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 provide 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.
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.