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SENATOR VAN TAYLOR STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSING SANCTUARY CITIES BAN

AUSTIN, TX - State Senator Van Taylor released the following statement on the Senate passage of S.B. 4, authored by Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), which bans sanctuary cities in Texas. Senator Taylor coauthored this legislation and Governor Greg Abbott declared it an emergency item.
 
"For decades Washington has kicked the can, ignoring the people's call to fix our broken immigration system. Texans demand a secure border and passage of meaningful measures to stop illegal immigration. In the Texas Senate we cannot change federal immigration law, but we can ensure that elected officials in Texas follow the laws that are already on the books. Releasing criminal illegal immigrants back into our communities in clear violation of federal law is unacceptable and dangerous. By passing Senate Bill 4 today we took an important step towards stopping rouge elected officials from ignoring the rule of law and putting our families at risk in the pursuit of their own misguided agenda."
 
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MAJOR ETHICS REFORM PASSES UNANIMOUSLY OUT OF SENATE

First Bill Voted Out of the Senate this Session, Sen. Taylor Reiterates Ethics Reform Mantra: “Wide Support. No Excuses. Let’s Get This Done!”
 
AUSTIN, TX – State Senator Van Taylor released the following statement in response to SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act of 2017, passing 31-0 out of the Senate Chamber. Declared an emergency item by Governor Abbott and a priority bill by Lieutenant Governor Patrick, this major ethics reform legislation became the first bill voted out of the Senate Chamber during the 2017 Legislative Session.
 
“Historic ethics reform is usually the result of major scandal. Thankfully, that is not the reason we passed Senate Bill 14 today. The ethics reform package that passed unanimously out of the Senate is unique in that it was born out of leadership. I want to thank Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and so many of my fellow colleagues for their leadership in making meaningful ethics reform a priority.
 
“Most importantly, I want to thank the people. At the end of the day, this is not my bill, this is not Governor Abbott's bill, Lieutenant Governor Patrick's bill, or any other legislator’s bill. This is the people's bill. To have the honor of serving today, not only did our constituents give us their vote, they entrusted us to represent them above all else. This sacred compact, that we serve our constituents as their public servants, is at the core of our democracy. If that trust were to ever erode then everything else the Legislature does would suffer.
 
“That’s why this bill is needed. It is an affirmation to the people that our efforts to represent them rise above even the appearance of impropriety or self-service, and that after the dust settles from important public policy debates they have the confidence to know, in no uncertain terms, that we work for them no matter our party or position.
 
“Today was a proud day for the Texas Senate. The Senate moved decisively by passing S.B. 14 just one week after Governor Abbott declared ethics reform an emergency item. Passing meaningful ethics reform with 110 days left in the legislative session, the Senate has delivered to the people on this important issue with ample time for passage. As I said when I filed this bill: Wide Support. No Excuses. Let’s Get this Done!”
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STATE SENATOR VAN TAYLOR FILES MAJOR ETHICS REFORM BILL

Taylor Ethics Reform Motto: “Wide Support. No Excuses. Let’s Get this Done!”
 
AUSTIN, TX – State Senator Van Taylor today filed SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act of 2017. Taylor filed this legislation in close consultation with, and the full backing of, Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Chairman Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) filed identical legislation in the House. This bill figures to be the major ethics reform legislation for the 2017 legislative session.
 
“This is not Van Taylor’s bill, this is not Governor Abbott’s, Lt. Governor Patrick’s, or Chairman Geren’s bill. This is the people’s bill,” stated Taylor. “Texans expect and deserve a transparent government that serves the people and weeds out politicians serving for any reason other than representing their constituents. When I knock on doors and talk to voters in my district, I have yet to hear a single person who thinks politicians should be in entitled to undisclosed, grand scale, meals and trips from lobbyists, or that corrupt and criminal politicians sitting a jail cell really deserve a taxpayer-funded pension. These are straightforward, commonsense measures that the vast majority of both the House and Senate support – and more important the people of Texas.”

Taylor filed SB 14 this morning with 20 other joint authors. Significantly, the number of Senators with their name already on the bill represent enough votes to clear the parliamentary threshold needed to get the bill passed out of the Senate.

The provisions within the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act stand upon four major pillars:
 
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SENATOR VAN TAYLOR NAMED TO FIVE IMPORTANT COMMITTEES

Already Vice Chair of the Sunset Commission, Taylor Will Also Serve on Natural Resources and Economic Development, Education, Health and Human Services, Intergovernmental Relations, and Nominations Committees
 
 
AUSTIN, TX – Today Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed Senator Van Taylor to serve on the Natural Resources and Economic Development, Education, Health and Human Services, Intergovernmental Relations, and Nominations Committees. Senator Taylor is one of only four Senators appointed to serve on five standing Committees. Additionally, Taylor serves as the Vice Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission and was appointed to the interim Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief.
 
"It is an honor to serve Texas on these important committees and I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Patrick for his confidence in appointing me to these roles," said Taylor. "Not only are the issues covered by these committees important for the people I represent in Collin and Dallas counties, but they play a critical role for Texas’ continued success.”
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STATE SENATOR VAN TAYLOR OUTLINES MAJOR PILLARS FOR ETHICS REFORM

Each Topic Earned Overwhelming Support During the 2015 Legislative Session
 
 
AUSTIN, TX - During a panel discussion at Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Orientation, also broadcasted on Facebook Live, Senator Van Taylor today outlined the major pillars for his ethics reform legislation for the 2017 legislative session.
 
"I want to first thank Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for the confidence they have placed in me to tackle this important topic. We have no more valuable bond in democracy than the trust the people have with their government, and without their leadership, strengthening this bond through meaningful ethics reform would not be on the forefront," stated Taylor. "Our belief in government relies upon the principle that elected officials serve the people, and that after the dust settles from important public policy debates, people have the confidence to know, in no uncertain terms, that elected officials work for them no matter their party or position. If this trust erodes, then everything else the Legislature does suffers."
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A path forward on ethics reform

By Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano)
Published in the Dallas Morning News
January 3, 2017
 
Corrupt politicians convicted of felony abuse of office should not collect taxpayer-funded pensions. Any Texan would say this is common sense, right? So much so that during the 2015 legislative session this proposed law passed both the Senate and House unanimously. But did it become law? No. Despite gaining unanimous support in both chambers, this important piece of ethics reform never made it to the governor's desk. It is both appalling and baffling that criminal officials can still collect government benefits and a pension paid for by the hard-earned tax dollars of those same people they betrayed.
 
That is the legacy of the 2015 legislative session as it related to ethics reform. In a word: pathetic.
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SENATOR VAN TAYLOR FILES BIPARTISAN BILLS TO ENCOURAGE VOTER PARTICIPATION

ALLEN, TX – After working with local grassroots leaders throughout the interim on bipartisan, commonsense measures to encourage voter participation, Senator Van Taylor this week signed two such bills at the Republican Coalition of Collin County Christmas party.
 
"Anne and I are incredibly humbled by the trust and confidence placed in our efforts to represent the people of Collin and Dallas counties in the Texas Senate," stated Taylor. "I have always maintained that the best legislative ideas come directly from the people I serve and that is certainly the case with these bills. I am thankful to everyone who worked with me to draft these commonsense solutions to increase participation in the political process."
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SENATOR VAN TAYLOR FILES IT'S ABOUT TIME ACT

Taylor Applauds 416th District Judge-Elect Andrea Stroh Thompson For Leading Commission To Review Outdated Crimes
 
 
AUSTIN, TX - Senator Van Taylor today filed S.B. 350, the It's About Time Act, to repeal an outdated law criminalizing improper disclosure of the sale or transfer of secondhand watches. In filing the bill, Senator Taylor applauded 416th District Court Judge-Elect Andrea Stroh Thompson for her work reviewing obsolete crimes still in statute. Appointed by Governor Greg Abbott, Thompson led a commission to review crimes outside of the penal code that are outdated and go unenforced.
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SENATOR VAN TAYLOR WORKS WITH LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FILE SCHOOL CALENDAR CHOICE ACT

AUSTIN, TX - Working with parents, local school boards, and school administrators, State Senator Van Taylor today filed SB 338, the School Calendar Choice Act. A priority issue for schools districts in Senate District 8, this legislation would repeal the uniform school start date allowing local school districts to control their academic calendar.
 
The current school start date requirement makes the academic year uneven, where the fall semester includes fewer instruction days than the spring semester. Local school districts have shared with Senator Taylor the challenges posed by this disparity as it relates to balancing course instruction. Taylor noted that filing the bill today, at the conclusion of the unbalanced fall semester, is symbolic to highlight the problem.
 
 “It is absurd that entrenched special interest groups have forced our local districts to deal with the challenges presented by unbalanced semesters," said Taylor. "Our children's education is far too important to be held hostage by petty political battles and third-party interests. After numerous meetings with local parents, school administrators, and school boards it is clear that allowing schools the flexibility to adjust their calendar is a commonsense solution that would yield meaningful results."
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SENATOR VAN TAYLOR FILES GOVERNMENT GROWTH DISCLOSURE ACT

AUSTIN, TX - State Senator Van Taylor today filed SB 289, the Government Growth Disclosure Act, requiring all state agencies to include a government growth impact statement in their notices for proposed rule changes.
 
"The people of Texas expect and deserve a lean, efficient, and transparent government," stated Taylor. "In the Legislature I am constantly fighting to limit the size and reach of government and air those debates in full public view. However, a government agency can quietly grow government through rulemaking without the people of Texas engaged in the process or even aware it is happening. That is why I am filing the Government Growth Disclosure Act requiring every agency to clearly state if a proposed rule increases the agency's size, budget, or scope of power."
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