Public Safety

Chris believes we must do everything possible to keep our families and children safe from the threat of sexual predators.

As state representative, Chris tightened registration requirements to make sure sex offenders living in our neighborhoods can be tracked. Some offenders claim to be homeless in order to evade registration requirements, but Chris’s law requires them to register with their local law enforcement agency every two weeks.

Chris also authored and passed out of the House legislation requiring computer technicians to report the discovery of child pornography to law enforcement. Even though this measure had strong support from law enforcement, it died it the Senate. Chris is going to re-file this important piece of legislation.

Deeply moved by the tragic case of Abdallah Khader, a 2-year old Arlington boy who was critically injured by a drunk driver and is in a permanent vegetative state, Chris authored legislation that eventually became known as “Abdallah’s Law.”

The law increases penalties on repeat drunk drivers, like the man who critically injured Abdallah. The legislation ensures that previous convictions in other states will be taken into account when prosecuting drunk driving cases in Texas. Chris will continue to work on legislation that decreases the occurrence of alcohol-related accidents.

Veterans

Chris has a proven record of leadership on veterans’ issues: he was the author of the bill that created the veterans scratch-off lottery ticket, which has raised more than $20 million for veterans’ assistance programs. He remains committed to working on and supporting legislation that honors the service and sacrifice our veterans.

Chris also authored and passed legislation requiring Texas colleges and universities to have a designated financial aid officer for veterans, so that returning service members are able to fully access the benefits they have earned under the new Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Texas Hazlewood Act. With more than 250,000 Texans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years, it is more important than ever that Texas have strong support systems in place so veterans – and their families – can take advantage of education and workforce opportunities.

Chris also authored and passed a law that would allow state employees to continue to accrue sick and vacation time when they deployed for active duty military service. He also wrote a measure that would allow the spouses of soldiers killed in the line of duty or 100% disabled as a result of their service to be eligible for Hazlewood educational benefits. This was added to a larger piece of legislation, passed and signed into law.

As a result of this work, and other measures benefiting veterans and their families, Chris has been repeatedly recognized by leading veterans’ organizations:

  • 2010 “Legislator of the Year,” Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • 2010 “Legislator of the Year,” Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council
  • 2009 “Freshman of the Year,” bi-partisan Legislative Veterans Caucus
  • 2009 recipient, Texas Veterans’ Commission Leadership Award

Jobs

welder

Chris believes we must invest in education and job training to create more economic opportunity for all Texans, not just a privileged few.

At the local level, Chris understands that the lack of public transportation in Arlington and Grand Prairie is a difficult obstacle for many families who are unable to commute to work or school. Chris believes the state’s transportation priorities should include strategies to upgrade and expand mass transit in major urban areas.

Chris has a 100 percent voting record with the Texas AFL-CIO. In order to help prevent manufacturing layoffs, Chris’s first bill signed into law in 2009 made improvements to the shared work unemployment compensation program. Chris co-authored legislation to exempt many small businesses from paying Texas franchise taxes. Chris also helped pass legislation to expand the back-to-school sales tax holiday to cover school supplies.

Turner Hopes Legislature Can Tackle Issues Pragmatically

BY ANNA M. TINSLEY

This year’s Legislature will have a different look and feel. New faces will make up nearly a quarter of the Texas House, and many government watchers believe that this could be one of the most conservative sessions ever in Austin. Five of Tarrant County’s seven new House members are ranked among the top 12 freshman lawmakers expected to be the most conservative in the 83rd legislative session.

Rep.-elect Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, was the only local House freshman not to make Hailey’s list.

He said he hopes that both parties can work together.

“The Republicans no longer hold a supermajority, and as a result, there will be a greater need for bipartisanship and compromise,” Turner said. “It is my hope that we can tackle the issues facing our state pragmatically, not based on political rhetoric.”Our state is changing very rapidly, and all the members must take the needs of the changing population into account.”

Turner Calls for a Bipartisan Approach to Texas Issues

BY DAVE MONTGOMERY

The selection of a speaker will be one of the first orders of business in the 150-member House on Tuesday when lawmakers open their 140-day biennial session to deal with state spending and host of other issues.

Although Straus is favored to easily retain his post in the GOP-controlled House, Simpson’s challenge perpetuates an element of conservative dissent that has periodically dogged the speaker through his two terms in the leadership post. A threatened conservative uprising in 2011 evaporated when Straus’ two challengers withdrew.

Rep.-elect Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, a Democrat who will represent the new district in east Tarrant County, says he plans to cast his vote for the incumbent speaker and is calling for a more bipartisan approach in the Republican-controlled House to deal with issues such as health care, education and transportation.

“I think Straus is clearly going to be elected speaker again'” he said.

There Oughta Be a Law!

 

housechamber

image courtesy of Places2Explore

Have you ever just said to yourself, “there ought to be a law” to do this, that or the other? Well, now’s your chance to let your voice be heard.

If you think there “Ought to be a Law”, complete the  form below and let Chris know.

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Turner: Congress Should Close Gun Show Loophole

BY ANNA M. TINSLEY AND SCOTT NISHIMURA

Each year countless guns change hands at thousands of guns shows nationwide — including quite a few in North Texas.

But the way those guns are sold could soon change if President Barack Obama and gun control advocates succeed in closing the “gun show loophole” that has been hotly debated for years as criminal justice officials explore ways to keep weapons out of the wrong hands.

… [S]tate Rep.-elect Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said he believes closing the loophole is reasonable.

“I think we should have background checks for all gun purchases,” Turner said. “I think the American public expects that. We want to know when someone purchases a gun, there’s no criminal or other history that would prevent them from buying it.”

Turner: Perry Ignoring Issues that Matter to Texans

State Rep.-elect Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said Perry should be keeping the focus on more pressing issues about government spending rather than focusing on politically charged social issues.

“Gov. Perry is once again ignoring the issues that matter to Texans, including reversing his devastating cuts to public schools and women’s health care, reducing the huge number of uninsured and investing in basic infrastructure so we can grow our economy.”The next legislative session is far too important to simply become a partisan sideshow in the governor’s 2016 presidential campaign.”

Lessons Learned – or Not

 

So, last week we had a big election. Obviously, I was pleased with most of the outcomes, from the presidential race on down, but what did we learn from it?

 

For one, politicians who have a cavalier attitude about women’s health care and personal health decisions will pay a heavy price at the ballot box.

 

Second, with significant demographic changes underway – particularly in the Hispanic community – Texas will be competitive in statewide elections and presidential elections very soon. With Hispanics in Texas and across the country giving President Obama 70 percent of the vote, Republican politicians would be smart to cease their cynical attacks on immigrants and their families.

 

Finally, we saw that candidates who were willing to stand up for our schools and against the divisive rhetoric we hear out of Austin could be successful in the face of well-financed, negative Republican campaigns. That’s why Tarrant County is sending Wendy Davis back to the Senate to represent us and why voters ended the Republican supermajority in the Texas House by electing seven new or returning Democratic members. With 55 House members, Democrats will be better positioned to stop the GOP assault on public education, health care and voting rights, but we have our work cut out for us.

 

And that brings me to lessons unlearned. I’ve talked a lot in this campaign about what voters in District 101 – and I think all over Texas – want. They want good schools to send their kids to, with up to date materials and classrooms that are not overcrowded. They want basic access to affordable health care. And they want a strong economy with good jobs – and that means a Texas that makes wise investments in transportation and water resources.

 

Now, let me tell you what I have never heard a voter ask me to do:

 

Drug test people when they lose their jobs

 

Ban so-called “sanctuary cities,” which we know do not exist

 

Take even more money out of public schools to fund private school vouchers

 

Interfere with homeland security measures at our airports

 

Yet, these are the “issues” that Republican leaders, from Governor Perry on down, tell us are the priority items facing our state. I disagree – and I think the voters do, as well.

 

So, when the Legislature convenes in January, my Democratic colleagues and I will be pushing to restore the $5.4 billion the GOP cut to public schools. We’ll be working to get health care access to the one quarter of our population that is uninsured. And we’ll be working to make long-term, smart investments in our state, in job training, transportation, energy and water.

 

Hopefully, Republican leaders have learned some lessons and will join us in these efforts. If not, the voters may have to take them back to school.

 

 

 

Chris


 

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