Rep. Isaac Files Public Education Reform Bills

AUSTIN, TX – State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), with input from parents, students, teachers, and administrators filed four education bills to reduce burdensome unfunded mandates, reduce our dependence on standardized testing, and help shift decision making into the hands of local school districts.

HB 1866 adds multiple alternative assessment options for school districts to choose from under the public school accountability system.  HB 1867 seeks to eliminate the burden on school districts when the legislature has not appropriated sufficient funds for a district to comply with a state mandate.

Rep. Isaac stated, “It is critical that we start giving options to our local schools so they can have the independence to make choices as an Independent School District.  We tell districts how to do too much and then don’t give them the money to do it.”

HB 1868 places a limit on the amount of time required for students to take an assessment.  Additionally, the Texas Education Agency would be responsible for ensuring that certain grade levels are given an assessment that can be completed in an appropriate amount of time.

“The urgency and importance of this bill was brought to my attention last December when I had a meeting with several parents and teachers from the district who are concerned with how stressed and anxious students become because of the time allotted for taking lengthy assessments,” Rep. Isaac said.

HB 1869 allows schools to offer a course or activity for vocational credit that applies to the licensing requirements for plumbers and electricians.  It would also allow school districts to issue a teaching permit and employ a person who does not have a teaching certificate but has a plumbing or electrical license.

Rep. Isaac concluded, “Texas students deserve a world-class education that prepares them for a future, not just taking a test.  I am hopeful that the Texas Legislature will take the steps necessary this session to help our local schools provide every child with a path to success.”

To track the status of legislation, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us.

 

Rep. Isaac Appointed to Critical Leadership Positions
AUSTIN, TX – Today, Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) was appointed as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Small Business Development, a subcommittee tasked with investigating and developing effective public policy relating to small businesses in Texas.

Representative Angie Chen-Button, Chairman of the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development, stated “I am happy to appoint Jason Isaac as Chair of the Subcommittee on Small Business Development. As a small business owner himself, Chairman Isaac brings a wealth of knowledge to this area. His energy and leadership will benefit the committee and the great state of Texas.”

Rep. Isaac stated, “I understand first-hand the challenges that these entities face.  We must continually strive to maintain Texas’ role as our country’s leader in job creation, and I am passionate about getting government out of the way of doing business here.  It is an honor to be appointed as Chairman of this important subcommittee.”

This announcement comes on the heels of Rep. Isaac’s recent election to the Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) Board as the Treasurer of the organization. Formed in 1985, TCC has distinguished itself as one of the largest and most influential caucuses in the Texas Legislature.  As a legislator driven organization, TCC is committed to shaping public policy by promoting limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise, and traditional values.

Rep. Isaac continued, “TCC is an amazing resource that not only offers detailed research on the myriad of issues that the Legislature is facing, but also ensures that conservatives have the coordination and tools we need to further our policy priorities.  I am humbled by the trust that my colleagues have placed in me by electing me to be a part of the leadership team.”

Rep. Isaac was also recently appointed by the Speaker to three House Committees: Economic and Small Business Development, Environmental Regulation, and Local and Consent Calendars.

“These committee assignments will allow me continue my work on economic development and environmental issues, while providing me with the opportunity to have a greater impact on the local legislation that reaches the House floor,” said Rep. Isaac.

“This is the first time in fourteen years Texans have had a new Governor and new executive leadership at the Capitol,” Rep. Isaac concluded.  “It is vital that the Legislature remain steadfast in pursuing economic freedom and conservative values.  These appointments will help me to further this goal, and I’m looking forward to all that we can accomplish during the 84th legislative session.”

 

Hancock, Isaac File Legislation to Eliminate Anti-Competitive TABC Laws
Senate Bill 609, House Bill 1225 level the playing field for retail sale of spirits and
take a stand for consumers and fair competition
AUSTIN, TX – State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) took a stand today on behalf of free markets and Texas consumers by filing legislation designed to eliminate two anti-competitive provisions of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.

The first provision prohibits publicly traded companies from owning package liquor stores.  This discriminatory practice prevents companies that have invested in Texas, contributed to the state’s tax base and employ hundreds of thousands of Texans from serving consumers.  Repealing the provision will create the same rules for all businesses to operate fairly in a free market system.

The second is a provision that caps the number of package store permits an individual may hold at five, but includes a loophole that has allowed the immediate families of private liquor store owners to consolidate their permits under holding companies and skirt the five store limit entirely.  Private package store corporations have exploited this loophole to amass hundreds of permits, dominate regional markets, and gain an unfair advantage in the sale of spirits.

“In Texas, we believe in free market principles.  When a law violates those principles, it’s time to amend it or end it,” said Hancock.  “Currently, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code prohibits publicly traded companies from competing in the retail sale of spirits but allows private corporations to do so.  Texas is the only state in the nation with this type of targeted, anti-competitive restriction still in place.  Along with most Texans, I believe the government should not be in the position of picking winners and losers in private industry.”

Isaac added, “Fair competition is the cornerstone of the free market system and a fundamental expectation of Texas consumers.  We should not saddle Texas taxpayers with the expense of defending these anti-competitive laws in the courts.  The legislature should step up to defend free markets and fair competition.”

SB 609 and HB 1225 make no modifications to the well-established three-tier system of manufacturers, distributors and retail package stores, nor do they modify current TABC safety requirements or laws requiring package stores to have entirely separate entrances.  In order to compete in the retail sale of spirits companies would have to do so in establishments separate from their main retail stores.

 

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2015
Rep. Isaac Gives Required 30-Day Notice to Change Groundwater District 

Files Priority Groundwater Management Protection Bill

AUSTIN, TX – State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) announced plans to file up to five bills relating to extending groundwater protection districts in Hays County, adding limited regulation to portions of otherwise unregulated aquifers, and changing household water usage laws to better protect Texas water resources.

“Protecting the groundwater of the Hill Country region and the entire State has been a top priority of mine since I was first elected to serve House District 45,” said Rep. Isaac. “These bills will address the immediate concerns of my constituents in Hays County, and will also help in bringing innovative water saving solutions to Texas by increasing graywater usage and encouraging rainwater collection systems.”

House Bill 1191, filed today, would create a buffer zone of 5 miles beyond the boundaries of a priority groundwater management area and give additional groundwater protection authority to the Texas Water Development Board. Another proposal will extend the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and another would extend the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, which both require a 30-day posting notice prior to filing. Additional legislation will help bring Texas to the forefront of water policy by reducing the tax burden on homeowners who install rainwater collection systems and allow for new domestic uses of graywater.

“In the middle of 2014 I first learned that there was an area of Hays County where the Trinity aquifer wasn’t protected. Immediately, I began conversations with local elected officials, charged with protecting our groundwater, about solutions that would cover the unprotected area of the Trinity,” said Rep. Isaac. “The recent discovery of a proposal by a Houston-based company to pump 5 million gallons per day from an area just outside the boundary of a priority groundwater management area increased the urgency to find a solution.”

Rep. Isaac also praised this week’s resolution by the Hays County Commissioners Court in support of legislation to establish local protection of the Trinity aquifer.

 

AUSTIN, TX – State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) will host a town hall to address water concerns at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10 in the Johnson Hall at the Wimberley Community Center.

Rep. Isaac said, “Many questions and concerns have been brought to my attention regarding the amount of water being pumped from the Trinity aquifer by a Houston-based company, Electro Purification. I am hosting a town hall meeting as an unbiased approach where people can come to learn about the project and voice their concerns. I’m hopeful all of the parties involved will be present to discuss their plans.”

Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams, representatives with Anthem, and Electro Purification have confirmed their attendance. State Senator Donna Campbell’s office will be in attendance as well.

“The amount of water that Electro Purification plans to pump is of great concern. We must learn what impact this will have on our groundwater supply that is critical to us all in this environmentally sensitive area.” Rep. Isaac continued, “I am currently working on legislative solutions that will ensure protection of our aquifers.”

The Wimberley Community Center is located at 14068 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley, TX 78676.

 

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX – State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) encourages residents in Hays County to submit comments in support of proposed road improvements on RM 1826 in Dripping Springs. The TxDOT project includes the construction of turn lanes and shoulders along RM 1826 from the Travis County line to Nutty Brown Road.

“Last November I received a letter from an 8-year-old girl who witnessed a horrific car accident on RM 1826 and Kemp Hills Drive. The accident not only resulted in people getting hurt, but also a little girl who is scared to leave her neighborhood and ride to school on the bus,” said Rep. Isaac.

Recently, voters approved State Proposition 1, which allows TxDOT to distribute $1.74 billion for potential projects in the 2015 Unified Transportation Program (UTP), and prioritizes transportation needs with the submission of public comments on proposed road projects throughout Texas.

Rep. Isaac continued, “It is critical for the safety of drivers and most importantly, the safety of our children that we quickly receive improvements on RM 1826. There are 201 proposed road projects currently undergoing consideration for 2015, and with the vast submission of public comment in support of the RM 1826 project, there is hope that we will see the improvements breaking ground this year.”

Public comments will be accepted from Jan. 23 to Feb. 23 and may be submitted by email to TPP_UTP@txdot.gov; by phone at (800) 687-8108; or by mail to Texas Department of Transportation, attention: James Koch – UTP, P.O. Box 149217, Austin, TX 78714-9217.

Please be sure to include the RM 1826 Project ID – 175402025 – with all comment submissions.