AUSTIN - On Monday, State Representative Brad Buckley (Salado), completed a successful and productive first session representing Bell & Lampasas Counties in the Texas House of Representatives.
Buckley's district, House District 54, covers the southern portion of Bell County and all of Lampasas County in Central Texas.
As session began, Rep. Buckley was appointed to the Agriculture and Livestock Committee, the Local & Consent Calendars Committee, and the influential Appropriations Committee, where he had a seat at the table in crafting the state's budget priorities for the biennium.
As a commonsense Conservative, Buckley made it his priority to support important measures benefiting all Texans, including:
1. House Bill 1 - A sound, balanced budget for the State of Texas's 2020-2021 biennium, which includes:
• $50 million in additional funding for the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant Program (DEAAG), a state program that provides assistance for infrastructure funding in Texas military communities;
• $16.5 million in additional funding for the Local Government Relief for Disabled Veterans Exemption Program, a program that provides state funds to cities and counties disproportionately impacted by the 100% disabled veteran ad valorem tax exemption;
• $2.23 million in additional Upper-Level Institution Support for Texas A&M University - Central Texas in Killeen; and
• $5 million in funding to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, which provides direct grants to Texas cities and counties to provide indigent defense services;
2. Senate Bill 2 - The Texas Taxpayer Protection and Transparency Act;
3. House Bill 3 - The Texas Plan, which revolutionized school finance by dedicating $5 billion to property tax relief; $2 billion in merit-based pay; $1.6 billion in additional compensation for teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses; and reducing recapture statewide by $3.6 billion;
4. Senate Bill 12 - Legislation that will stabilize the Teacher Retirement System pension fund and provide additional pension payments to retired teachers;
5. Senate Bill 1200 - Legislation that will assist military spouses in expediting the transfer of out-of-state occupational licenses to Texas;
6. Support for legislation benefiting military service members, their families, and veterans; and
7. Support for eminent domain reform and other issues that support rural Texas.
In addition, Buckley authored and sponsored several pieces of legislation supporting Central Texas communities that have been sent to the Governor for final approval, including:
1. Senate Bill 282/House Bill 633, which will require the Texas Department of Transportation to use fines collected from overdue projects in the local area and to the benefit of communities that are adversely affected by closures resulting from project delays;
2. Senate Bill 743/House Bill 1514, which will create an Olive Oil Advisory Board under the purview of the Texas Department of Agriculture, and will be tasked with finding new and innovative ways to grow the state's olive oil industry;
3. House Bill 1597/House Bill 4415, which will make it easier for military families to establish residency following Change of Station Orders and streamline the enrollment process for the children of active-duty military personnel; and
4. House Bill 2290, which will correct a regulation in state law on rural Texans utilizing farm equipment that requires a slow-moving vehicle emblem.
"I was proud to be the voice of HD54 during the 86th legislative session," Buckley said. "This session was successful in so many ways, and I'm proud to have worked alongside my new friends and colleagues to see Texas and Texans prosper."
During the interim, Buckley plans to continue playing an active role in working for the best interests of those in Bell and Lampasas Counties.
"While the legislative session has ended, there is still plenty of important work to do to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of our Central Texas communities," Buckley said. "I stand ready to continue serving the people of House District 54 as best I can."
The Texas Legislature will convene again in Regular Session on January 12, 2021, following the November 2020 general election.
Rep. Brad Buckley is a first-term legislator from Salado, Texas, and represents part of Bell County and all of Lampasas County in Central Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University, and is a local veterinarian in Killeen, Texas. Dr. Buckley is a cattle rancher, raiser of cutting horses, proud husband, and father to three amazing children, all of whom are Aggies.
Bell County Office: