes are raised by more than 3.5%. Transparency measures were also put in place so property owners know where taxes are going, how much they are being raised, and who is to blame when they are raised. Additionally, $5 billion was allocated for relief. The average homeowner should see a tax cut in both 2020 and 2021.

Though the work we did was incredibly meaningful for the taxpayer, legislators have even more work to do in the future. Eventually, we should abolish the property tax system and replace it with another funding mechanism.

Border Security

Immigration and border security are federal responsibilities. That said, when the federal government fails to act, we must step in as a state. I spent years in U.S. Air Force engaged in counter-drug missions aimed at stopping the tide of illicit drugs from south of the border. Border security is national security, and the safety of Texans is of the utmost importance. I co-authored the bill to ban sanctuary cities in Texas. I will do everything possible to support the law moving forward.

Texas Economy

The Texas economy consistently ranks first in the nation. In Texas, we reward business owners, investors, employees, and families due to low taxes, little regulation, and overall economic opportunity. I am against increased regulation that stifles competition and tax or fee increases for Texans. Key priorities like education, transportation, and border security must be adequately funded, and should be matched with reforms and cuts in lower priority areas.

Sanctity of Life

As a God-fearing conservative, there is no duty more important than protecting innocent life. While we often take steps in the right direction, Texas is still outside the top 10 on lists looking at defense of life. I look forward to the day when abortion ceases to exist in Texas, the United States, and around the world.

2nd Amendment Rights

As a combat veteran and CHL holder, I stand ready to defend against any attempts to step on your 2nd Amendment rights. I have co-authored legislation to implement open carry, campus carry, and fee reduction for CHL licensing, all of which passed. I have also been a co-author of constitutional carry legislation and will continue to work toward its passage in the future.