Senator Hegar Declares 82nd Legislative Session a Success
for Taxpayers and Texas Families
Katy, Texas -- As work continues in the special session, State Senator Glenn Hegar (R, Katy) took time out to look back on the recently concluded 82nd session of the Texas Legislature. The 140-day, biennial legislative session convened on January 11th and was gaveled out Sine Die (Latin for "without a day") on Monday, May 30th around 5 p.m., just before Texas Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst announced that the Senate would reconvene for the first called session of the 82nd Legislature the next morning at 8 a.m.. Hegar said that while the 82nd Legislature accomplished much and was a success for taxpayers and Texas families, lawmakers failed to pass key legislation related to the budget in the waning hours of the session due to a parliamentary procedure by Senator Wendy Davis (D, Fort Worth). The procedure, known as a "filibuster," had the effect of killing Senate Bill 1811, a fiscal matters bill critical to the budget.
Senator Hegar characterized the passing of a realistic state budget (HB 1) for the next two years that is prudent with taxpayers' dollars by maintaining state expenditures below the rate of inflation and population growth as an amazing accomplishment given the challenges of a rapidly expanding population and sluggish economy. Hegar said the fact that the legislature was able to reduce state spending by a record $17 billion and still pass a balanced budget in the face of a $27 billion deficit, and do so all without raising taxes or using the Rainy Day Fund for future expenditures, was remarkable. He credited the electorate, who spoke with their votes last November, in keeping legislators focused on fiscal restraint. Hegar noted that over $6 billion was retained in the Rainy Day Fund to ensure the state is prepared for hurricane season or an even more severe downturn in the economic recovery. While the budget is complete and on the governor's desk awaiting his signature, Hegar said that he and his legislative colleagues will complete all necessary work during the special session to pass that key fiscal matters bill in the special session.
Senator Hegar noted other key legislation passed by the Texas Senate including:
- SB 14 - Which combats voter fraud by requiring all Texas voters to verify their identity in order to vote.
- HCR 18 - Calling on the United States Congress to submit to the voters a balanced budget amendment.
- SB 321-- Senator Hegar's prohibition of employer policies that had robbed their employees of their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms in an employee's personal vehicle while at work.
- SB 18 -- Eminent Domain reform, providing Texans with protections against unfair condemnation processes.
- SB 332 - Which affirmed landowner's ownership interest in the groundwater located beneath their property.
- HB 15 - The Sonogram bill, a strong pro-life measure which will help ensure that women have all of the relevant information before making the life altering choice to have an abortion.
- Redistricting -- New Texas House and Senate district lines were adopted in response to the 2010 Census and the changing demographics of out state.
Senator Hegar said that he filed 80 Senate bills, passing 44, and that he sponsored 42 House Bills, passing all but three, earning him the distinction of passing a total of 82 bills which have been sent to the Governor, the second best bill passing record of any Senator during the 82nd session. In addition to his full legislative agenda, Senator Hegar played a major role in windstorm and eminent domain reform legislation, insurance reform, efforts to increase transparency and accountability at the Texas Department of Transportation, as well as numerous environmental, criminal justice, agriculture, and natural resources issues, including Sunset reviews of the Texas Commission on Environment Quality and the Texas Water Development Board. And, just as he has throughout his legislative career, Senator Hegar worked hard to strengthen and protect the traditional family values that continue to make Texas strong.
"This session was a tremendous success for Texas taxpayers," said Senator Hegar. "While our nation continues to face the greatest economic downturn in decades, Texas has a fiscally sound and responsible budget that funds essential services and forces state government to live within its means, just as Texas families must do. In addition to passing a realistic budget that protects taxpayers, we have reformed many areas of state government and made great progress for consumers and property owners with the passage of landmark reforms in insurance, transportation, eminent domain, and the environment. While I am proud of my work on behalf of my constituents, without question, hardworking Texans were the real winners at the conclusion of this legislative session," Senator Hegar concluded.
Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.