CAPITOL UPDATE

By Rep. Chris Paddie
Last week, the House passed HB 4 and HB 5, which encourage kinship care and reform the Department of Family and Protective Services. These bills were deemed emergency items by Governor Abbott in his State of the State address earlier this session. I am proud of the work done by the House to protect our foster children and look forward to the Senate taking up these bills to continue the work started by the House.
Last week, I filed HB 2780 which would require state agencies to give a preference to American made steel for construction projects ranging from highways to building construction. This bill will make sure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely while helping to save American jobs, including many at our steel mills in East Texas.
I joint authored HB 108 which will create the Recruit Texas Program. Recruit Texas will help our junior and technical colleges collaborate with employers to make sure that the colleges are teaching the skills that will help students and job seekers find good paying jobs in our changing economy. Programs such as Recruit Texas will help us attract employers to Texas by making sure that we have an educated work force.
I also authored HB 577 which would reverse policies that prevent employers from conducting background checks on job applicants. We have seen the City of Austin implement this policy which interferes with how most businesses operate and increases the cost and time it takes for them to fill job openings. This practice is inefficient and places an unnecessary burden on both businesses and applicants.
Last week was another busy one. I had the pleasure of meeting with several groups of East Texans, including some of our school superintendents, board members from the Sabine River Authority, local bankers and United Way. It is always great to meet with folks from back home when they are in Austin. If you plan on being in Austin please make sure to let me know. You can reach me at 512-463-0556 or district9.paddie@house.texas.gov.

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