Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homegrown Rep. Has Big Plans for Texas

AUSTIN -- With the 82nd Legislature just around the corner, Monday (Nov.8) morning was the first opportunity for members of the legislature to file legislation for the upcoming session.  As one of the first in line, Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen D-Starr County filed the first eight bills of the many he plans to pursue this session in his ongoing efforts to make Texas even better.

Measures he filed early Monday morning will:

 *   Punish cyber-bullies,
 *   Allow boaters to protect themselves with handguns on watercrafts,
 *   Honor active duty national guard members with a homestead tax freeze,
 *   Provide payment plans for court fines,
 *   Provide Medicaid coverage for all after hours doctor visits,
 *   More fairly rate the performance of Texas public schools,
 *   Protect consumers from untimely electric disconnections,
 *   Keep reckless teen drivers off the streets.
HB 24 would give our public schools the tools they need to enforce harassment laws for cyber-bullying by sending students who engage in the conduct to disciplinary alternative education classes.  "The promising, young lives that our nation has lost as a result of cyber-bullying are both unfortunate and inexcusable. It is time that Texas tackles this issue to reduce the amount of harassment in our public schools, and I believe this bill gives our schools the authority they need to accomplish that," Representative Guillen said.

HB 25 adds watercrafts to the list of places Texans are legally allowed to carry a handgun.  "With recent incidents along the Rio Grande River and Falcon Lake, it is evident that Texans need to be allowed to defend themselves when on a watercraft in a our state’s waters. This bill expands existing law to give Texans in watercraft the same right to defend themselves that they already have in other situations," Representative Guillen said.

HB 26/HJR 17 prevents taxing entities from raising the taxes on a homestead owned by a Texas National Guardsman who has been ordered to active military duty with the U.S. Armed Forces.
"A National Guard member called away from home, family, and job to defend our nation should not have to face tax increases back home while he or she is on the front lines. This bill, along with HJR 17, gives Texans the chance to provide this assurance to our fighting men and women and show our respect for their military service," Representative Guillen said.

HB 27 gives Texans who can't afford to pay lump sum court fines a payment plan.  "Regrettably, many impoverished individuals face a variety of fines in our courts for misdemeanors that are far beyond their ability to pay. This bill recognizes that in these uncertain economic times, there is a need for low-income people to continue to provide basic necessities for their families. It requires a judge or justice of the peace to set up time payment plans so such fines will not be an undue burden on the poorest members of our state," Representative Guillen said.

HB 28 allows Medicaid recipients to see a doctor who stays open after 5 p.m. or weekends if their primary care doctor is closed. "Today, Medicaid families go to expensive emergency room facilities for medical problems that occur after 5 p.m. and on weekends. This bill allows such patients to see any doctor that is open after 5 p.m. at a savings over the cost of an emergency room visit. It provides better care for Texans at a lower cost to the taxpayer," Representative Guillen said.

HB 29 requires that students who are recent immigrants and have limited English proficiency take state mandated tests to gauge their progress in schools but that the results of those tests not be used for school statewide rankings until the student has been in Texas Schools for three years.
"Texas schools that have large numbers of immigrant students who do not speak English face lower overall scores on state mandated tests by these students until they learn English. This unfairly lowers the overall school score even when they are doing an excellent job with their regular school population. This bill does not allow the test scores of these students to count against the school until they have had three years to catch up to the English skills of regular students," Representative Guillen said.

HB 30 requires that electric companies who disconnect customers for non-payment of their bill do so only on Monday to Thursday each week before 3 p.m. to allow customers to take action to have their power turned back on before weekends or holidays.  "Those who are less fortunate in our state face real health and safety problems when their power is disconnected right before weekends and holidays. By limiting disconnections to Monday through Thursday before 3 p.m. those customers will have more time to take action to avoid being without electricity," Representative Guillen said.

HB 31 keeps reckless teen drivers off the streets by increasing the suspension of a teen driver under the age of 18 from three months to six months if they get two tickets in a one year period.
“Texas teens must recognize the importance of safe driving. Traffic accident and fatality records, as well as insurance rates, clearly show that there is still much room for improvement in this area. This bill takes dangerous teen drivers off the streets for six months rather than the current three months," Representative Guillen said.

Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen is serving in his fourth term in the Texas House representing District 31, which includes the South Texas counties of Duval, Starr, Webb and Zapata. A humble and respected leader known for his fierce independence and relentless efforts to deliver results for South Texas families, Representative Guillen has been named “Best Legislator” and “Best of the House” by Texas Insider and the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) respectively. He has served in leadership roles on multiple House committees including  Appropriations,  Appropriations Education Subcommittee, Land and Resource Management, Regulated Industries, Border Affairs, Financial Institutions, Natural Resources, Transportation, Calendars, Select Committee on Higher and Public Education Finance. You can follow Rep.Guillen on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by going to his website at


  1. I don't see anything on illegal immigration,border violence and/or border security. It seems like the issues you will initially push are feel good issues and have no controversy except how will you fund the after hours medical portion.

  2. Thanks for continuing to serve South Texas, Rep. Guillen. These first few bills sound good to me. Keep fighting the good fight!