Weatherford Democrat

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January 9, 2013

Estes, King have bills in hopper as session opens

Texas’ 83rd Legislature begins by re-electing Straus speaker

FROM STAFF REPORTS

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers have a lot they hope to accomplish over the course of their 140-day legislative session that began Tuesday.

Their first order of business was electing a Speaker of the House, and Joe Straus was re-elected to that powerful position.

Parker County’s representatives at the state capitol went to work before Tuesday’s opening session, filing early several bills they hope to push through and make law.

“I am eager to get to work on the issues important to our district and our state,” said State Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls. “My priorities this session include repealing Texas’ burdensome business margin tax to spur economic growth, investing in our water infrastructure needs so that Texas remains a place where businesses choose to expand, and providing state-funded special training for school employees with handgun licenses so they are prepared to protect students in the event an ‘active shooter’ incident occurs.”

Estes stated he will continue his “commitment to low taxes and limited government while working diligently with his colleagues to ensure the budget is balanced while providing the essential government services Texans expect.”

Estes serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security, vice chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee. Estes also serves on the Business and Commerce and Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committees.

Estes pre-filed SB 113, a bill that aims to repeal Texas’ business tax, commonly known as the margin tax.

“The margin tax has been a big disappointment,” Estes said. “It is inequitable, costly and complicated for Texas businesses and has undermined the state’s competitive advantage. We understand in Texas that businesses are job creators, and we must do all we can to alleviate the pressures they face in this difficult economy and the impending federal fiscal cliff. Now more than ever, we must ensure that our Texas economy remains business friendly to attract growth and job creation.”

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