On Thursday, State Representative Brooks Landgraf filed House Bill 1483 to name State Highway 191 in Ector County as the “Chris Kyle Memorial Highway.” February 2, 2017, the day Landgraf filed the legislation, marks the fourth anniversary of Kyle’s tragic death.
The stretch of highway to be named in memory of Kyle passes directly by the Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza, which prominently features a 15-foot statue of Kyle, the U.S. Navy SEAL sniper who was born in Odessa in 1974.
“I hope that by naming this highway in Chris Kyle’s memory, even more West Texans can learn of the impact and sacrifice he made in service to our country and to his fellow veterans,” Landgraf said.
The Chris Kyle statue, which is a source of pride for Odessa, was unveiled and dedicated in July 2016. Kyle’s widow, Taya, was involved with the plaza’s design and attended the dedication ceremony.
“At the Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza dedication ceremony last summer, I asked Taya if she'd like the highway named in memory of Chris, and she was excited about the idea, so I'm very proud to file this bill,” Landgraf said. “While speaking to the thousands in attendance at the ceremony, I pitched the idea to name 191 in memory of Chris Kyle, and the crowd roared with approval.”
Chris Kyle’s life story was portrayed in the film “American Sniper.” Kyle is considered one of the most lethal snipers in U.S. history, with 160 confirmed enemy kills during several tours of duty in the Iraq War. After retiring as a Navy SEAL marksman, Kyle dedicated his efforts to helping his fellow veterans transition back into civilian life.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) filed three key pieces of legislation aimed at improving public education in West Texas. Two of the bills focus on reforming public school finance for Permian Basin schools, while the third repeals the current standardized testing system.
House Bill 1319 offers a full repeal of recapture provisions, otherwise known as "Robin Hood,” which sends a portion of funds from a so-called property wealthy district to so-called poorer districts.
Meanwhile, House Bill 1320 provides greater flexibility for mineral-abundant communities, whose property values can fall unexpectedly during an economic downturn, to fare better under the Robin Hood scheme.
"Robin Hood has been a disaster for students and taxpayers in the Permian Basin,” Landgraf said. “These legislative efforts are aimed at fixing the state’s broken policy by not punishing school districts in the oil patch.”
Additionally, Landgraf filed House Bill 1321, which seeks to eliminate current testing systems, like the STAAR test, from being used as high-stakes, one-sized-fits-all substitutes for real accountability measures.
"In my view, we should value teaching over testing,” Landgraf said. “This bill will allow us to get back to the basics of education so that Texas students are prepared for college, the workforce or the military when they graduate.”
The 85th Texas legislative session is underway and will run through May 29, 2017.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) was elected by his Republican colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives to serve on the policy committee for the House's Republican caucus.
Landgraf, who is currently serving his second term as a state representative, is one of only two West Texans on the policy committee.
"I'm honored to have this opportunity," Landgraf said. "I'll take advantage of this position to recommend conservative legislation for my Republican colleagues, while also making sure that West Texas has a say in policy matters impacting the state."
The Texas House Republican Caucus policy committee is assembled to study each bill that is put up for a vote in the Texas House of Representatives. Members on the policy committee, like Landgraf, make recommendations to fellow Republicans regarding which bills reflect conservative principles and would lead to good public policy for the people of Texas.
The 85th Texas legislative session is underway and will run through May 29, 2017.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) took the oath of office on Tuesday at noon inside the State Capitol to begin serving his second term in the Texas Legislature. Landgraf represents the residents of Andrews, Ector, Ward and Winkler counties in the Texas House of Representatives.
“With my left hand on the Holy Bible, and my wife Shelby and daughter Hollis Rose by my side, I was honored to raise my right hand and take the oath of office to be your state representative,” Landgraf said. “I vow to continue to be a strong voice that fights for the needs of West Texas in the State Capitol.”
The 85th Texas legislative session is now underway and will run through May 29, 2017.
"While we will have challenges this session, I remain focused on strengthening education and improving West Texas highways,” Landgraf explained. "I also look forward to working with my fellow conservatives to protect our Second Amendment rights, defend the unborn, and keep Texas businesses free from overregulation.”
Pursuant to the Texas Constitution, the Texas Legislature, which is comprised of the Texas House and Texas Senate, meets for 140 days every other year.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf showcased this year’s District Christmas ornament at the Ector County ISD Board meeting Tuesday evening. The ornament was decorated by Jacob Garza, a student at Burleson Elementary School, and will be displayed at the State Capitol throughout the Christmas season.
Jacob Garza painted the ornament with pictures of a pump jack and a beautiful sunset. Garza’s ornament was selected out of dozens of student-decorated ornaments to celebrate Texas House District 81 this Christmas Season.
The ornament will hang on the 25-foot Christmas tree in the House Chamber at the Texas Capitol in Austin. It will be on display from December 2, 2016 – January 2, 2017.
Each year, State Representative Brooks Landgraf is given one Christmas ornament to be decorated in the district and to represent the Permian Basin on the State Capitol’s Christmas tree.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf provides the following schedule of upcoming Town Hall events in the four counties (Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler) he serves in the Texas House of Representatives. During these events, Rep. Landgraf will provide a brief legislative update and he encourages his fellow West Texans to share their thoughts and concerns. Dinner will be provided for the evening events in Andrews, Ector and Winkler counties.
WHERE: Andrews Senior Center | 310 W. Broadway Street, Andrews
WHEN: November 28, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Library Lecture Center
Room LL 001 | 4901 E. University Boulevard, Odessa
WHEN: November 22, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Ward County Convention Center Gallery | 400 E. 4th Street, Monahans
WHEN: November 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Jerrie's Café | 247 W. State Highway 302, Kermit
WHEN: November 29, 2016 6:00 p.m.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott in honoring two very deserving West Texans with The Star of Texas Award on Monday, at a ceremony hosted in their honor at the Texas Capitol.
Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers Sgt. Michael Thomas and Sgt. Chad Matlock were injured in the line of duty on August 11, 2015 in Odessa, when attempting to arrest a suspect wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting. Both survived and have recovered well.
In thanking both gentlemen in his remarks, Rep. Brooks Landgraf stated "The Star of Texas Award is reserved for a special class of first responders. This award is a commendation as well as a symbol of the immense amount of gratitude that Texas has for your service. When your life was threatened in the line of duty, you heroically put the safety of others above your own. Thank you for standing in harm's way so that you may protect the people of this great state. Texas is a better place because of you and every member of law enforcement that has answered the call to service."
State Representative Brooks Landgraf was presented with the “Courageous Defense of Life Award” by the Texas Alliance for Life Wednesday for his work in passing pro-life legislation, including the “Down Syndrome Information Act.”
The Texas Alliance for Life noted in announcing the award “It is uncommon for a freshman member of the Legislature to take a leadership role in such controversial legislation, but that is exactly what Rep. Brooks Landgraf did. Rep. Landgraf successfully authored an amendment to HB 3374, the Down Syndrome Information Act, which ensures that state-prepared information for parents receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis does not promote or even mention abortion as an option.”
After earning the award, Rep. Landgraf stated “This is an issue very near and dear to my heart. My aunt Phyllis was diagnosed withDown syndrome, and she has brought an overwhelming amount of joy to my family over the course of her lifetime. Children bring countless blessings into our lives, and it is important for parents to have information about all of the helpful resources available to them. This measure has saved lives, and I'm proud of it.”
The Down Syndrome Information Act took effect in September of 2015. It mandates the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) produce current, evidence-based information regarding Down syndrome. It also requires medical providers 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. Since this information has been made public, it has been downloaded hundreds of times from the DSHS website, potentially saving precious lives.