On Thursday, I will join hundreds of Texans on the south steps of the Capitol to speak at a rally supporting access to women’s healthcare. As I prepare my remarks, I can’t help but think about the 2013 special sessions and standing on those same steps looking out at a sea of women, men and children donning orange shirts in support of healthcare access.
I’ll never forget seeing and hearing the thousands of people in their Capitol opposing a draconian measure that has now resulted in clinic closures across our state and reduced access to cancer screenings and birth control.
In a state with the highest rate of repeat teen births and the fourth-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, access to medical resources like contraception is essential. Equally essential is access to quality medically accurate, evidence-based sex education.
This morning, Governor Greg Abbott delivered his first “State of the State” address to a joint session of the House and Senate. If you’ve never witnessed this address, it’s very similar to the “State of the Union,” but focused on the issues impacting Texas, while giving direction to the Legislature.
After touting our state’s successes, Governor Abbott focused on five emergency items, issues he wants the Legislature to address sooner than later. The issues include, education, transportation, border security, and ethics.
Last week was pretty eventful.
On Wednesday, committee assignments were announced and I’m pretty happy about where I landed. This session, I will serve on three committees — Higher Education, Ways and Means, and General Investigating and Ethics.
Nothing is more important than keeping kids safe. So when I learned that young children are 75 percent less likely to die or sustain serious injury in a rear-facing car seat, I filed a bill that would require just that — keep kids rear-facing until two.
AUSTIN – Today, State Representative Chris Turner (HD 101- Grand Prairie) filed two pieces of legislation, HB 955, which would require children remain in rear-facing car seats until the age of two, and HB 956, which seeks to clarify the definition of a health care liability claim.
HB 955 would create a state law requiring children to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until the age of two, unless the child exceeds the height and weight limit for the car seat.
HB 956 would clarify the definition of “claimant” in respect to a health care liability claim.
Last week, I filed two measures to create a state-based health insurance exchange, which would make it easier for Texans to sign up for coverage and ensure that the health insurance plans meet state requirements. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, it would protect Texans if the United States Supreme Court decides that federal tax credits are not available to people in states which do not have their own exchange. If these tax credits disappear, hundreds of thousands of Texans will see a significant tax increase and may no longer be able to afford coverage.
Will help ensure health insurance coverage remains affordable for hundreds of thousands of Texans; Prevent possible tax increase.
“Although the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace has been successful in our state, with over 730,000 enrolled in health insurance plans during the first year alone, providing a state-based program would help ensure that Texans receive plans tailored to their healthcare needs,” said Turner. “Both measures would protect hundreds of thousands of Texans from a tax increase if the Supreme Court decides that those buying coverage through the federal exchange would be ineligible for subsidies.”
Community invited to attend informational forum about these important programs
ARLINGTON, TX – On Thursday, January 22, State Representative Chris Turner will co-host an informational forum on the Deferred Action for Parents Accountability (DAPA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. The event, which is open to the public, will be held at Sam Houston High School in Arlington, and will feature a presentation by the North Texas Dream Team.
It’s time to get to work!
At noon today, the 84th Legislative Session convenes and I will be sworn in for my third term in the Texas House of Representatives. It’s an incredible honor to be the voice for House District 101 and to represent Arlington and Grand Prairie in Austin.
The beginning of each session brings with it the promise that elected officials will work together in good faith to address our state’s priorities for the next 140 days. The 150 members of the House come from all over the state, and our viewpoints can be as varied as the Texas weather — but we all love our state and want to do what’s best for its people.
If the Legislature and state leaders put partisan politics aside and do what is best for Texas, I know we can work together and get results.
It’s hard to believe, but the 84th Legislative Session is right around the corner. In about five weeks, I will head back to the Capitol to be sworn in for my third term. It’s an incredible honor to have the continued trust of my neighbors in House District 101 and to be their voice on the issues that matter in our community – improving our public schools, increasing access to healthcare and creating better paying jobs for our community.
Success during a legislative session is definitely a team effort, which includes help from staff, my colleagues, and of course, the Texans I represent. I look forward to working with you as we gear up for session. If we can help with a state matter or you have a bill idea, just let me know. You can email me at any time at email@example.com.
Thanks for your support and continued friendship. I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Make sure to scroll down for information about our upcoming Holiday Open House, Opening Day of Session and Texas 101 Day at the Capitol!
AUSTIN – On Monday, State Representative Chris Turner (HD 101- Grand Prairie) pre-filed five pieces of legislation in advance of the 84th Legislative Session. The measures target a wide range of issues, including instituting a ban on “double dipping,” ensuring bars carry liability insurance, providing additional aid to veterans in need, cracking down on unsolicited calls by high-interest lenders, and protecting Texans from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
ARLINGTON — In anticipation of tonight’s announcement by President Barack Obama that he will sign an executive order addressing immigration, State Representative Chris Turner (HD101-Grand Prairie) released the following statement:
“Comprehensive immigration reform has been stalled in Congress for far too long. I applaud the President for taking action to fix a broken system that has put millions of law-abiding families — including many in North Texas — in constant fear of being ripped apart.
“It is my hope that this announcement will finally spur Congress into action and they will pass comprehensive immigration reform. Such legislation will not only benefit immigrants, but our local, state and national economy. Additionally, millions will finally be able to come out of the shadows.”