Category Archives: Flynn Report

Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

 

Religious freedom in America is under fire and we must take action.

If you lose religious freedom, you lose political freedom. Religion is so important to the functioning of democracy because if people lose religion, America cannot hire enough police. I don’t have to tell you that our religious freedoms are under fire. If we are willing to stand up for our freedoms, we can do this. God is being taken out of our classrooms, military, jobs, and many other places and there is an urgency here to do whatever we can to remedy this. The attacks are not over and we never thought we’d see what is going on today: Coaches being suspended for praying on the field, children told they cannot being their bibles to free reading time, kids reprimanded in schools for praying over meals, military chaplains being threatened over answering biblical questions with biblical answers. God needs to be in our lives and more than anything, people of God have to come together and stand up for Him. We vastly outnumber the faithless here in America but we will los religious freedom if we do not speak up. Our churches, ministries, and schools are now burdened by the need to reexamine and rewrite their bylaws to make sure they are protected.

Discrimination is happening against those with faith and we must allow people to follow their religious beliefs without threats from our own government .

Just look at some of the recent Supreme Court rulings. The Supreme Court rules and therefore it is law? No. A ruling of the Supreme Court is only an opinion until it is enforced. The Supreme Court is created by the Constitution but the rest of the Courts are created by Congress…by the purse. Nowhere in Article III of the Constitution is there an enforcement mechanism for the Supreme Court and if the Legislative and Executive branch do not enforce a Supreme Court decision, it is meaningless. We will stand on the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment.

What can we do as individuals? Promote our principles, elect candidates who will advocate their principles and elect those who have a clear message about the proper role of government and the relationships between Federal, State, and local governments. Like in war, when leadership do not have the trust and confidence of its soldiers, those leaders are combat ineffective. If a leader in government loses the trust and confidence of the people they led, they become ineffective and dangerous.

We as Christians have the message and now we need the strength to power it through.

We must remember: Freedom from religion is not religious freedom.

 

Flynn Report: Van Texas Tornado Update

May 18th, 2015

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

Van Update

Van ISD destruction

Over the weekend, I was able to be in my hometown of Van in order to survey the devastation of the town and meet with volunteers who are assisting the community. Don Dunn, Superintendent of Van ISD, guided Congressman Jeb Hensarling and me though the destruction to the district and we viewed our schools first hand. The devastation is sobering but I continue to have faith that our city of Van will put itself back together and be a stronger community  and more united than ever.

I was so pleased that Congressman Hensarling  called on his colleagues to observe a moment of silence on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for the City of Van and the victims of the recent tornado and flash flooding.

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Honored that members of the Texas House of Representatives stood with me in a moment of silence on the House Floor to honor our city and victims.

We appreciate the Governor, Speaker, Lt. Governor, Commissioner  of Texas Education Agency, as well as Agg Commissioner Sid Miller’s visit to Van to help the state’s commitment to Van and our community. The commitment of major resources and funding to the area will be instrumental in ensuring a full recovery to our  community and we truly appreciate their dedicated involvement.

 

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. Phone Number: 512-463-0880

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2IMG_1216

Flynn Report: May 15 2015

May 18th, 2015

Texas Commitment to Life

This week, the Texas House passed three substantial pro-life bills as the midnight deadline for the House to give preliminary approval to its own bills. Three more pro-life bills are on the calendar for consideration. The legislative session ends on June 1. The House gave its preliminary approval to HB 3374  to require physicians to provide state-provided educational materials to parents of an unborn child newly diagnosed with Down syndrome. An amendment  assures that the state materials do not advocate for abortion and the bill passed. The House also gave preliminary approval to HB 3074 to give patents at the end of life the right to food and water if requested by the patient or the patients family. A large coalition of pro-life and disability rights organizations supported HB 3074. Third, the House gave its final approval to HB 3994, a pro-life bill to reform the judicial bypass process in Texas law for abortions on minor girls. The House passed HB 3994 on 93-46 vote.

Conservatives in the House have worked very hard to preserve and advance pro-life legislation and the passage of these bills are crucial in our commitment to life.

Legislative Update

House Bill 114, relating to the issuance of certain capital appreciation bonds by political subdivisions, has been mentioned in  previous reports but the passage of this bill is monumental as it is the first bill of its kind to address runaway local debt. This is a priority for both Texans in our district and throughout the state. This helps to reduce the burden of debt being placed on our children and grandchildren.

Traditional Marriage

It was very disappointing to see so much effort that was spent last night to achieve the desired push by the Texas House Democrats, hoping to kill legislation banning gay marriage and other bills they opposed. They missed few opportunities Thursday to unleash delaying tactics designed to minimize progress during a 15-hour floor session. Knowing House bills would die unless given a vote before midnight, Democrats drafted dozens of amendments, raised points of order and asked detailed, sometimes repetitive questions — keeping the House to a four-bills-an-hour pace through most of the day.  Sadly much needed and good legislation did not have opportunity to be voted on.

Texans have clearly and overwhelmingly supported traditional marriage in state wide elections and that support remains strong.

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. Phone Number: 512-463-0880

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

Flynn Report: May 13 2015

May 12th, 2015

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

Van Tornado

As many of you are aware, a tornado touched down in my hometown of Van in Van Zandt County at approximately 10PM Sunday evening. At least two fatalities have been confirmed so far as have multiple injuries. Those injured were transported by ambulance to local area hospitals in Tyler. Power lines were downed, trees uprooted, and IH 20 was closed due to overturned tractor trailers and later reopened. Numerous homes have sustained major damage along with damage to the Elementary School, Middle School, Administration Building and bus barn. The 1st Baptist Church and other local churches have opened their facilities to serve as a gathering place and a shelter for those in need. Rains are supposed to continue throughout the week and damage assessments will also continue. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the injured, those who lost friends and family members and to those who lost their homes and suffered severe property damage. We honor all of our friends and those who have stepped up to help in this time of need. Firstly, I want to thank Governor Abbott for his quick action in declaring Van a disaster area so they could get the help they need. I also want to thank Education Commissioner Michael Williams, Ag. Commissioner Sid Miller, and Comptroller Glenn Heger for their support in our coordinating efforts. Thank God for his mercy on our community as we rebuild.

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HB 114 relating to the issuance of certain capital appreciation bonds by political subdivisions was heard in the House this week and passed second reading 140 to 0. This is a huge success for Texas and future generations of Texans because it begins to curb and limit the runaway spending of local debt and places limits on the ability to add to the massive debt assigned to our children and grandchildren.

Legislative Update                                                                                                         84_20150430_RO_0098

 

Very pleased that House Bill 91 which allows licensed farmers to sell raw milk from their farms and in farmers’ markets passed in the House of Representatives 103 to 36. This bill makes it clear that raw milk may be sold at or from the farms of licensed farmers, as well as in farmers’ markets. We have been working on getting this passed for a couple sessions now and it all comes down to free enterprise. These farmers deserve to make a living off selling their product. I also want to thank Chairwoman Myra Crownover from the Public Health Committee for her assistance in getting this to the floor. HB 91 has now been sent to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 91 which would allow licensed farmers to sell raw milk from their farms and in farmers’ markets passed second reading in the House of Representatives today 122 to 14. This bill makes it clear that raw milk may only be sold at or from the farms of licensed farmers, as well as in farmers’ markets. Representative Dan Flynn, HD-2 , author of H.B. 91, said: “We have been working on getting this passed for a couple sessions now and it all comes down to free enterprise. These farmers deserve to make a living off selling their product. I also want to thank Chairwoman Crownover from the Public Health Committee for her assistance in getting this to the floor.”

House Bill 670: We continue to push hard to get this legislation, American Law in American Courts, out of committee and I am glad to say it has been sent to calendars committee.

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. Phone Number: 512-463-0880

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

Flynn Report: May 1 2015

May 1st, 2015

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

Tax Bills HB 31 and HB 32ff

The Texas House gave overwhelming preliminary approval Tuesday to a pair of bills that would reduce the tax burden on Texans. House Bill 31 would reduce the state sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent. House Bill 32 would reduce franchise tax rates by 25 percent. Following the votes, Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) released the following statement:

“Today the House voted to provide all Texans with tax relief that encourages job creation and economic growth. The House looks forward to a productive conversation with the Senate about how best to deliver results on this issue and the many others that matter to our economy and to Texas families.”

The passage of HB31 and HB 32 is a path toward eliminating the franchise tax which I believe is an unfair tax on citizens of Texas.    Following the 83rd Legislature, the franchise tax rates were already reduced  (respectively to 0.475 percent and 0.95   percent ) but these decreases expire on December 31, 2015. House Bill 32 would further reduce the rates and make the decrease in the rate it proposes permanent.

House Bill 32 also has provisions that would modify Sec. 171.1016 of the Tax code regarding the E-Z Computation method. It would increase the maximum total revenue under which a taxable entity can file the franchise tax using the E-Z computation method from $10 million to $20 million, and would reduce the rate used from 0.575 percent to 0.331 percent.

Transparency Legislation HB 1378

This week the House of Representatives passed HB 1378 which is the third major transparency bill I have been able to generate support and passage. This legislation specifically requires many levels and types of governmental   organizations to simply report their levels  of debt and  put that information for you the taxpayer online to see.

In the 2012-13 biennium, the Legislative Budget Board fiscal estimated that Texas has a total debt service expenditure of $3.265 billion or approximately 1.9% of total appropriations.  This is an approximately  19% increase from the 2010-11 biennium and approximate 284% increase from the 2000-01 biennium.

More worrisome, Texas has extremely high levels of local debt- some of the highest in the nation.  According to the Texas Bond Review Board local governments have almost 200 billion in local outstanding bond debt and it is worth noting that local debt makes up 83 percent of all public debt in Texas. School Districts in particular now have an estimated outstanding debt of over 111 billion dollars and 21 school districts with more than a billion dollars in debt each.

To ensure voters are adequately informed about any new debt they are being asked to approve transparency of the levels of debt, payments and per capita burden need to be disclosed on a regular basis.  To be fair to all Texas voters, these transparency requirements should apply to all political subdivisions including cities, counties, school districts and special taxing districts. There are many concerns among taxpayers that legislation is needed to ensure greater transparency in open government and HB1378 does this by establishing guidelines for a political subdivisions completion and distribution of annual financial reports.

Texas cannot continue to bury itself in local debt that is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  We must enhance the transparency of political subdivision debt obligations as a means to allow the citizens of Texas a method to see what they are voting for and what it does to debt on themselves and their children and grandchildren before they vote.

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This week I also laid out House Concurrent Resolution 61 which urges Congress to reimburse the State of Texas for bearing the financial burden of the federal government’s responsibility to secure the Texas-Mexico international border. I am glad that my fellow members are united in the determination to defend the border and take action when the Federal Government has refused to do so.

Legislation Update

I also wanted to let readers know that HB91-our raw milk bill, and HB 150-daylight savings time bill, have been passed out of their respective committees and are on their way to Calendars Committee.

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. Phone Number: 512-463-0880

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

Flynn Report: April 20 2015 Facts about the House Tax Relief Plan

April 20th, 2015                                                                                                                                  imagejpeg_0

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

You may have received information attacking the Texas House tax cut proposals. Much of it is misleading and a distortion of the House’s efforts to provide tax relief for House District 2 and all Texans. Here are the facts:

  1. The Texas House is offering the largest tax cut ($4.9 billion) on the table, larger than the $4.4 billion version passed out of the Senate. The proposal was voted out of the House Ways and Means Committee today.
  2. The House plan is the only proposal that provides a tax cut to everyone – every individual benefits, and so does every employer.
  3. The Senate plan doesn’t provide one cent in property tax relief to businesses and will not help you every time you go to the store and make a purchase and they have not told Texans why.
  4. The House plan is a permanent tax cut. It provides a larger reduction in the business franchise tax than the Senate plan, and a major reduction to the state sales tax. The only way to undo this tax cut is by a vote of future legislators. The Senate plan only provides temporary tax relief that will be eaten up by rising appraisals and has been done before and did not provide the tax relief as promised.
  5. The House plan creates more economic activity, a stated goal of Governor Abbott and at this time, he has not taken a position between the two plans.

 

The Texas House tax cut provides more relief than the senate version where every individual and business taxpayer will benefit because every taxpayer pays the sales tax. The Senate does not provide a dime in property tax relief to businesses, and the Senate does not cut the property tax rate one cent-they only shift the tax burden onto businesses through an increase in the homestead exemption.

The House tax cut plan offers permanent tax relief whereas the Senate plan offers temporary relief, only to homeowners, that will quickly evaporate as property values and appraisals increase and raise rates again. The House plan benefits every individual and every business unlike the Senate which plans to keep the state in the business of picking winners and losers.

 

 

While some were attacking the Texas House others were applauding the House on tax relief in the newspapers. They said, “’We are beyond excited that we have got the two chambers and the governor having a discussion about who can give the biggest and the best tax relief.’” They even applauded Chairman Dennis Bonnen, the sponsor of House Leadership’s tax proposals, for additional praise, stating, “‘If anybody’s up to doing a lot of work, it’s Bonnen.’”

 

Other recent headlines concerning the House tax cut make it clear the House is acting to provide major tax relief:….

  • Business Groups Praise House Sales Tax Cut Plan (Texas Tribune – April 14, 2015)
  • House has better ideas on tax cuts (Fort Worth Star Telegram – April 14, 2015)
  • Bonnen’s $4.9 Billion Tax Cut Plan Targets Sales Taxes (Texas Tribune – April 8, 2015)
  • House’s proposed sales tax cut a Texas first (Dallas Morning News – April 8, 2015)
  • Bonnen presents $5 billion tax cut bill (The Facts – April 9, 2015)
  • House leader proposes tax relief (San Antonio Express-News – April 8, 2015)
  • Texas House panel taking input on tax cut plan (Austin Statesman – April 14, 2015)
  • Texas House unveils $4.9 billion tax cut package (Austin Statesman – April 8, 2015)
  • Tax Relief Advances in House (San Antonio Express-News – April 16, 2015)

Governor Abbott specifically has not taken sides concerning which proposal he prefers. The Dallas Morning News writes, “Abbott said his priority is to lower taxes to promote job growth, whether through reducing property taxes, sales taxes or both.”

While some are spinning to make you believe the House isn’t acting on “tax relief measures championed by Abbott and Patrick”, the fact is the House is acting on a larger tax cut than the version in the Senate and the House plan actually helps working people.  Some are praising the House on tax relief in the papers and others slamming the House on tax relief in the mailbox. I will always be for supporting the everyday Texan in our district and I will not ever support the wealthy individuals that support front organizations that stand to profit from the Senate tax scheme.

 

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. Phone Number: 512-463-0880

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

Flynn Report: April 14 2015 Passing the Budget, Cutting Taxes, and Lowering Local Debt

April 14th, 2015

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

House Budget

Last week, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 1 and took an important step toward finalizing a budget that will be balanced and fiscally responsible for the next two years. The Texas House budget dramatically reforms state government through increased transparency, and addresses the needs of our growing state while staying below the constitutional spending cap. HB 1 invests significant resources in public schools, boosts formula funding for higher education, invests additional general revenue in transportation, and promotes border security and public safety. Additionally, HB1 accomplishes this by limiting overall spending growth to less than what is necessary to account for population and inflation increases.

Following this vote, HB 1 now heads to the Texas Senate. When the Senate passes their version, HB 1 will head to a conference committee for final approval.

$4.87 Billion Tax Cut Plan

Representative Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) today unveiled a sweeping tax relief plan that will provide nearly $ 5 billion in permanent tax relief for every individual and business in Texas.

“This is the biggest, broadest and boldest tax relief plan of the legislative session,” said Bonnen. “It provides lasting tax relief to every family and business, and it is fiscally responsible because it abides by the spending cap.”

The tax relief plan would be permanent and would not be eroded by local tax hikes or rising appraisals. House Bill 31 offers the first state sales tax cut in Texas history, reducing the rate from 6.25% to 5.95%. The average family of four will save $172 dollars per year and employers which currently pay 40% of all sales taxes collected in Texas will realize a significant savings as well.

“As one of the Co-Authors of Chairman Bonnen’s bill, I am very supportive of Chairman Bonnen’s efforts to meet the desires to begin limiting government’s role and offering tax deductions to the people of Texas and House District 2,” said Dan Flynn

House Bill 32 cuts the franchise tax rate by 25% across-the-board for all businesses. Retailers and wholesalers will pay 0.375%, and all other businesses will pay 0.75%. The bill retains current exemptions that allow 900,000 small businesses to pay no franchise tax.  Bonnen noted that while the state controls both the franchise and sales tax, it does not control property taxes.

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Retired Teachers

This past week I had the pleasure of recognizing members from the Texas Retired Teachers Association on the floor and attending a luncheon along with Chairman Otto, Vice Chairwoman Donna Howard, and Representative Ashby where we discussed issues relating to the Teacher’s Retirement System including healthcare and pensions. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet with members and talk over many of their current issues  and concerns. As Chair of Pensions Committee, I will continue to work towards addressing all of these concerns and meet with agencies to make sure we are doing whatever possible to help our retired teachers.

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Bills

Our Capital Appreciation Bond (CAB) Bill was voted out of committee.  Throughout the state, when it was revealed that the total school district municipal debt is more than 112 billion dollars and over 20 school districts are indebted with over a billion dollars in debt, I knew there was a real need for serious legislative action.

Many are concerned when they learn their ISD’s are indebted in the billions of dollars. It appears the overuse of this tool could be could be an open invitation to get around current limits on spending and borrowing and there is an urgent need to reign in this type of abuse. More worrisome, Texas has extremely high levels of local debt.  Some of the highest in the nation.  According to the Texas Bond Review Board local governments have almost 200 billion in local outstanding bond debt and it is worth noting that local debt makes up 83 percent of all public debt in Texas. Texans deserve transparency in local bond elections involving schools and other governmental bodies. Texans deserve the right to know how much debt there is and hope my legislation will help shine light on this vital issue.

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HB 150, our Daylight Savings Time Bill, received a favorable vote out of Government Transparency and Operations Committee and we look forward to working with the Calendars Committee in moving this bill forward.

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. Phone Number: 512-463-0880

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

Flynn Report: March 4 2015

March 4th, 2015

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

As the 84th Texas Legislature continues to move forward we have been involved in many committee meetings as well as having the opportunity to meet and visit with many friends and constituents from the District.  This week we enjoyed celebrating Hunt County Day at the Capitol with approximately 70 folks from the county attending various activities.  Always a joy to have folks from the district. 

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You might be interested in several important issues that were being addressed this week:

Tax Cuts

House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen responded to questions today that he feels Texas House leaders believe tax cuts could top $4 billion.

“We really believe that we ought to be able to do more than $4 billion in tax cuts here in the House,” Bonnen said. “We don’t have a number at this point. We just know that we can do better than that.”  The Texas House made it clear today what we have been saying from the start of this session that major tax relief will be a cornerstone of the state budget.

The statements by Chairman Dennis Bonnen and Speaker Joe Straus echoed the commitment that Republicans have made “to return a sizeable portion of our unappropriated revenue to its rightful owners, the taxpayers of this state.”

l agree and will work to maintain The Texas Model built on the principle that tax relief and fiscally responsible spending plans will generate economic prosperity.  I am looking forward to being a part of my Republican colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives who are fully committed to this vision we have been saying from the start of this session that major tax relief will be a cornerstone of the state budget.

Chairman Dennis Bonnen and Speaker Joe Straus echoed the commitment that Republicans have “to return a sizeable portion of our unappropriated revenue to its rightful owners, the taxpayers of this state.”

l agree and will work to maintain The Texas Model that is built on the principle that tax relief and fiscally responsible spending plans will generate economic prosperity.

I am looking forward to being a part of my Republican colleges in the Texas House of Representatives that are fully committed to this vision.

Teachers Retirement System

A top issue for funding this legislative session has been to support teachers and retired teachers in the full funding of healthcare for retirees.  Last week I supported Chairman Otto during a meeting of the House Committee on Appropriations where the committee committed to funding pensions for our retired teachers.  

Texas teachers are a large part of molding the Texas leaders of tomorrow and many teachers and retirees have expressed their concerns on this matter and I am glad that the House is going to address the shortage of funding for retiree health care over the next two years as we continue to assess long-term solutions in my committee for those who served our state and our school children for so many years.

Stronger Border, Safer Texas

Chairman Dennis Bonnen, Chairman Senfronia Thompson Representative Oscar Longoria held a press conference this week to address the growing problems relating to border security and border patrol. Bonnen introduced House Bill 11, a bipartisan bill relating to the powers and duties of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the investigation, prosecution, punishment, and prevention of certain offenses; creating an offense and increasing a criminal penalty. Bonnen said, “Crime that begins at the border rarely stays at the border. It finds its way into communities across Texas and the rest of the nation, where human beings are exploited for profit, and lives are ruined by drug addiction.”

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Representative Longoria filed HB 12 which codifies and clarifies the duties of the Border Prosecution Unit. HB 12 also places the Border Prosecution Unit into statute to help local officials prosecute border related crime, including drug smuggling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, money laundering and human trafficking. Representative Longoria said, “This bill will give our prosecutors the resources and support they need to ensure that those who enslave, exploit and endanger others are put behind bars where they belong.

I have also filed my own bill, HCR 61, demanding that the Federal Government reimburse the State of Texas for over 600 million dollars spent on protecting the border and our citizens. I am glad that my fellow members are joined in the determination to protect the border and take action when the Federal Government has refused to do so.

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.

Phone Number: 512-463-0880

 

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

 

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

Flynn Report: February 27 2015

February 15th 2015: Update on the Legislative Session 

“Now that Committee assignments have been made, committees are getting organized and making plans for bills to be referred.  Most Committees will start hearing bills next week. However, The Committee on appropriations has already started working on the budget.  The Pensions Committee, of which I am Chair, will begin hearing testimony from the various Executive Directors and other Resource Witness starting next week.”

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Flynn Report: February 16 2015

Greetings Friends, Constituents and Supporters:

Now that Committee assignments have been made, committees are getting organized and making plans for bills to be referred.  Most Committees will start hearing bills next week. However, The Committee on appropriations has already started working on the budget.  The Pensions Committee, of which I am Chair, will begin hearing testimony from the various Executive Directors and other Resource Witness starting next week.

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In 2014, Governor Rick Perry transferred over 38 million dollars to pay to deploy additional Department Public Safety Officers and National Guard troops along the border. Due to the delayed action of the executive branch of the United States, Texas has been forced to protect our own border, spending millions of dollars and putting an undue burden on Texas taxpayers. We will continue to work with members of the US Congress to assure Texas Taxpayers are reimbursed.

On Friday, I filed House Concurrent Resolution 61 which urges the United States Congress to reimburse the State of Texas in the amount of $603,600,000 for bearing the financial burden of the federal government’s responsibility to secure the Texas-Mexico border from 2012-2015. Senator Craig Estes has the companion Resolution in the Senate.  It is the responsibility of the federal government to fully maintain the security of the Texas-Mexico international border-not the state of Texas. Since they have neglected their duty to fully maintain the security of all Texans, we will be asking them to reimburse our state. An unsecure border allows for drug smuggling, human trafficking, and makes it much easier not only for violent criminals to come through to Texas but also terrorists who wish to harm us.

In other matters, the Kroll Report of the University of Texas at Austin – Investigation of Admissions Practices and Allegations of Undue Influence was presented as of February 6, 2015.  Their  report was with the encouragement of the Committee on Transparency in State Government Operations.

Admiral McRaven, the University Of Texas Chancellor, released a letter regarding the report on potential admission irregularities at the University of Texas. In the letter, Admiral McRaven states that he “…found nothing in the report that rises to the level of willful misconduct or criminal activity and therefore, as it is my responsibility to adjudicate the findings, I conclude that no disciplinary action is warranted against President Powers or other administration officials at the School of Law, the McCombs Graduate School of Business or the University writ large. Consequently, I will not recommend any additional actions regarding this issue.”

As the former Co-Chair of the Committee on Transparency in State Government Operation, I fully support Admiral McRaven’s hard work and diligence that went into his managing this situation and bringing it to a full disclosure.

Unfortunately, some seeking to disrupt the process published reports in various newspapers around the state that were highly inaccurate and were followed by reports by groups intending to defame not only myself but members of both parties on the committee who worked very hard to come to a thorough and fair conclusion to the investigation and questionable conduct by Regent Wallace Hall.

As stated in my Confidential Letter to Legislators, everyone was given every opportunity to submit testimony, witness lists, evidence and any other information they felt was important to the investigation and, for whatever reason, some chose not to.  It was also stated in my letter that there was failure on the part of many to handle personal matters in a professional and prudent manner.

Fortunately many have made the point this week by calling out bullies and taking them to task for their making up facts that do not exist.  To continue to question the legislative committee’s actions is a failed move by those who don’t know or understand the process.

I support the statement by Chancellor William H. McRaven that he finds nothing in the report that rises to the level of willful misconduct or criminal activity and no disciplinary action is warranted.  Those that would question the Admiral’s integrity may have forgotten that this is the man who ensured the world stood up to Osama Bin Laden and I think those who would question his forthrightness and honestly is shameful.

The silver lining to these challenges is that change has occurred.  The Governors appointment office has changed their process, as have our Senate Colleagues when they instruct their confirmation process and the University of Texas System has already begun to change its processes.

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

Email: District2Flynn@house.state.tx.us 

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas!

Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

 

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/02/report-politics-influenced-ut-admissions-president-powers-misled-inquiry.html/ http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2015/02/kroll_international_report_bill_powers_ut_admissions.php