Landgraf Succeeds in Effort to Create New District Court

AUSTIN- Friday, the Texas House gave final approval to Senate Bill 1139, which authorizes the creation of the 446th District Court of Texas located in Ector County. State Representative Brooks Landgraf offered the initial legislation creating the court when he filed House Bill 1089 earlier this year.
Landgraf initiated the effort to create a new judicial district in Ector County after discussing with local leaders problems that result from having back-logged cases.
A new district court has not been created in Ector County since 1985, despite significant population growth during the period since then.
"With the creation of the 446th District Court we are ensuring that our citizens' right to a fair and efficient trial is protected," Landgraf said. "This new court will be a welcome addition to our West Texas justice system and will come at no additional cost to taxpayers."
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Landgraf's Down Syndrome Information Act Passes Texas House

AUSTIN- On Friday, the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 3374, the Down syndrome information act, joint-authored by State Representative Brooks Landgraf. 

"It has been a privilege to work on this critical issue that is very near and dear to my heart," Landgraf said. "Today we are one step closer to ensuring that all parents have access to the information available to them when they receive a diagnosis that indicates their child has Down syndrome."

The bill requires that a medical provider furnish information about treatment options and resources for Down syndrome to expectant parents or new parents following a diagnosis of Down syndrome. 

During the final moments of debate on the bill, Landgraf offered a critical amendment prohibiting the state-produced information from implicitly or explicitly presenting pregnancy termination as an option when a prenatal test indicates that the unborn child has Down syndrome.

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Landgraf Votes for Tax Relief Bills

AUSTIN- Wednesday, State Representative Brooks Landgraf and the Texas House passed landmark tax relief for the people of Texas, including the first ever decrease in the state sales tax. 

The House tax cut plan that was passed is the largest tax cut plan offered in the Legislature, and provides over $4.9 billion in tax relief for Texans. 

After the plan's passage, Landgraf issued the following statement: "By cutting the sales tax for the first time in Texas history, from 6.25% to 5.95%, Texans will see a permanent tax cut every single time they shop in the grocery store, the mall, the hardware store, and even the sporting goods store. Every Texan will see tax relief from this sales tax cut."

The historic tax cut package also includes a 25% cut to the taxes that businesses pay, known as the franchise tax. This plan provides the fairest approach and conservatively focuses on a low, broad rate so that the tax does not unfairly pick winners and losers.

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Landgraf to Hold Town Hall in Odessa

AUSTIN- State Rep. Brooks Landgraf will host a town hall meeting in Odessa on Saturday, April 18th. The town hall, which is open to the public, will be held at the Jack Rodgers Fine Arts Center at Odessa College from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

"One of my top priorities as state representative is to keep an open and consistent dialogue with the people of House District 81," Landgraf said. "This town hall is an excellent opportunity for everyone to come out and discuss the important issues we are facing at the Capitol during the current legislative session."

During the town hall Rep. Landgraf plans to cover a variety of issues including discussion on some of the 16 bills he filed since assuming office in January.

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House Passes Higher Education Construction Bill

AUSTIN- Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 100, which will assist Texas Tech University Health Science Center Permian Basin (TTUHSC), and the University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) in financing the construction of new educational buildings on both campuses.

"Higher education has been one of my top priorities since arriving in Austin and the passage of H.B. 100 is a tremendous benefit for West Texas higher education institutions," Landgraf said. "This bill will allow TTUHSC and UTPB to continue producing top-tier talent in the fields of engineering and medicine."

The bill authorizes $48 million in campus construction funds to UTPB to build an engineering building, and more than $14 million to TTUHSC for the construction of a medical education building in downtown Odessa. The amounts authorized for the two projects originated from two bills filed by state Rep. Landgraf.

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Landgraf Proposes Texas Fuel Fleet Grant Program

AUSTIN- Thursday, State Representative Brooks Landgraf proposed the creation of a new grant program encouraging Texas state agencies, counties, and municipalities to dedicate more of their vehicle fleet to Texas fuel vehicles.

"This innovative grant program uses left-over funds appropriated from the last legislative session for the purpose of incentivizing state and local branches of government to purchase vehicles that utilize the abundant Texas fuels that are produced right here in Texas," Landgraf said. 

Under the program, local governments with a fleet larger than 15 vehicles are eligible for grants. In addition to purchasing vehicles, the grants may also be used to construct fueling stations across the state. According to the proposal, the fuels include natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas. 

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Landgraf files Down Syndrome Parental Information Act

AUSTIN- Tuesday, State Representative Brooks Landgraf filed H.B. 2924, the Down Syndrome Parental Information Act. 

The bill will provide valuable medical and scientific-based information to expectant parents regarding Down syndrome, including information addressing physical, developmental, and educational outcomes, and all of the treatment options available to children with Down syndrome.

"Children bring countless blessings into our lives, and we need to ensure parents have access to all the information necessary to help give their children the most fulfilling lives possible," Landgraf said.

Under the new legislation, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) would be required to produce current, evidence-based information that has been reviewed by medical experts from local and national Down syndrome organizations. Medical providers would be required to distribute this information to expectant parents when a prenatal test indicates a probability of a Down syndrome diagnosis, or when their child is diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. 

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Landgraf Delivers Winkler County Petition to TxDOT

AUSTIN- Tuesday, Representative Brooks Landgraf hand delivered to LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret.) the head of the Texas Department of Transportation, a copy of a petition with more than 1,400 signatures from Winkler County residents demanding immediate attention to State Highway 302 in Winkler County.

"I hear the concerns and fears of my friends in Winkler County -- this ten mile stretch of highway is one of the most dangerous ten miles in the whole state of Texas, and the road's current poor condition requires immediate attention from TxDOT officials," said Landgraf.

In recent years, the highway between Kermit and Odessa has become increasingly dangerous, with numerous people killed in wrecks on the short stretch of highway each year.

"I very much appreciate Sheriff George Keely's leadership in raising awareness among the community of this problem and the initiative he took to help gather input from across the county on this important issue," Representative Landgraf said.

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Landgraf Co-Authors Bill to Protect Hunting, Fishing

AUSTIN- Today, Representative Brooks Landgraf co-authored House Joint Resolution (HJR) 61, which protects hunting and fishing as a right under the Texas Constitution.

"As a lifelong sportsman, I am pleased to support this resolution which protects our right to hunt and fish in Texas," said Representative Landgraf.

If HJR 61 passes the House and Senate and is signed by Governor Abbott, voters would be required to approve the amendment in the November 3, 2015 election.

In addition to protecting hunting and fishing as a right under the Texas constitution, HJR 61 also notes that hunting and fishing are preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife. The proposed amendment would not affect any provision currently in law that relates to trespassing, property rights, or eminent domain.

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Landgraf Appointed to Energy, Investments

AUSTIN- Wednesday, Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) had the honor of being appointed to serve on both the House Committee on Energy Resources and the House Committee on Investments and Financial Services.

"I am honored to serve District 81 in the Texas House of Representatives and strongly believe my appointment to the committees on Energy Resources and Investments and Financial Services will benefit our communities and I look forward to working for the betterment of West Texas on these very important committees," said Representative Landgraf.

The House Committee on Energy Resources includes, but is not limited to, the jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources.

The jurisdiction of the House Committee on Investments and Financial Services includes the oversight of banking and the state banking system; savings and loan associations; and credit unions, among other things.

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