P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104
Making Good on Promises
The 80th Session of the Texas Legislature is about making good on a commitment to both our system of public education and to our taxpayers. As Chairman of the Texas Senate Republican Caucus, it is my duty to insure these goals will be met.
The recently announced revenue estimate projects a surplus, but much of that money is already committed to help reduce local school district property tax rates. School districts across the state continue to report enrollment growth, so the cost to maintain the state's share of public education can be expected to increase. Any surplus funds in excess of what's needed to fund promised property tax relief should be returned to our hard working Texas taxpayers. I believe the most practical way to do this is through the Property Taxpayer Relief Fund created during the last called special session of the Legislature. Excess funds appropriated to the Property Taxpayer Relief Fund can ONLY be used to reduce local school property taxes. I was the Senate sponsor of HB 2 which created the Property Taxpayer Relief Fund.
Additionally, higher education, transportation/mobility and illegal immigration will be central issues the Legislature must address before the end of May. I will support Governor Perry's request for an additional $100 million to support our border security programs. Unfortunately, our Federal government continues to ignore the effects of their lax security and immigration policies on local and state governments.
Controlling the hidden tax imposed by appraisal creep remains a focus for my office this session. I expect to file or co-sponsor legislation to:
- Make Appraisal Boards more accountable to local taxpayers,
- Eliminate the 'free ride' from appraisal creep benefiting some local government units,
- Eliminate the petition requirements for tax rollback elections,
- Require voter approval for property tax increases due to appraisal creep.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has placed his continued confidence in my role as Vice-Chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee. In addition, I will serve as a member of the following standing Senate committees: Finance, Transportation, Education and the Sub-committee on Higher Education.
The Texas Legislature meets 140 days every odd year, and these next months will demand our full attention on many complex local, regional and state-wide issues. I am proud to have the opportunity to represent the 700,000 citizens of Senate District 4.
Senator Williams represents Senate District 4 covering all or portions of Jefferson, Orange, Chambers, Liberty, Harris and Montgomery Counties. Williams serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee and as a member of the Senate Finance, Transportation, Education and Subcommittee on Higher Education.