Jobs and the Economy
In these challenging economic times, we need business leaders who understand that jobs and opportunity come from the private sector – not government. Van has been a successful businessman at Churchill Capital, a firm focused on real estate finance. He also serves as a board member and Vice Chairman of Texas Gulf Bancshares leading one of the most financially sound banks in Texas. Texas Gulf Bancshares employes over 100 people and hasn’t taken a dime of bailout money. Van believes that to create jobs, we must unleash entrepreneurs and reduce excessive regulation, burdensome taxation, and abusive litigation.
Van believes that we must hold the line on spending and reduce the size and scope of government instead. Families and businesses all across Texas live and operate on a fixed budget and our state government must do the same. That’s why Van has repeatedly fought against accounting gimmicks and increases in state spending.
Twice recognized as a “Taxpayer Champion” by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Van has aggressively fought against tax increases and new taxes masquerading as “fees.” As a small businessman, Van understands that lower taxes on our families and small businesses give Texans greater control in our everyday lives. He has learned first-hand that excessive taxation, abusive litigation, and burdensome regulation threaten to strangle Texas’ small business community, which is the engine for economic growth.
As a social conservative, Van will always stand up for pro-life values. Van has earned a 100%+ pro-life rating and endorsement from the Texas Right to Life. Van believes life begins at conception and ends at natural death.
Border Security and Illegal Immigration
As a Marine, Van served on our southern border and knows firsthand that our borders are not secure. In order to keep our families secure at home, Van will work to safeguard our borders to keep terrorists and drug traffickers out of Texas.
Freedom is a gift that one generation gives to the next, and it can be lost in a generation. Fair elections are at the core of our democratic principles, and that is why Van strongly supported a voter ID bill. He also worked hard to ensure the integrity of elections by proposing measures that would verify the citizenship of people registering to vote.
Our local school districts are truly the crown jewels of our communities. Our area has greatly benefited from their drive for excellence and ability to attract the best educators in Texas. Van believes our schools work best with local control, great teachers, and parental involvement, as such he strongly supports initiatives that remove many of the unfunded mandates on public schools and provide additional financial flexibility for school districts.
A Life Member of the National Rifle Association and Texas State Rifle Association, Van is a lifelong gun owner and avid hunter. Van will always defend and expand our second-amendment freedoms in Austin, earning him an A+ rating from the NRA and TSRA.
Military and Veteran’s Issues
As a former member of the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, Van worked hard during each legislative session to protect the rights of those who dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms. He successfully kept his campaign promise to help make it easier for our active duty military to vote. Largely due to Taylor's bill, counted overseas military ballots increased by over 19,000. Since leaving active duty, Van has stood up for our nation’s veterans and active duty military here in Texas, and will continue advocating for our military and veterans in Austin.
Here in North Texas our biggest challenge with water is the long, cumbersome, and bureaucratic permitting process. In fact, before the last legislative session there was no time limit to issue permits, and as a result projects were being stalled over a decade waiting on bureaucratic approval. This lengthy and bureaucratic process adds significant expense and uncertainty in our efforts to provide long-term water solutions. That's why last session Van made this issue a priority and passed legislation to help solve our states water problem by cutting the unnecessary red-tape and bureaucracy that prevents us from accessing the water Texas needs to grow.
For his work finding solutions to address our water issues in Texas, the Executive Director of the Texas Water Development Board wrote a letter to Van stating, “You have taken the time to understand water financing bills in a way no other else has … Your comments on SJR1 were simple yet comprehensive. I respect you for being a person who questions the status quo, takes the time to understand and then stands for his beliefs.”
Without question, sufficient transportation funding is vital to the long-term economic prospects of our state. People need to be able to get to and from work and travel safely and efficiently. Companies, also, are enticed to invest in Texas if we have quality infrastructure. Van played a key role in crafting Proposition 1 that increases transportation funding while providing new critical protections for our Rainy Day Fund. Additionally, Van has helped lead the fight against the expansion of new toll roads including blocking the effort to add a tolled lane to I-75.
84th Legislative Session
Van's first session in the Senate was a success. The nonpartisan Rice University study that evaluated every voting record in the Texas Legislature placed Van in the most conservative bloc of Texas Senators. Additionally, Van received the Senate’s top ranking from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, an A grade from Texas Right to Life, 100% rating from Texas Values, and was rated in the top group of Senators by Concerned Women of America as well as Texas Eagle Forum.
Border Security and Stopping Illegal Immigration - As a United States Marine, Van Taylor served on our U.S./ Mexico border and knows firsthand it is not secure. While the misguided policies of President Obama worsen the problem of illegal immigration, Van helped author legislation to turn off the magnets that further attract illegal immigration and use any and all resources at our disposal to secure our border:
- Authored and passed legislation giving state border personnel legal protection to defend themselves
- Authored and coauthored bills to repeal state incentives for illegal immigration, including in-state tuition and grant programs for those here illegally
- Coauthored and passed E-Verify for state agencies
- Voted to increase border security funding to over $800 million
Transportation - A core function of government, Van fought for critical transportation infrastructure to be prioritized without additional tolls:
- Authored Anti-Toll Package to stop proliferation of new toll roads and begin the process to convert current toll roads into free lanes
- Coauthored and passed historic road funding including: $1.3 billion by ending diversions from the Highway fund, $2.5 billion from Proposition 1, and a minimum of $5 billion if Proposition 7 passes in the Nov. election
Education - Believing our schools work best with local control, great teachers, and parental involvement, Van used his appointment to the Education Committee to advance initiatives that remove unfunded mandates, provide additional financial flexibility for school districts, empower parents, offer choice and additional opportunities for families, increase transparency and accountability, as well as fight all efforts to bring Common Core to Texas.
Family Values - A strong social conservative, Van Taylor is a trusted voice protecting life and defending traditional family values:
- Coauthored pro-life bills to strengthen parental notification and prohibit insurance companies from mandating abortion coverage
- Coauthored the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from coercing individuals, businesses, or religious organizations into violating their sincerely held religious beliefs
- Coauthored American Law for American Courts to protect state and federal law from foreign influence
Historic Tax Cuts - Property Tax Relief: With appraisal values skyrocketing across Texas, the Senate laid down a marker early in session that the Legislature must act to give families much needed property tax relief. Throughout the budget debate the Senate stood firm and delivered to the people $1.2 billion in property tax relief while also requiring local taxing authorities obtain a 60% vote in order to raise local taxes.
Beginning of the End for the Business Franchise Tax: Jobs come from small businesses, not big government. Instead of penalizing Texas businesses with stacks of paperwork and additional taxes, Texas should allow them to spend their time and resources doing what they do best – creating jobs. This session, the Legislature cut the franchise tax 25%, putting it on a path towards elimination.
A Conservative Budget - The 2016-17 budget limits government growth below the rate of population and inflation and has been heralded by local leaders and trusted watchdog organizations. Included with $3.8 billion in tax relief, this biennium budget provides $800 million for border security, adds $1.5 billion to the current education formula funding, is estimated to grow the Rainy Day Fund $2.4 billion, and continues to eliminate previous accounting gimmicks.
Stopping the Growth of Government - Van Taylor knows that while spending is the cause of big government, taxes and debt are the symptoms. In the Texas Senate, Van offered solutions to cut wasteful spending, lower taxes, and reduce government intrusion that strangles job creation and threatens personal liberty. The more government spends, or expands its reach by intrusive and unnecessary regulations, the more freedom it takes away from the people it serves. Van authored legislation to strengthen Texas’ spending caps, require state agencies to provide detailed reports on how they could cut their budgets by 1%, 5%, and 10%, and rein in agency rules and regulations made contrary to legislative intent. Additionally, Van was successful in blocking an amendment on the Senate floor that would have further implemented and expanded Obamacare in Texas.
Working for You - The Declaration of Independence tells us our rights come from God, and we entrust those rights to government that “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.” In order to stay engaged with those he serves, Van maintains a 100% meeting policy with constituents. Working with constituents, Van filed legislation ranging from efforts to stop human trafficking, to safeguarding our children from sexual predators, honoring our veterans, combating the growing danger of synthetic drugs, protecting victims of domestic violence, increasing access to water, curbing lawsuit abuse, and increasing transparency of state and local governments. Additionally, Van carried Governor Abbott’s omnibus ethics reform package, centered on increasing transparency and terminating conflicts of interests of elected officials, as well as shining a light on the relationship between lobbyists and elected officials.
83rd Legislative Session
For the second straight legislative session, grassroots leaders heralded Van as one of the most conservative and effective members of the Texas House. Texas Eagle Forum named him a "Top Rated Conservative," he was named "Taxpayer Champion" by Texas for Fiscal Responsibility, and "Courageous Conservative" by Texas Conservative Coalition. During a recent interview, a KUT reporter labeled Van the "Defender of the Rainy Day Fund."
Protecting our Children from Predators - Van co-authored the bipartisan House Bill 8 protecting victims of human trafficking and significantly increasing penalties for human traffickers. Shockingly, while possessing child pornography is a serious crime, due to antiquated law accessing the material over the internet was not. To strengthen the law, Van provided an amendment to the bill that now makes it a felony to access child pornography over the internet. His amendment protects our children from sex predators.
Truth in Taxation - At the beginning of the 83rd session, Van authored an amendment to the House Rules that required that any bill that imposes, authorizes, increases or changes the rate or amount of a tax, assessment, surcharge or fee to say so in the first line of the bill. The rule increased transparency and ensures that all lawmakers and their constituents know what is inside a bill. The rule change caught the attention of conservatives across the nation and has been heralded as a successful model for conservatives in other states to emulate.
Fighting Obamacare - Van continued to fight vehemently against every attempt to expand Obamacare into Texas. He successfully led a coalition of conservatives in blocking any funding for Obamacare expansion within the state budget.
Tax Relief - Van helped secure over a billion dollars in tax relief for the small businesses and citizens of Texas.
Increasing Access to Water - Working with other Collin County Legislators, Van played an integral role in capping the permitting time for Interbasin water transfer permits from indefinite to no more than 3 years. This addresses the single biggest challenge for water in our area, expediting the approval and authorization of more reservoirs, as well as to facilitate water transfers. Van believes we need to cut the unnecessary red-tape and bureaucracy that prevents us from accessing the water Texas needs to grow. He plans to further shorten the time to get permits and improve our region's access to water.
Organ Donation - Van worked with Donate Life Texas to find ways to increase Texas’ organ donors registration from 40,000 per month to 120,000 per month. This will save lives and money, and he was able to accomplish it without having to passing a law.
82nd Legislative Session
In his first term as State Representative for District 66, grassroots leaders and conservative organizations recognized Van as one of the most conservative members of the Texas House. Van was named a 2011 Taxpayer Champion by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, received a 92% conservative rating from Texas Eagle Forum, and was recognized with a 90% conservative rating from the Texas Heritage Alliance. Van was also recognized as a top conservative in the Texas Legislature by the Texas Conservative Digest. The Dallas Morning News wrote that Van fought “fearlessly” for the conservative agenda.
Indigent Care Legislation – Last session, Van authored and successfully passed three pieces of legislation preventing legal aliens with financial means from receiving free, taxpayer subsidized healthcare.
MOVE Act – Fulfilling a campaign promise, the first bill Van proposed in the 2011 session aimed to make it as easy as possible for military men and women serving overseas to vote. The legislature unanimously passed SB 100, sending a unified message of support for Texans serving away from home.
Pension Revocation – During the 82nd session, Van filed bills that would revoke benefits from corrupt and criminal government employees and elected officials. Van will continue to propose such measures to ensure strong penalties for public employees and politicians who steal from taxpayers and commit crimes.
Fighting Obamacare – Van fought Obamacare by helping pass the interstate healthcare compact for Texas, which requests a permanent waiver from Obamacare’s most costly mandates and burdensome regulations.