Texas State Rep. John H. Bucy III (D) spoke at the Leander Chamber Luncheon on Tuesday to discuss the 86th Legislative Session.
"I filed 31 bills this session,” Bucy said. “The average number passed by a house member this session was four. We passed seven out of our office."
Bucy said many of the bills passed have to do with modernizing the elections.
"A lot of these bills were about modernizing notifications, election information, candidate information," he said, " ... getting it online so people, residents, new residents and first-time voters can find the information they need.”
House Bill 933 will require contact information for county election offices and polling locations as well as various important notifications to be posted on the Secretary of State website or county websites.
House Bill 3350 will standardize elections results data.
House Bill 1241 will require street addresses to be on polling place notices, to ensure Texas voters know exactly when and where they need to vote.
House Bill 2554 will move existing laws regarding political signs to a new section of the Elections Code, which will make it easier to engage in political speech.
Other legislation passed included two hotel occupancy tax bills. House Bill 3355 will allow Cedar Park access to a larger portion of local HOT tax revenue, thereby allowing the city to invest in economic growth and tourism.
Likewise, House Bill 3356 will then expand the permitted use of the HOT tax funds collected in Cedar Park to be used for projects at the HEB Center as well as the planned U.S. Tennis Association Texas Headquarters.
"I hope this is just the beginning of us doing this in our local community for our economic development,” Bucy said. “I was excited to work with the city council members and the mayor of Cedar Park to pass these bills.”
Another piece of legislation passed was a driver’s license power of attorney bill. House Bill 2551 will allow individuals with Power of Attorney over a minor to co-sign their applications for a driver’s license.
“In the interim, we are preparing for the next legislative session,” Bucy said. “Some of the things we plan to focus on are medicaid expansion, traffic and elections. The other thing we will be working on is expansion of the fine arts."
He said studies show that kids who receive a fine arts education are more successful in their high schools, colleges and professional careers.
"What [the bill] will do is make fine arts a requirement for every student across the state of Texas.”
Bucy also announced the opening of a district office on Sept. 5, to be located at 3016 Polar Ln. Ste. 108 in Cedar Park.
“Our district office will be for district services,” Bucy said. “We want to be available. We have never had a district office, and we think this is a way that we hope to be more accessible to you. Come and have a dialogue with us. Let’s have the hard conversations. Let’s continue to work together to make this community as strong as we can.”
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the average number of bills a state representative passes in a session.