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.

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