State Senator Ken Paxton, a McKinney resident representing District 8, has wasted no time in getting to work since he was sworn in (on Jan. 8, 2013) as part of the 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

The first bill he filed is Senate Bill (SB) 179, a measure to eliminate the corporate franchise tax by phasing it out by Jan. 1, 2017. An economic analysis prepared by the Beacon Hill Institute shows that the elimination of the franchise tax will generate real economic growth as businesses will have over $9 billion to invest in new job creation and capital investments.

Paxton said in his newsletter: “As our state's economy grows due to job creation and capital investments, our state budget will quickly overcome any short term tax revenue loss. The elimination of this tax will keep Texas competitive and strong by allowing Texans to grow their own businesses and possibly attracting businesses from other states that have higher taxes.”

Additionally, Paxton has joint-authored SB 182 to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry a concealed handgun on public university campuses. Senator Brian Birdwell filed SB 182 to ensure that Texans' constitutional right to bear arms will be protected on the campuses of our states' universities.

Paxton said: “I will continue pursuing legislative opportunities to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans, particularly at a time when leaders at the federal level are seeking measures to limit this precious freedom.”

To track either of these bills or any other legislation of interest, you can visit capitol.state.tx.us/Reports/BillsBy.aspx. On this site, individuals can search by bill number, author or sponsor, committee, subject, action or legislation filed on a particular date.

You may also create a personal list of bills for tracking purposes and can even receive electronic notification when there are actions affecting particular legislation. You may receive e-mail notification when selected calendars, committee hearing notices or committee minutes are posted. These services are free of charge. To create a "My Texas Legislature Online" personal list, go to capitol.state.tx.us/MyTLO/Login/Register.aspx.  

The Texas Legislative Council Document Distribution service distributes hard copies of bills and other documents, general information and legislative reference publications members. For more information on obtaining copies of any of these documents, visit their website at tlc.state.tx.us/.   

Finally, vote information on bills is included in the Senate or House journal if a record vote is requested at the time the vote takes place, or if a member registers within a specified time limit to request that his or her vote is recorded in the journal. This allows constituents to keep track of how their legislators voted on a particular bill. For more information on tracking legislative votes, visit capitol.state.tx.us/Help/findvoteinfo.aspx. To learn who represents you in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, visit fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ and enter your address.