House Representative

White, James


State Rep. White Pushes Legislation Promoting Business & Charity

Austin, TX - Each morning the Lord awakes me, I remind myself of the honor to represent the citizens of Texas House District 19. This comes with the serious responsibility of ensuring that we have safe communities in order for law abiding citizens to practice their God-given liberty. This is why I filed and laid out was HB 362. This legislation would allow victims and their families to receive a notification when grand juries indict paroled offenders and ex-offenders for committing the same violent of criminal offenses. These offenses include sexual assault, kidnapping, and indecency with a child. The bill would allow these victims to opt-in to this service. The trauma caused by these events can have lasting effects and this bill could provide an ease of mind for victims to know that their attacker faces justice for the new crimes.

As a member of the Legislature, I have had the opportunity to travel to every region of our great State. I marvel at the beauty of our landscape. However, I must say that East Texas is by far the most beautiful region of Texas. The City of Jasper is known globally as the "Jewel of the Forest." This is one reason that I went before the Committee on Culture, Recreation, & Tourism and requested that it pass House Concurrent Resolution 69. This legislation would designate the City of Jasper as the official Butterfly Capital of Texas. Jasper celebrates the annual migration of the monarch butterfly which is the State Insect of Texas and one of the wonders of the natural world. Every year the City of Jasper is fortunate to have a front row seat to this spectacular journey.

Often, I remind my legislative colleagues that our primary job is expanding liberty. In other words, government fosters an environment of liberty when the citizens develop their God-given gifts in order to serve their fellow citizen. This is one reason that this session I am taking advantage of every opportunity to shatter the chains of burdensome regulations that restrict Southeast Texans from growing their local prosperity. Last week, I passed two bills on the House Floor: HB 578 and HB 1050. HB 578, gets rid of burdensome regulations on licensed barbers and beauticians that restricts where these highly trained professionals could provide their services. HB 578 allows cosmetologists the freedom to provide their services in their shops and in special event facilities such as churches for weddings. It is enough that citizens must undergo months, even years of training to become a barber or beautician. Government needs to get out of the way and allow people to make an honest living.

Throughout Southeast Texas, we have people of faith and goodwill that perform various ministries helping their fellow citizens with a hand up. These citizens work through their churches and other non-profits in providing people with basic essentials like food. We are a blessed nation and the amount of food that we waste is shameful. This is why I filed and passed HB 1050. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, this legislation would provide for civil protection to businesses or people that donate food out of good faith to shelters or food banks. We should promote resourcefulness and stewardship.

Lastly, parents and teachers have contacted me about two pieces of education legislation: SB 893/ HB 2543. I have enjoyed the discussions, letters, emails, and phone calls. I am so proud to see Southeast Texans engaged on the important issue of public education. In summary, this legislation eliminates the state-mandated teacher salary schedule and establishes a state-mandated salary floor of $27,540. These two bills also revamp the teacher evaluation system. To being with, the Texas legislature does not pay teachers. Your local elected school district does this. I am focused on paying our great teachers more for their service and ensuring that our educators are fairly evaluated for the work they perform in their classrooms. As a former classroom teacher of 17 years, the most important interaction in education is between the student and the teacher and I will do everything possible to enhance our classroom environment.