Turner: Regular session was about getting back to real priorities of Texans

BY ANNA M. TINSLEY | Fort Worth Star-Telegram | June 1, 2013

AUSTIN — Local lawmakers headed to Austin earlier this year with high hopes.

They arrived with a variety of goals, including boosting funding for public education, adding money for transportation, increasing transparency in government and protecting gun owners’ rights.

Not everybody got everything.

But most say they were able to accomplish at least some of what they wanted in the 83rd legislative session that ended Memorial Day. They immediately began a 30-day special session.

Here’s how Tarrant County lawmakers assessed the session:

Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie

Pro: Passing legislation to protect children, help Gold Star families, keep state waterways safe, make it easier for veterans to find employment and protect tenants from unexpected utility disconnects.

Con: That the Legislature didn’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Other: “The overall theme this session was about getting back to the true priorities of Texans and their families. The last session was a serious departure from those priorities, and it was my goal to get back to the Legislature and refocus on the issues that really matter and that really make a difference — healthcare, public education, transportation and water.”