Turner Reports $321K Raised

TURNER REPORTS $321K RAISED DURING LAST HALF OF 2019
Democratic Caucus Chair contributes more than $55,000 to other campaigns & groups

AUSTIN – Today, state Representative and Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner will report over $321,000 in monetary contributions raised during the last six months of 2019, the most he has ever raised in a non-election year reporting period. Turner’s campaign account maintains nearly $340,000 cash-on-hand.

The Chris Turner Campaign has already donated $57,000 to support Democratic incumbents, candidates and organizations in their 2020 election efforts. In the 2018 election cycle, Turner’s campaign spent more than $340,000 to help other Democratic candidates.

“Thanks to the generosity of our contributors and the support of the people of District 101, where I am honored to be unopposed for re-election, my campaign is in a strong position to help Texas Democrats win in 2020,” Turner said. “This election will shape the future of Texas for generations. With just nine seats between Democrats and the majority in the Texas House, and with redistricting on our doorstep, it’s imperative that our candidates have the resources they need to win.”

“With the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC) leading the charge, we have built a strong coalition to win the House, which will be reflected in the reports filed today,” said Turner. “As Democratic Caucus Chair, I will do my part by working closely with the HDCC and other allies, as well as continuing to raise funds so that we can exceed my campaign’s substantial 2018 investment.”

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Redistricting Committee in Arlington on January 22nd

On Wednesday, January 22, the House Committee on Redistricting will hold a public hearing at Tarrant County College Southeast Campus, in the heart of District 101. As Vice-Chair of the Redistricting Committee, I am proud to host this important legislative hearing in our district.

Every 10 years, the Legislature is required to draw new districts for the U.S. House, State Senate, State House and State Board of Education. Districts are redrawn to reflect population changes as tabulated in the upcoming 2020 Census.

The Arlington hearing is one of more than two dozen hearings the Redistricting Committee is holding around the state prior to next year’s legislative session. I hope Tarrant County residents will turn out for the January 22 hearing and share your thoughts about the upcoming 2021 redistricting process.

At the hearing, we will hear a presentation from the State Demographer about population trends statewide and in the DFW area, in particular. We will also hear from the Texas Legislative Council, which facilitates the technical aspects of redistricting. After those presentations, the hearing will be opened up for public testimony. Examples of topics of previous public testimony include:
  • Thoughts on the redistricting process overall
  • What people like or do not like about the current districts
  • Census outreach
  • The process of drawing the new maps
Members of the public are encouraged to attend and testify on any topic they wish related to redistricting. Please note that the public testimony will likely be limited to three minutes at the discretion of the committee chairman.

The hearing will begin at 4:00 PM and end once public testimony is complete.
If you have any questions about the hearing or would like additional information, please email chris.turner@house.texas.gov or call my Arlington office at 817-459-2800.

I hope to see you on the 22nd

Help us win the Texas House

Democrats need just nine seats to take the majority in the Texas House of Representatives for the first time in nearly 20 years. With nearly two dozen seats in play, we can win in 2020 – with your help.

I cannot stress enough how much there is at stake. With once-a-decade redistricting happening in 2021, flipping these seats will change our state’s course for the next decade and beyond.

A Democratic House will pass Medicaid expansion providing health care access to more than one million Texans. A Democratic House will defeat the unending Republican attacks on voter participation, a woman’s right to choose and equality. And a Democratic House will make public education the top priority every year, for every Texas child.

As Chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, I have committed to do everything in my power to win the House and to help our campaign arm – the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC) – fund these races and help our incredible lineup of candidates across the state win.

I am not alone in this effort. We have a team of elected officials from across Texas helping – you may have received similar emails in the past few days from my colleagues in the House, state senators, members of Congress, mayors and others. There’s an incredible coalition supporting the HDCC’s efforts, but we can’t do it alone, we need your help

In 2018, Texas Democrats made incredible strides, winning twelve seats in the Texas House, plus flipping two districts in both the state Senate and Congress. This was just a start — during this upcoming presidential election year, our gains will be even bigger.

Why is your help needed today? Tomorrow, December 31, is an important fundraising deadline and will help make sure Texas House Democrats have the resources we need to start the election year off right.

Will you join me in supporting the HDCC? At last count, they only need 455 more grassroots donors before January 1st to meet this critical goal. 

Click here to join me in this effort to win back the Texas House.

Happy Holidays!

As we approach the of 2019, Lisa and I want to take a moment to thank you for your friendship and support and to wish you a holiday season full of peace, love and joy.

We look forward to seeing you in 2020!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

Turner Praises UT System for Approving Funds to Replace Aging UT Arlington Facility

Today, the University of Texas System Board of Regents voted to allocate $60 million from the Permanent University Fund (PUF) to construct a new building at the University of Texas at Arlington. The building, which has been a top priority for the university for several years, will house the School of Social Work and the College of Nursing’s Health Innovation Smart Hospital.

“This is fantastic news for UT Arlington, and I commend the Board of Regents for making this important investment,” said state Representative Chris Turner, who represents part of Arlington and serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. “UT Arlington is a world-class institution and the School of Social Work and College of Nursing are universally respected for their excellence. Students and faculty in both programs deserve to learn and teach in modern, state-of-the-art facilities.”

The existing School of Social Work is housed in a building that was constructed nearly 100 years ago as the original Arlington High School campus. The outdated facility has numerous structural and environmental issues and is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Turner authored legislation this year to provide funds for campus capital projects around the state, including this building for UT Arlington. Despite the measure passing the House with strong, bipartisan support, it did not pass the Senate. Turner subsequently requested that the UT System allocate PUF funding for the project.

“I congratulate President Vistasp Karbhari for his leadership on this project and thank Chairman Kevin Eltife, Chancellor James Milliken and the entire Board of Regents for this smart investment in UT Arlington,” Turner added.

Campaign Kickoff!

My 2020 campaign kickoff is just one week away and I hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM!

As in years past, we’ll have great BBQ from Meat & Greet and of course, beer (and root beer) from Legal Draft Beer Co. in Downtown Arlington. I sincerely appreciate all of the friends and supporters who have already joined our Host Committee to make this event a success.

To RSVP or join the Host Committee, click here. If you need additional information, email events@votechristurner.com.

Lisa and I hope to see you on November 20th!

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Paying Tribute: Veterans Day 2019

Today, we pay tribute to America’s veterans, those who have protected the freedoms and liberties that we often take for granted.

Whether in war or in peacetime, at home or abroad, these brave men and women have taken risks, made sacrifices and accomplished feats that are difficult for most of us to fully comprehend.

As we give thanks for our veterans’ selfless acts, we must not forget their families. Through their support and sacrifices, they too have served our nation, our state and our community with valor.

Please join me in saying thank you for their service, today and every day.

Election Day — November 5th

November 5th is Election Day! There are several proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution on the ballot, as well as two very important local bond elections that impact District 101: Arlington ISD and Tarrant County College, both of which I strongly support. 

For polling locations anywhere in Texas, visit MyTexasVotes.com.Below is a summary of each item on the ballot, as well as my recommendation on each.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
Proposition No. 1 (HJR 72) – Support 
SUMMARY: Authorizes a person to hold more than one office as an elected or appointed municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time.

WHY SUPPORT: Allowing a person to hold elected office as a municipal judge in more than one municipality would make it easier to fill that office in smaller municipalities.

Proposition No. 2 (SJR 79) – Support 
SUMMARY: Allows the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional bonds of up to $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of water supply and sewer service projects in economically distressed areas of the state.

WHY SUPPORT: The high costs associated with maintaining and expanding water infrastructure in Texas are best financed through the issuance of bonds as this will allow for greater and more reliable long-term funding.

Proposition No. 3 (HJR 34) – Support 
SUMMARY: Permits the Legislature to temporarily lower tax rates on property damaged during a disaster declared by the governor.

WHY SUPPORT: Providing a temporary tax exemption for property damaged by a disaster is a cheaper, simpler, and more easily administrable method of providing property tax relief to those suffering the aftereffects of a disaster than the current method of reappraisal.

Proposition No. 4 (HJR 38) – Oppose
SUMMARY: Bans the creation of a state income tax, which is already prohibited.

WHY OPPOSE: This amendment is completely unnecessary since the constitution already says that an income tax is prohibited unless it is approved by the voters. This amendment is about politics, not real policy. It also takes away the governor’s veto authority in the extraordinarily unlikely event the Legislature were to decide to pass a state income tax and there is real concern the amendment could interfere with the existing business franchise tax.

Proposition No. 5 (SJR 24) – Support
SUMMARY: Dedicates the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.

WHY SUPPORT: State parks in Texas received a record 9.7 million visits in fiscal year 2017. Chronic underfunding of the state park system, however, has left many parks unable to safely and adequately accommodate visitors. The constitutional amendment will help to ensure that our parks have the resources they need to adequately fund deferred maintenance projects, maintain appropriate staff levels, ensure visitor safety, and expand to meet the needs of a growing population. I was proud to joint-author this important legislation.

Proposition No. 6 (HJR 12) – Support
SUMMARY: Authorizes the Legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

WHY SUPPORT: Increasing the amount of bond funding available for the institute is essential to ensuring the Institute maintains its status as a national leader in cancer research and prevention. I was also a joint author of this legislation.

Proposition No. 7 (HJR 151) – Support
SUMMARY: Doubles the annual possible General Land Office distribution to schools to $600 million and lets the State Board of Education sell bonds for that purpose, currently prevented by the constitution.

WHY SUPPORT: This would allow Texas to increase money to students and teachers when sufficient revenues are available.

Proposition No. 8 (HJR 4) – Support
SUMMARY: Creates the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.

WHY SUPPORT: Significant funding for flood control and mitigation projects is necessary to ensure that the state is able to prepare for and recover from natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.

Proposition No. 9 (HJR 95) – Neutral
SUMMARY: Creates a tax exemption for precious metals held in the Texas Bullion Depository located in Leander, TX.

Supporters Say: Provides an explicit exemption for precious metal held in a Texas depository, regardless of whether the precious metal is held for the production of income, would encourage owners of such metal to keep their holdings in the state, making Texas depositories more competitive.

Opponents Say: A business may be able to escape taxation of its income producing precious metal inventory by holding it in a depository, which could reduce taxable property values and create a cost to local taxing units and the state.

Proposition No. 10 (SJR 32) – Support
SUMMARY: Allows the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.

WHY SUPPORT: Law enforcement agencies would like to be able to transfer retired law enforcement animals into their handlers’ care, free of charge. Law enforcement animals generally live with their handlers while in service. This amendment makes it easier for such an animal to retire to the home where it has lived its entire life, which is in the best interest of the animal.

LOCAL BONDS
Arlington ISD Bond 2019 – Support  
The Arlington ISD Board of Trustees has placed a $966 million bond package on the ballot. The proposed new bond program would not require an increase in the debt service tax rate and would be implemented throughout the next five years, ending in 2025. The proposed 2019 bond would build on the District’s 2014 Bond program and provide critical infrastructure to the following four areas:

  1. Facilities
  2. Fine Arts
  3. Transportation
  4. Safety, Security, and Technology

The projects proposed under this bond are intended to impact every school and are designed to affect all students to help ensure equity amongst schools within AISD. The list below provides a brief look at some of the projects included within the proposal:

  • Full-day Pre-K classrooms renovations
  • Junior high and high school fine arts/dual language academies
  • New playgrounds and shade structures for all elementary schools
  • Athletics facilities and fine arts upgrades, including new fine arts instruments and uniforms
  • New school buses
  • Safety and security upgrades

This link provides a full presentation by AISD’s chief financial officer outlining the proposed bond program.

Tarrant County College 2019 Bond
Improvement Proposition – Support 
Tarrant County College has placed a bond improvement proposition on the ballet for the first time in 25 years. This $825 million proposal would go to construct, renovate, and equip Tarrant County College campuses. The TCC Southeast Campus, located in the heart of District 101, would benefit from $125 million in funds for new construction and renovation – this is badly needed, as the campus is severely overcrowded due to our rapid growth.

Since the last bond proposal, the district-wide enrollment has nearly doubled. This bond comes at a zero-tax rate increase and would serve all 6 of TCC’s campuses.

The following list highlights some of the many projects included within the proposal:

  • 200+ offerings in different associate degrees & certifications
  • Career-ready training for healthcare technicians and nurses
  • Public safety training for law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), and firefighting careers
  • Adult job re-training classes
  • Technology and computer science career training
  • Skill-training classes in construction trades, culinary arts, hospitality, and manufacturing
  • Transferrable college classes to local 4-year colleges (like UTA, UNT, TCU, TWU, Tarleton & others)
  • Advance college credit opportunities for Tarrant County high school students

This link provides a full PowerPoint presentation outlining the bond proposal, including a full list of projects.

Will You Join Me at My Campaign Kickoff?

It’s official and I wanted you to be among the first to know: I am running for re-election to continue my service representing the people of Texas House District 101.  

I hope you will help Lisa and me get the next campaign off to a great start by joining us for our 2020 Campaign Kickoff on Wednesday, November 20 at Legal Draft Beer Company in Arlington. Watch your email for more details! 

I am very proud of the work we – District 101 constituents, my staff and me – have done, both in Austin and here at home in Arlington and Grand Prairie. We have fought for, and continue to fight for, the issues that matter most to our community – increasing funding for our neighborhood schools, improving access to affordable healthcare, adding common-sense regulations for payday lenders, making college more accessible, protecting our youngest and most vulnerable Texans, and fighting to expand civic participation.  

As chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, I am in a unique position to continue my role as strong voice for our local colleges and universities, including Tarrant County College and the University of Texas at Arlington. I have developed a strong partnership with these institutions and I look forward to continuing to work with them and other colleges and universities across Texas  

 Since January 2017, I have led the House Democratic Caucus and have played a key role in developing policies to address our state’s most pressing issues – including helping to shape and pass the 2019 school finance reform lawDuring my time as Democratic Caucus Chair, House Democrats have not only been successful in passing good policy, but we’ve stopped many bad bills from becoming law, including a measure that would have further eroded voting rights and a Republican bill to raise the state sales tax, a move that would have disproportionately hurt low- and middle-income Texans.  

During my time in the Texas House, we’ve accomplished a lot, but there’s much more to do 

Last year, you were instrumental in my efforts to raise funds to help elect other Democrats and in the end, we put more than $300,000 into those efforts.  Not only did we gain significant ground in Tarrant County, our efforts helped pick up 12 seats in the Texas HouseNow, Democrats are just 9 seats away from taking the majority 

For 2020, I am doubling down, with a plan to raise and spend even more to make sure we re-elect all House Democrats and pick up those 9 (or more!) seats.  And this effort could not come at a more crucial time. When the Legislature convenes in 2021, it will be time to take up redistricting, which will determine the political trajectory of Texas – and perhaps the nation – for the next decade.  

I am looking forward to all of these challenges ahead and I hope you are, as well.  It is an incredible honor to represent House District 101 and I look forward to continuing to serve our constituents.  

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