Turner Named “Freshman of the Year” by the Bi-Partisan Legislative Veterans Caucus

As a result of Turner’s effective work on veterans’ issues, the bipartisan Veterans’ Caucus named Turner its “Freshman of the Year” for the 81st Legislative Session.

“I am humbled to have received this tremendous honor from my colleagues, and I intend to keep fighting for Texas veterans and their families,” Turner said.

Turner passed several key measures to aid Texas veterans and their families:

Turner filed and passed legislation that will generate up to $14 million over the next two years to pay for critical services for Texas veterans. This measure, which establishes a dedicated lottery scratch-off game to benefit the Permanent Fund for Veterans Assistance, was a top legislative priority for leading veterans’ organizations.  Services that will be made possible with this bill include PTSD counseling, transportation assistance to VA health care facilities and job placement assistance.

Turner also passed legislation that will help ensure that our veterans and their family members are able to take full advantage of the educational benefits which they have earned by guaranteeing that there is a trained veteran’s aid specialist at every public Texas college and university.

Turner successfully passed legislation to allow state employees who take a leave of absence for military service to continue to accrue vacation and sick leave.

Finally, Turner’s measure to expand the Hazelwood college financial aid program to the spouses of service members who are killed or completely disabled as a result of their service is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

“With over 1.7 million veterans in Texas, I was honored to fight for our veterans to ensure that they receive the benefits they have earned and deserve,” said Turner. “With thousands of Texans fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we must do all we can to make sure that they will receive the help they need when they return home.”

Chris Turner: Legislative Highlights (81st Legislature)

Giving Back to Texas  Veterans and Their Families

  • capitol1Because of his work on issues affecting veterans and their families, Turner was named the bi-partisan Legislative Veteran’s Caucus “Freshman of the Year.”
  • Given the “Leadership Award” by the Texas Veterans Commission.
  • Turner authored H.B. 1299 which will create one scratch off lottery ticket to provide an estimated $8 million annually for critical and emergency aid to Texas veterans through the Fund for Veterans Assistance. The bill passed the House and was ultimately amended to a Texas Veterans Commission bill.
  • Turner authored H.B. 1636 which ensures that all state employees who are called to active military duty are able to continue to accrue their vacation and sick time and do not lose these benefits because they were deployed. The bill was the House companion to Senator John Carona’s S.B. 833, which Turner sponsored.
  • Turner authored and passed H.B. 3951 requires state colleges and universities ensure a professional in their financial aid office is familiar with and trained on the major educational benefits available to veterans.
  • Turner authored H.B. 3952 extending the Hazelwood Act to the spouses of Texas military members who are killed in the line of duty or left completely disabled. Turner amended the measure to S.B. 93.
  • Turner added an amendment to H.B. 1935 which establishes the Jobs and Education for Texans Grant Program. The amendment will ensure that those organizations that have programs benefiting veterans will be given priority in the grants awarding process.

Fighting for Consumers and Small Business

  • For his efforts on behalf of consumers, Turner was named “Freshman of the Year” by the non-partisan pro-consumer organization, Texas Watch.
  • Turner authored H.B. 995 which passed the House Committee on State Affairs unanimously (15-0) and was later amended onto another House Bill. The legislation will require retail electric providers to give their customers at least 30 days written notice that their fixed price electric contract is expiring.
  • For his efforts on behalf of consumers, Turner was named “Freshman of the Year” by the non-partisan pro-consumer organization, Texas Watch.
  • Turner filed several pieces of legislation protecting homeowners from unfair practices by the insurance industry.

Improving Our Public Schools & Helping Texas Universities  Excel

  • Turner co-authored H.B. 3646, which will provide an additional $1.9 billion in school funding and increase the equity among school districts.
  • Turner co-authored H.B. 51, the “Tier One” bill, which opens the door for “emerging research universities,” such as the University of Texas at Arlington, to become a “Top Tier” research university.

Shielding Our Families from Sexual Predators

  • Turner authored H.B. 2396 will require sex offenders who claim to be homeless to register with their local law enforcement agency every 2 weeks. The bill was combined with an identical piece of legislation during the committee process and was signed into law by Governor Perry.
  • Turner authored and passed out of the House legislation requiring computer technicians to report the discovery of child pornography to law enforcement.  This measure had strong support from law enforcement, but unfortunately the bill died in the Senate.

Supporting Texas Businesses and Cutting Taxes

  • H.B. 1637 made improvements to the shared work unemployment compensation program, making it possible for many of our large manufacturers and other employers who operate on swing shifts to take advantage of this state program. Turner passed this bill on the first day the House considered legislation.
  • Turner co-authored H.B. 4765 which will exempt small businesses with less than $1 million of revenue from paying Texas franchise taxes.
  • Turner co-authored H.B. 831 which would exempt Chambers of Commerce from paying ad valorem taxes on property they owned and used for their primary functions.

Lower our sky-high utility rates

Just a few years ago, Texas had some of the cheapest utility rates in the country — today, we have some of the highest.

powerHigh natural gas and electricity rates are squeezing many middle class families in Tarrant County.

Chris Turner knows we can change things and do better — he will work in the Legislature to lower utility rates for Texas families and hold the big utility companies accountable to our communities.

Thanks for your contribution!

Thank you for your generous contribution to our campaign. Your support means a great deal to me.

With your help, we can make a difference on the issues we all care about – working to create good-paying jobs with benefits, defending our seniors, honoring our veterans, protecting our quality of life, and strengthening our neighborhood public schools and our colleges.  I know that by working together, we can make a positive difference for families in Arlington and Grand Prairie and across our great state.

Your financial support will help lay the groundwork for a successful campaign in 2012. Thank you again – I hope to visit with you soon.

Best regards,

Chris Turner

Thanks for signing up to volunteer!

Thank you for signing up to get involved in our campaign.  Your support means a great deal to me.

With your help, we can make a difference on the issues we all care about – education, health care, utility rates and transportation and many others. I know that by working together, we can make a positive difference for families in Arlington and Grand Prairie and across our great state.

Your support will enable us to get our message of change out to the voters of District 101.  Someone will be in touch with you very soon to follow up and let you know how you can help.  Thank you again – I hope to visit with you soon.

Best regards,


Chris Turner

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