85th Session Wrap-Up: Rep Murphy Passes Key Legislation

150 150 Jim Murphy

85th Session Wrap-Up: Rep Murphy Passes Key Legislation

Representative Murphy sees all 14 bills signed by Governor Abbott.

Dear Friends,

Since our last newsletter, the 85th Legislative Session has come to a close, and a special session has been called starting July 18th. In this edition, we’ll highlight some of the legislative initiatives our office achieved during the Regular Session.

It was an honor to again be appointed a committee chairman in the 85th Session. A chairmanship brings a significant increase in responsibility in addition to the normal duties of a legislator. I served as the chairman of the House Committee on Special Purpose Districts with jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to Special Purpose Districts in Texas. A special purpose district is one of hundreds of local entities responsible for a variety of services including water conservation, roads, economic development, hospitals, libraries, utilities and fire control efforts. Over 140 bills came through our committee, addressing the over 1,772  special purpose districts in Texas, including 506 districts in Harris County. We were so fortunate to have our seasoned clerk, Laurie McAnally join us from last session’s Corrections Committee. Our 7-member committee was devoted to protecting private property rights, limiting unnecessary taxes and fees on property owners, and increasing transparency in local governments.  These principles are reflected in each bill that passed out of our committee.

Throughout the five sessions in which I have been honored to serve, our legislative work has consistently focused on four key themes: expanding the economy, improving education, protecting our community, and increasing government accountability and transparency. The 85th Session was quite challenging, and I am pleased to report that we succeeded in each of these areas. In some cases it was through House bills I authored and in other cases we passed the Senate companions to our House bills. In one case, we were able to amend another bill to include our bill. This is one of the benefits of increased legislative experience – and a lot of help from colleagues.
In the 85th session, over 6,600 pieces of legislation were filed. About 1,200 (or 18%) made it to the Governor’s desk. Of the 38 bills my office worked on, 14 (37%) have already been signed or enacted. It is due to the hard work by our staff, and our ability to cooperate with other offices, agencies, and stakeholders that we are able to consistently file and pass good legislation.

In this newsletter we will cover the bills our office passed this session. (We have another newsletter coming that will cover other legislation.) We are proud of this hard work, and are ready and available to answer any questions about any legislation from the 85th or what we might address in the Special Session.

It is an honor to serve you,