Merry Christmas! We are so proud of the Great State of Texas for recognizing the reason for the season with this Nativity Scene.
By Wendy Underhill
Stay involved with your community. Lean on your staff. Everyone in the building is a potential ally at some time. Partner up.
That’s some of the advice imparted by legislative “sophomores” to incoming “freshmen” during a New Member Orientation this week in Wisconsin.
Why are “sophomores” chosen to advise the newbies instead of leadership? My best guess is these relatively new legislators were chosen because they remember what it was like just 24 months ago to know almost no one and know almost nothing about how the legislature works.
As NCSL’s liaison to the Badger State, I was able to hear the advice. I didn’t go with the intention of capturing it all, but quickly realized that the advice I was hearing would work in almost any state. Hence, this “listener’s digest” of advice to new members:
Representative Deb Kolste: A new legislator’s most important job is constituent work. That job comes before trying to become a subject-area expert. And, it’s important to “stay involved in your communities.” That’s where your support comes from, and that’s who you serve.
Representative Joe Sanfelippo: “Lean on the staff” because they know the ropes. He’s also spoke to the value of “plain vanilla” research, the kind that Wisconsin’s central staff provides: nonpartisan and fact-based. And all requests are handled confidentially, too. (Providing this flavor of research is one of NCSL’s core services, too.)
Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd: It is essential to “work with everyone in the building” because “you have no permanent friends, and you have no permanent enemies.”
Representative John Jagler: “Partner up” to get legislation to move, especially if you are in the minority. In Wisconsin this year, 94 percent of bills passed with some amount of bipartisan support. And, when you get support early in the process from across the aisle, the chances of success go way up.
Not enough? Ask experts (that is, experienced legislators) in your state. Or, check out NCSL’s resources for members at www.ncsl.org/members. That’s the best kind, and it’s available from the nonpartisan central staff.
And don’t forget to sign up for NCSL’s New Member Webinar series, beginning Dec. 15 with “From the Campaign to the Capitol.”
Wendy Underhill is NCSL’s liaison to Wisconsin.
Austin –Texas lawmakers call on Washington to reimburse the state for costs related to the federal government’s failure to secure the border.
“I have been on the border numerous times and have personally observed what goes on and know what it takes for our men and women to secure the border,” said State Representative Dan Flynn (R – Van). “Texas has done an excellent job in finding ways to secure our border but it is time for the Federal Government to step up and reimburse the hardworking taxpayers of Texas.
Texas is on the hook for $559 million in expenditures since January, 2013 on populations illegally in the country. Those costs include:
- $104,277,316 spent by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on border surge operations to detect, deter and apprehend criminal activities by drug cartels and trans-national gangs;
- $3,405,241 spent by Texas Parks and Wildlife to assist with patrolling hot spots along the border;
- $37,211,923 spent by the Texas Military Forces in response to the governor’s order to deploy up to 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard;
- $137,100,757 spent by county jails to incarcerate criminals aliens;
- $205,092,350 spent by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to incarcerate criminal aliens in state prisons;
- $72,108,476 to be spent by the Texas Education Agency on the education of unaccompanied minors from Central America who now reside in Texas. This figure does not include the education of children who came to Texas illegally with their family unit.
Lawmakers also acknowledge they are seeking reimbursement for a conservative amount, noting that health care costs are not tracked by the federal government for these populations, nor are costs for educating children who entered illegally with their family unit.
“Texas has been taking on an unbelievable expense in taking care of and educating the thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the border,” said Representative Flynn. “Texas has been doing everything it can to secure the border and protect citizens and it is time Washington does what is right and accept the consequences from the Administration’s failed immigration and border security policies and reimburse our state.” ###
Really appreciated the packed house for our Town Hall in Sulphur Springs. Thanks to The Coffee off the Square and Donnie and Beth Wisenbaker for hosting us at this important event to hear my fellow Texans discuss their deep concerns about faith, family and freedom. Also thanks to Judge Newsome and all our elected officials for attending.
« District 2«
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelli Linza
November 10, 2014, 2014 Phone: (512) 463-0880
State Representative Flynn Submits Bills for Early Filing
Austin, TX-Today, Representative Dan Flynn filed bills in early filing for the January 84th Legislative Session. “Today we filed bills that support the free exercise of faith, family, and freedom,” said Representative Flynn. These bills included needed second amendment legislation, others to save taxpayer dollars with local water utility districts, assuring American law is practiced in American Courts, that district farmers and ranchers have the right to farm and ranch and sell their products without government interference, the free exercise of religion and a law requiring students take a semester on the U.S. Constitution prior to graduation from high school.
Representative Flynn said, “It is all about protecting the rights of people in not only in District 2 but the rights and privileges of all Texans.”
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: Kelli Linza|
|October 17, 2014||Phone: (512) 463-0880|
Austin-Early voting begins October 20th-October 31st. For early voting locations
and hours, please read the following:
2217A Washington, Greenville 75401
For information on hours and days, please see link below.
Location: Sulphur Springs Public Library
For information on hours and days, please see link below
VAN ZANDT COUNTY
119 N. Buffalo Street
8am-5pm Monday through Friday
October 31st 8am-7pm
“This election is so important in maintaining a solid group of elected officials that will continue to support Texas values, faith, family, and freedom.” -Representative Dan Flynn
May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas.
Representative Dan Flynn, District 2
October 15, 2014
Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters
The border crisis continues to be the issue of deep concern and wherever I go constituents want to know and ask what is being done. Since my last report, there are a few positive updates to note. According to public and confidential reports the rate of illegal immigrants crossing the Texas border has dropped. Some say this could be because of seasonal trends, more crossings elsewhere or the calm before the storm of another wave of Other Than Mexican (OTMs) illegals seeking to cross.
In any event from a personal observation I can see the outstanding and determined work of the Department of Public Safety, the Game Wardens of Texas Parks and Wildlife, local law enforcement and the soldiers of the Texas Military Forces as well as the Border Patrol ( However; their mission is directed by Washington) they are having an effect, slowing crossings and acting as a stop gap while we continue to petition the Washington administration to do its job.
As previously reported the number of Illegal Aliens apprehensions in Texas for Calendar Year (CY) 2011 was 112,426, which increased by 48% to 166,449 in CY 2012, and another 46% to 242,660 in CY 2013, and 271,407 in CY 2014 as of October.
By no means are we out of the woods yet. However, in the absence of increased federal assistance, I believe the Texas forces are doing an admirable job of working to decrease the rapid flood of illegal immigration at our border as well as steps towards securing our southern border. Operation Strong Safety has been successful at the border and in reducing transactional crime throughout Texas. I have faith that it will continue to be successful as this problem persists.
Under the authorization of Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus they have directed Members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Border Sheriff’s Association, and the Texas Military Forces to continue their efforts of protecting the interests of our citizens and have been working day and night to provide unwavering commitment to defending the border.
Border security is crucial to maintaining the safety of Texas and the problems we are faced with effects other states as well. On my most recent trip to the border, we were pleased to host a group of Colorado legislators to witness first hand not only the many ways our border is being breached but also how our forces are responding.
Senator Lundberg had this to say: “Through briefings, air flights, and tours on their marine and land vehicles, we saw the remarkable progress they have made in securing this critical part of our nation’s border. After many years of debate over what can be done to secure the border it is an incredible encouragement to see the difference ‘boots on the ground’ have made at the far southern tip of Texas.”
Senators Lundberg and Vicki Marble from Colorado visiting the Border
I continue to be frustrated by the lack of support from the Federal Government. I am pleased to be a part of Texas’s continued effort to address border security and I pledge to continue my efforts in support of Homeland Security and public safety.
The good news is what I believe will be new statewide leadership will continue our efforts to assure that the citizens of Texas and the United States are provided a safe and secure homeland.
In another update, Marine Sergeant Tahmooressi has still not been released from Mexican prison. There has been talk about an all but certain release but as of now, he is still being denied freedom. It is important that we do not leave our Veterans behind. Marine Sergeant Tahmooressi is diagnosed with PTSD and, like many of our Veterans, he deserves care and effort by those in a position to help him get back to the States. Our current administration needs to do more for this war hero. We will continue our efforts in monitoring his situation to see that he gets released.
The Ebola epidemic is another example of failure by the current administration and I am working hard to ensure our district receives full and complete information for their protection and that of all Texans. I will also continue efforts to prevent entry into our country from those affected countries. For more information on Ebola and Ebola updates, you will find the following links helpful.
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
- News releases and sign up for email updates – https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases.shtm
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
- News releases and sign up for email updates – http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/news/release.shtml
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TexasHHSC My staff and I continue to welcome your input and your questions. You can contact our office; mailing address: P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768. Toll Free: 800-734-9515 Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2
- May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!
- Email: District2Flynn@house.state.tx.us
- These links serve to provide current news, information and best practices from state and federal
These links serve to provide current news, information and best practices from state and federal partners concerning EVD and response.
My staff and I continue to welcome your input and your questions. You can contact our office; mailing address: P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768. Toll Free: 800-734-9515
May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!
Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2
|Greetings Friends, Constituents & Supporters,|
|Since reports first began to surface regarding the rapid rate at which illegal immigrants are attempting to flood the Texas-Mexico border, many of you have asked what can be done or why more is not being done. Like many, I too am frustrated by our administration in Washington and their negligent attitude toward the border crisis; however, I am incredibly pleased with the efforts made by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Border Sheriff’s Association, and the Texas Military Forces to address public concerns and respond to the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker’s requests for increased personnel and resources along the border. In an ongoing effort to keep up with our concerns, I felt that the graphs and charts published by DPS do an excellent job showing us exactly what their challenges have been on the border.
In absence of increased Federal assistance, I commend our Texas leaders, led by the Texas Department of Public Safety, for providing excellent communication, thorough documentation, and an unwavering commitment to protecting the interests of Texas and our citizens.
It is comforting to recognize that this issue is continuing to be addressed in spite of efforts on the apart of the Feds to offer no support to protect the citizens of Texas and secure our borders.
I encourage each of you to read over this report and its alarming statistics. Most importantly, please share this with your friends and neighbors who may still be skeptical about the true nature of this border crisis. It is comforting to recognize that this issue is continuing to be addressed in spite of efforts on the apart of the Feds to offer no support to protect the citizens of Texas and secure our borders.
Overview of Human Smuggling Activity along the Texas-Mexico Border
Over the past few years, apprehensions of illegal aliens have been increasing in Texas, most significantly in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) has experienced a sharp increase in illegal alien apprehensions since 2011. Total apprehensions in the RGV are at historically elevated levels, and include greater numbers of other-than-Mexicans (OTMs) and unaccompanied alien children (UACs) than any other sector along the U.S.-Mexico border. Apprehensions of Mexican illegal aliens continue to be concentrated in the Tucson Sector, followed by the RGV. In addition, total apprehensions are now highest in the RGV Sector, which represents a noteworthy change from previous years.
The United States Border Patrol reported 154,453 total apprehensions just in the RGV during 2013, a 58 percent increase from 2012, and more than double the number in 2011. RGV Sector apprehensions are at their highest levels since FY1999.
The Rio Grande Valley has experienced a sharp rise in non-Mexican (OTM) apprehensions, which increased 96 percent to 96,829 in 2013 from 2012, and have more than tripled since 2011.
The number of unaccompanied children (UAC) apprehensions in The Rio Grande Valley have increased rapidly through 2013 when they reached 21,553, which represents a 100 percent increase from 2012 and a 312 percent increase from 2011.
More than half of all unaccompanied children apprehended along the entire U.S.-Mexico border in 2013 occurred in The Rio Grande Valley alone.
The Rio Grande Valley now accounts for a significant proportion of apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2013, the RGV accounted for 37 percent of total apprehensions, 65 percent of OTM apprehensions, and 56 percent of UAC apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico order.
I pledge to continue my efforts in support of Homeland Security and public safety, and to assure that the citizens of Texas and the United States of America are provided a safe and secure homeland. It remains my pleasure and honor to represent all the people of House District 2. My staff and I continue to welcome your input and your questions. You can contact our office; mailing address: P. O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768. Email:District2.Flynn@house.state.tx.us. Toll free number 1-800-734-9515.
May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!
Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2
Defending our Religious Liberties & Freedom of Speech, 7/7/2014Greetings Friends, Constituents & Supporters,
Earlier this year, it came to my attention that demands on the part of a state agency regarding the religious and personal liberties of an East Texas resident were reaching excess. Mrs. Jeanette Golden, of Hemphill, had placed a large sign displaying the 10 Commandments on her personal property just off of State Highway 21. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot), Mrs. Golden was in violation of the Federal Highway Beautification Act, which prohibits signs and billboards within certain distances of interstate or primary highways unless they are in areas defined as commercial or industrial. However, the act exempts political signage and signage that advertises activities taking place on said property, but make no mention of non-commercial, non-political signage on someone’s personal property. It appears the Federal Government and the Texas Department of Transportation enacted mandates that suppress free speech in the name of commercial speech, and gives the government power to approve some forms of free speech, but not others. I find this very disturbing.
The 10 Commandments were one of the many Judeo-Christian founded documents used to help guide our Founding Fathers in structuring our country and its systems of checks and balances in a way that would help incentivize those elected to lead to be moral, principled and guided by virtue and integrity. The historical significance of those 10 commandments is a necessary lesson to be learned for anyone interested in understanding our great Nation and the steps that were necessary to get us here today. I am sure you are aware the Supreme Court approved the 10 Commandment monument prominently displayed on our Texas State Capitol grounds.
Upon hearing of further instances of harassment by the agency towards Mrs. Golden I contacted TxDot Commissioner Joe Weber, and in my letter I reiterated my concerns and discontent. For me, there was no doubt that the harassment Mrs. Golden was experiencing was orchestrated by those who fear freedom of religion and religious expression. The ‘solutions’ offered were no more than a bureaucratic agency’s efforts to hide their true intent, which was to further suppress private property owners ability to freely exercise their freedom of speech and religious expression.
In the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature I filed a bill that would have allowed public school teachers the opportunity to display the 10 Commandments in their classroom if they so choose. I believe this document is a critical piece of our heritage and, aside from religious affiliation, offers our children not only an understanding of our Nation’s history, but instills in us all a sense of morality and respectability to inspire them to one day participate in its procedure and serve as a representative of the people. I intend to re-file this legislation for the upcoming 84th session and see it pass into law.
Mrs. Golden’ s Highway 21 sign is an example of modern day religious persecution, except this time the persecution is through the suppression of speech and exercise in the name of government mandate. I do not want to see my freedoms be infringed on for the sake of another frivolous piece of bureaucratic regulation. I commend the Liberty Institutefor taking this case on and defending Mrs. Golden and the freedom of speech, as well as our religious liberties.
Should the recommended changes to the Administrative Code that are currently being proposed by the Texas Transportation Commission (with a public comment invited until July 14th), it seems that Mrs. Golden and all other private property owners wishing to display signage on their property will have the ability to without further interference.
It remains my pleasure and honor to represent all the people of House District 2. My staff and I continue to welcome your input and your questions. You can contact our office in many ways: Mail: P. O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768. Toll Free: 1-800-734-9515. Email: District2.Flynn@house.state.tx.us.
Read other Flynn Reports on my WEBSITE, daflynn.com.
May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!
Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2
Governor Rick Perry Signs HB 2
Bans Abortion After 20 Weeks
AUSTIN – Thursday morning Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 2 into law. The abortion regulation legislation stirred emotions and ignited controversy throughout the first special session and has remained through the second special. House Bill 2 effectively bans abortion procedures after 20 weeks, or 5 months, requires greater regulation and restriction of the medication abortion drug RU-486, requires abortion providers have admittance privileges at nearby hospitals and requires abortion facilities to meet ambulatory surgical center standards.
Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) was in attendance at the bill signing and was joined by other members of the Texas Legislature. “What we have witnessed here at the Capitol is historic,” stated Representative Flynn shortly after the signing ceremony. “I am honored to have been a part of shepherding this legislation through the Legislature and am elated that Governor Perry and my colleagues recognize the importance of protecting the life of the unborn and the safety and wellbeing of mothers across our state.”
In a letter to Governor Perry on May 24, 2013, Representative Flynn stood with 60 House members in urging the Governor to add pro-life legislation to the call. Representative Flynn shared authorship of the bill during both the first and second special session.
“House District 2 has been overwhelming in their support of this legislation and of my position. My vow to protect life was constantly reaffirmed by the thoughtful prayers and words of encouragement I received from so many friends, colleagues and constituents,” said Representative Flynn. “The adversity we faced only strengthened my conviction that we remain on the right side of the fight.”
See Full Press Release Here: 7.18.13 – Governor Perry Signs HB2
See More Photos From HB2 Debate