AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) successfully passed House Bill 1510, which transfers oversight of emergency services district (ESD) annual reports from the Texas Department of Agriculture to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. It also requires that the reports be published online.

“Public information about ESDs has historically been difficult for the public to find — even by the districts’ own commissioners,” Rep. Isaac said Thursday. “I’m confident that both emergency service personnel and taxpayers will be better served by annual reports residing with a state agency more closely tied to ESDs’ mission of public safety and emergency management.”

ESDs are special taxing districts that provide fire or EMS services. Their annual reports were originally the purview of the Office of Rural Community Affairs, which was later absorbed by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

“Transparent and responsible use of taxpayer dollars is one of my top priorities, and HB 1510 seeks to improve the public’s access to information about their taxing districts,” Rep. Isaac said Thursday.

HB 1510 has been sent to the Texas Senate for consideration, where it must be passed before the legislation can be signed into law by the governor.

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) successfully passed House Bill 2283, which seeks to close a loophole leaving some foster children vulnerable to improper relationships.

“There is a statewide movement to reform our CPS and foster care system, and I’m honored that my bill plays a small role in that movement,” Rep. Isaac said Thursday. “I’m thankful to our Hays County district attorney for bringing this issue to my attention and for his role in protecting children in foster care from abuse.”

Under current state law, improper relationships between employees of certain residential facilities and its residents can be prosecuted as sexual assault. This includes nursing homes, adult day cares, group homes for the mentally disabled, pediatric extended care centers, and similar facilities. Unfortunately, foster group homes were left out. In other words, there is currently no recourse to prosecute a Department of Family and Protective Services employee who engaged in an improper relationship with a foster child above the age of consent.

“I’d like to thank Rep. Isaac for his work to help protect the vulnerable patients in these facilities from those who would otherwise be inclined to take advantage of them,” said Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau.

HB 2283 has been sent to the Texas Senate for consideration, where it must be passed before the legislation can be signed into law by the governor.

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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Rep. Isaac Passes Habitat for Humanity Legislation

AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) successfully passed House Bill 1512, which aims to help charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity help low-income Texans achieve homeownership through charity and sweat equity.

“I’m excited to have passed this important piece of legislation,” said Rep. Isaac. “Habitat and nonprofit organizations like it provide an outstanding service to Texans in need, helping them find a pathway out of poverty.”

“Homeownership has widely documented benefits, from improved health and economic freedom to more stable family lives,” said Amy Ledbetter Parham, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Texas. “This bill will give more hard-working Texans a boost to buy their own homes. It’s good for them and great for the Texas economy, bringing communities all the benefits of solid neighborhoods.”

With costs of living, property values, and permitting costs on the rise, particularly near urban centers, it has become increasingly difficult for nonprofit organizations to continue helping Texans in need. HB 1512 increases the maximum amount of loans that Habitat and other sweat-equity organizations can extend from $90,000 to $150,000. These loans are partially serviced by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs through the Bootstrap Loan Program and partially by other sources, often charitable grants.

“HB 1512 is one step towards making homeownership more affordable for Texans,” said Rep. Isaac. “I look forward to continuing to work on more ways to reduce regulations, fees, and taxes to relieve the financial burdens on the hardworking people I serve.”

The bill has been sent to the Texas Senate for consideration, where its companion was recently voted out of committee.

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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Rep. Isaac Passes Amendment to Stop Welfare Fraud

AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) successfully amended the Texas House of Representatives’ budget bill to require an audit of potential fraud, waste, and abuse in the welfare system.

“Funds that are intended to help the least among us get back on their feet should be spent for that purpose and that purpose only,” said Rep. Isaac Thursday during budget negotiations. “With over 4 million Medicaid recipients and 3.8 million food stamp recipients in Texas, many of whom overlap, even a small percentage of errors result in an unacceptable waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Rep. Isaac called attention to data pictured below depicting Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program funds spent out-of-state — just one potential form of fraud, waste, and abuse. However, at this time there is no way to know the full extent. Though the Health and Human Services Commission screens welfare recipients for eligibility at the time they apply, there is not a uniform effort to ensure continued eligibility after enrollment.

The amendment directs the Health and Human Services Commission to conduct a study cross-referencing welfare recipients with death records, enrollment in other states-administered programs, lottery winnings, out-of-state spending, employment records, and other factors.

“The people of Texas have entrusted us with their tax dollars — dollars that they work hard to earn — we should treat that trust with the utmost respect,” Rep. Isaac continued.

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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USA Heat Map 2016

 

AUSTIN — In response to disturbing reports about wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars within the agency, Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) successfully passed an amendment banning out-of-state travel by employees of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
“The tax dollars you and I work so hard for should be spent responsibly, and TABC’s recent actions are extremely concerning,” said Rep. Isaac Thursday. “They should not go towards pricey trips to alcohol industry conferences that sound more like parties than meetings.”

A recent report in the Texas Tribune shone a light on disturbing practices within TABC, including the expenditure of tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on trips to Hawaii, San Diego, Atlantic City, and other out-of-state locations. In addition to travel expenses, taxpayer dollars were used to pay for open bars, mariachi bands, and square dancers.

Rep. Isaac’s amendment, coauthored by Rep. Ramon Romero, Jr. (D-Fort Worth) was the only amendment approved for House Bill 2, the supplemental appropriations bill.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature to continue ensuring transparency and responsible use of our taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Isaac continued. “The people of Texas deserve better.”

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) is alerting citizens of Hays and Blanco counties of a public hearing on House Bill 4122 at the Capitol Wednesday.

“HB 4122 would undo the protections put in place by the Save Our Wells bill we fought for in 2015,” said Rep. Isaac. “I want to make sure everyone who depends on wells for their livelihood is aware of this deeply concerning legislation.”

HB 4122 would allow a landowner with over 1,000 acres in two or more groundwater conservation districts to choose the groundwater conservation district they prefer to be in. This effectively allows the landowner to select whichever district has more lenient pumping requirements — eliminating any protections for surrounding landowners’ rights to their groundwater.

This is particularly concerning because much of Hays County and all of Blanco County are in a priority groundwater management area, which, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is “experiencing, or expected to experience, critical groundwater problems.” Worse, the bill could create a vehicle for one landowner to create their own district with complete disregard for surrounding wells.

The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a public hearing to discuss the bill on Wednesday, April 5, at 10:30 a.m. or upon adjournment in room E2.010.

“House District 45 sent a strong message last session that we will fight for our rights and our water,” Rep. Isaac continued. “Unfortunately, the Hays County water wars are continuing. We’re going to have to fight for those rights one more time.”

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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AUSTIN — A handful of members of the Texas Legislature have filed bills aimed at undoing the protections put in place by the Save Our Wells bill, authored and passed by Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) with overwhelming community support in 2015.

“I’m incredibly disappointed that a few of my colleagues are playing games with the citizens of Hays County and attempting to undo the important groundwater protections that were passed last session for their own political gain,” Rep. Isaac said Tuesday.

The “Save Our Wells bill” placed unprotected land in Hays County within the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District in an effort to safeguard local wells. This legislation protects private property rights by ensuring landowners rights to their water — as long as it doesn’t put their neighbors’ wells in jeopardy.

“The people of Hays County have made it clear that keeping the groundwater we depend on plentiful and affordable is of the utmost importance,” Rep. Isaac continued. “I will fight vehemently any attempts to undo the protections that were put in place last session as I work to protect the people I serve.”

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) has filed House Bill 2400 to abolish Daylight Saving Time.

“Imagine that it’s 2017 and lawmakers have for the first time proposed arbitrarily changing our clocks twice a year. They would be publicly ridiculed!” Rep. Isaac stated. “The fact is, Daylight Saving Time is an antiquated regulation that no longer serves our state’s needs.”

Numerous studies have suggested that Daylight Saving Time changes lead to an increase in car accidents and heart attacks. This is in addition to lost productivity due to sleep cycle disruptions causing fatigue, decreased alertness, decreased motivation, and tardiness.

“Daylight Saving Time has become an annoyance at best and a burden to our state at worst,” Rep. Isaac continued.

“In Texas, all state agencies go through a ‘sunset review’ process in which they have to prove their worth to the taxpayers who fund them — or be abolished. Outdated regulations should have to do the same. It’s time to let the sun set on Daylight Saving Time.”

Rep. Isaac is a fourth-generation native Texan who has served House District 45 since 2011. He is the vice president of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus in the Texas Legislature, and founding chair of the Hill Country Caucus. He is proud to represent Hays and Blanco counties and lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.

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AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) has filed legislation aimed at stopping inappropriate relationships between teachers and students in Texas public schools.

“Our state is blessed to be home to so many truly talented and dedicated educators,” Rep. Isaac said. “However, we haven’t done enough to keep the few bad apples from taking advantage of our children.”

Reps. Isaac and Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) have previously called attention to the practice known as “passing the trash,” where teachers who resign instead of being fired for engaging in inappropriate relationships with children are allowed to keep their teaching certificate. When this happens, they can find jobs in other school districts and continue preying on the students.

Governor Greg Abbott addressed “passing the trash” at length in his State of the State address and called for legislation to revoke licenses of teachers who assault children and send them to jail.

Rep. Isaac filed House Bill 1403 and Rep. Dale filed HB 218, both of which strengthen prohibitions against relationships between educators and students.

“I’m thankful that our children’s safety in schools — where all they should have to focus on is learning — is a priority for our state’s leadership,” Rep. Isaac continued. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and the Senate to keep sexual predators out of our schools.”

Representing Blanco and Hays counties, Rep. Isaac has served House District 45 in the Texas Legislature since 2011. He is a member of the Economic and Small Business Development, Environmental Regulation, and Local and Consent Calendars committees and is chair of the Subcommittee on Small Business. He lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons, who attend public schools.

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Rep. Isaac Unveils the Teaching Over Testing Act

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AUSTIN — Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) today announced the filing of the Teaching Over Testing Act, a bill designed to radically reduce the impact of standardized testing on Texas’ students, educators, and taxpayers.

“Texas is a diverse state, but if there’s anything people from Amarillo to Brownsville and El Paso to Beaumont and people from both political parties can agree on, it’s that STAAR is a disservice to the students we will one day rely on as our next generation of leaders.”

House Bill 1333, dubbed the Teaching Over Testing Act, aims to move the focus in public education away from standardized testing and back to the classroom through four critical reforms:

  1. Allowing school districts to select alternative test providers
  2. Reducing the number of tests
  3. Removing STAAR scores from teacher evaluations
  4. Reducing the weight of STAAR scores in A-F ratings

The bill has already received bipartisan support from all across the Lone Star State and has been joint-authored so far by Reps. Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie), Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), and Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston).

“I’m thrilled by the bipartisan support this legislation is receiving,” Rep. Isaac continued. “It’s time we shift the focus of public education away from standardized testing and back to the classroom where it belongs.”

A one-pager explaining HB 1333 in more detail is available here. You can view the press conference in full by clicking the video below.

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Representing Blanco and Hays counties, Rep. Isaac has served House District 45 in the Texas Legislature since 2011. He is a member of the Economic and Small Business Development, Environmental Regulation, and Local and Consent Calendars committees and is chair of the Subcommittee on Small Business. He lives in Drippings Springs with his wife, Carrie, and two sons.