Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
June 1, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes Concludes 81st Regular Session of the Texas Senate

Austin — The 81st Texas Legislature adjourned Sine Die (without another day) with Texas State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) concluding his fourth Regular Session, which saw him elevated to Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

"I began this Session with a goal to protect private property, promote economic development, defend our constitutional rights, and be a guardian for our common-sense conservative values," said Estes. "We didn't win every fight, but the voice of my constituents was heard on these important issues."

Highlights from the session for Estes included passing legislation to exempt volunteer firefighter departments from the state fuels taxes, expanding rural economic development programs, allowing for interstate purchase of legal firearms, and giving leaseholders the right to purchase property from the Brazos River Authority at Possum Kingdom Lake.

"I am pleased to be in a position to help my district with important legislation assisting our volunteer firefighters, promoting economic development, and promoting private property ownership," said Estes.

Several measures Estes also passed through the State Senate, but were not approved by the House include a major eminent domain reform bill, voter identification requirements, mortgage foreclosure deferment act, expanding access for licensed concealed handguns on college campuses, and a resolution opposing federal laws restricting gun rights.

"I am profoundly disappointed that Senate Bill 18 providing for meaningful eminent domain reform did not get a full and fair debate in the Texas House, but I remain committed to eminent domain reform," said Estes. "It is always frustrating when important legislation such as the voter identification bill does not make it through the process, let alone even get an up or down vote."

Estes also pushed for passage of several resolutions defending our constitutional rights, including authoring Senate Concurrent Resolution 54 in defense of the Second Amendment, Senate Concurrent Resolution 21 in opposing the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Texas, and co-sponsoring House Concurrent Resolution 50 in defense of the 10th Amendment and states rights.

"These resolutions cannot force action by the federal government, but they express the sentiments of the citizens of our great state in the defense of our constitutional rights and concerns for national security," said Estes.

With the conclusion of the 81st Regular Session, Senate committees such as the Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee chaired by Estes will begin monitoring the implementation of new laws passed by the Legislature and begin reviewing measures to consider when the Legislature reconvenes for the 82nd Regular Session in January 2011.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.