Capitol Update

From Representative Chris Paddie

We are down to just a handful of days left in the 85th Leg­islative Session. The House and Senate are both working feverishly to wrap up the many issues that are left to be re­solved.

Last week, the House passed several sunset bills, includ­ing the Department of Transportation, the Board of Dental Examiners, the State Bar, and the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Each state agency is subject to the sun­set review process every twelve years. A sunset review in­volves a top-to-bottom review of the functions of the agency, with the Sunset Committee and Commission staff working throughout the interim to make recommendations to the next legislature on if the agency should be continued, and, if so, what changes need to be made to ensure that the agency is operating as efficiently as possible to achieve its mission. This is a valuable process that helps to make certain that our agencies are being as responsive as possible and serving their intended purpose.

The House also passed SB 12, which will provide funds for law enforcement agencies to purchase bulletproof vests that will protect our officers from rifle rounds. Unfortunately, the urgent need for these vests was highlighted by murder of 5 Dallas Police officers last July. On that tragic evening, the gunman was using a high-powered rifle, for which the officers’ body armor was not sufficient. I am proud to have voted for this legislation and hope that we can provide pro­tection for our law enforcement officers.

While I usually discuss what the House accomplishes…

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