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!

 

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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


 

State Representative Chris Turner

Thank You!

Thank you. With early voting results in, I’m humbled to say that we’re at 90 percent of the vote and headed back to Austin.

We have much to celebrate tonight, and Lisa and I cannot thank you enough. Our victory is the result of the hundreds of volunteers and donors and the thousands of voters in District 101 who believe we need change in Austin and want to have a representative who is not afraid to stand up to the special interests and partisan agendas. I am so honored that the voters have placed their trust in me to fight for their families in our state’s capitol.

So tonight, let’s celebrate. Tomorrow, I’m going back to work for the people of Arlington and Grand Prairie and promise to do my very best to represent you well in the Texas House of Representatives.

With much gratitude,

Vouchers

After the Legislature slashed $5.4 billion from public schools last year, a reasonable person might have thought, “Well, at least it can’t get any worse.”

Guess what? Apparently, it can.

Republicans in Austin, including Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst, have declared that “school choice” is a top priority for them next session. Let’s be clear what so-called school choice is: it’s stealing precious tax dollars from cash-starved public schools and diverting them to private schools, which get to pick and choose which students they educate.

Public dollars should be for public schools. Period.

It’s hard to fathom why Republican leaders think vouchers are a good idea, especially in the aftermath of the devastating budget cuts in the last session. Saturday, I participated in Arlington ISD’s Operation Graduation for the third year in a row. I spent the morning with two AISD teachers and one counselor. I asked them what the Legislature’s top education priority should be next session. Unanimously, it was more funding – funding so they can hire more teachers and reduce class size. One of the teachers taught junior high – she has about 35 kids in her classes. The other taught sixth grade; she has about 32 students.

That’s simply unacceptable. And we’re not going to be able to do much about it if we don’t reverse the budget cuts, get more teachers into the classrooms and keep up with our state’s continued enrollment growth. And we won’t accomplish that by taking money out of public schools to fund private school vouchers.

As I have said throughout the last 14 months of this campaign, I am running for the Legislature to make our public schools a priority in our state budget. That includes standing up against private school vouchers, and that’s exactly what I will do in Austin.

Texas-OU Kickoff/Birthday Event Coming Up!

Click the image to RSVP

Our big fundraiser to kick off Texas/OU weekend and yes, mark my 40th birthday, is coming up on October 11th. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute to contribute and join our host committee. It will be a fun evening with good friends, and I hope you can be there. Your support will help us get out the vote in this critical election. Hope to see you on October 11th!

Chris’s Community Support Continues to Grow! UPDATED!

I continue to be humbled and inspired by the support and encouragement that I’ve received from community leaders, friends, activists, volunteers, and voters for the upcoming Democratic primary for Texas House of Representatives, District 101.

This list of supporters is a microcosm of our community – teachers, veterans, retirees, union members, business leaders and so many others.  I am honored by your support and know that by working together, we will win this race and give our new district a strong, effective voice in Austin.

Best,

P.S. Don’t see your name and want to add it?  Click here to sign up.

Organizations and Associations Supporting Chris

Arlington Police Association

Arlington Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 1329

Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT)

HOSPAC

Metroplex Democrats of Arlington

Mid-Cities Democrats

Northeast Tarrant County Democrats

Teamsters Local 745 DRIVE Committee

Tejano Democrats of North Texas

Texans for Education Funding Equity (TEFE) PAC

Texas Parent PAC

Texas Public Employees Association Political Action Committee

Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA)

TEXPAC

TREPAC – Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee

Transport Workers Union Texas Conference AFLCIO

Tarrant County Central Labor Council AFLCIO

Grassroots Endorsement List

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Ann Price

Robert Price

Edwina & Moses Ramirez

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Spencer Roberson

Yolonde Rocio

Paula Rodgers

Janice Sims & Bill Russell

Jay Rutherford

Joseph Saldana

Emad Salem

Malizy & Craig Scruggs

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Florine Shepard

Hon. Aftab Siddiqui

Loretta Simmons

Jessica & Jason Smith

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Lorraine Stanford

Adrena & Hon. Raymond Stephney

Jacquelyn Strong

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Hon. Marvin Sutton

Anne & Jim Swan

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Mary Ann & Gary Turner

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