AUSTIN- Tuesday, the Texas Senate officially passed the Down syndrome information act, House Bill 3374. The legislation will now head to Governor Abbott's desk for final approval.
"I am thrilled that this important piece of legislation has successfully passed both the House and Senate this session," Landgraf said. "I have no doubt that parents will be better informed by health care providers following Down syndrome diagnoses, and many precious lives will be saved in the process."
Under the provisions of the bill, medical providers will be required to provide information to expectant parents following a likely diagnosis of Down syndrome. If approved by Governor Abbott, the provisions of the bill will take effect on September 1, 2015.Read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.