Updates from your legislators

Sen. Kirk WatsonSenator Kirk Watson, District 14

D-Austin • Elected: 2006
512-463-0114 • kirk.watson@senate.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • SB 754 allows money from the Motorcycle Education Fund to be used for motorcycle safety and “Share the Road” campaigns. The bill passed the Senate on May 5 and the House on May 22. The governor signed it June 16.

  • SB 188 and SB 189 aim to protect insurance policyholders from price hikes or cancellation for asking questions about their home, automotive or farm coverage. Both bills passed the House and Senate, and the governor signed SB 188 on June 16. SB 189 was sent to the governor May 30 and awaits his signature.


Sen. Judith Zaffirini • District 21Senator Judith Zaffirini, District 21

D-Laredo, Elected: 1987
512-463-0121 • judith.zaffirini@senate.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • Zaffirini sponsored HB 80, which would have made texting while driving illegal throughout the state. The bill fell one vote shy of passing in the Senate.

  • The senator sponsored HB 2634, which closed a loophole that reduced competitive bidding for construction projects. The bill was signed by the governor June 17.


Sen. Donna Campbell Sen. Donna Campbell[/caption]

Senator Donna Campbell, District 25

R-New Braunfels • Elected: 2013
512-463-0125 • donna.campbell@senate.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • Campbell said her biggest accomplishments of the session are more funding for roads, stronger protection of water resources, increased funding for border security and
    $3.8 billion in tax cuts.

  • Campbell said her biggest disappointment was not passing school choice legislation that would have established a grant program for students who choose to transfer to private school.

Rep. Jason Isaac Rep. Jason Isaac[/caption]

Representative Jason Isaac, District 45

R-Dripping Springs • Elected: 2010
512-463-0647 • jason.isaac@house.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • HB 2558 would limit the billing period of propane gas customers to 31 days. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature after passing in the House on May 17 and the Senate on May 26.

  • HB 3405 would give the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District authority over groundwater in Hays County not regulated by the Edwards Aquifer Authority. The bill passed the House on May 11 and the Senate on May 22. The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Rep. Paul Workman Rep. Paul Workman[/caption]

Representative Paul Workman, District 47

R-Austin • Elected: 2010
512-463-0652 • paul.workman@house.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • HB 21 allows patients with terminal illnesses access to experimental medications and devices that are in clinical trials. The bill passed the House on April 22 and the Senate on May 22. The governor signed it June 16.

  • HB 3994 prohibits physicians from performing abortions on minors without consent of a guardian, an order from a court or the existence of a medical emergency. The governor signed the bill June 12. The law takes effect starting
    Jan. 1.

Rep. Donna Howard Rep. Donna Howard[/caption]

Representative Donna Howard, District 48

D-Austin • Elected: 2006
512-463-0631 • donna.howard@house.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • Howard said her biggest accomplishments of the session are preventing large funding cuts to vital programs and preventing passage of any anti-LGBT bills.

  • Howard said she was disappointed to have not restored funding to the public and higher education budgets to pre-2011 levels, before the budgets were cut. She said she plans to continue to unify House members to address the budgets.

Rep. Elliott Naishtat Rep. Elliott Naishtat[/caption]

Representative Elliott Naishtat, District 49

D-Austin • Elected: 1990
512-463-0668 • elliott.naishtat@house.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • HB 1338, which by September 2017 establishes a training program for peace officers and first-responders for interacting with anyone who may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, was sent to the governor May 28.

  • HB 1807, which requires the state to list postsecondary educational programs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was sent to the governor May 29.

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez Rep. Eddie Rodriguez[/caption]

Representative Eddie Rodriguez, District 51

D-Austin • Elected: 2002
512-463-0674 • eddie.rodriguez@house.state.tx.us

Recent activity:

  • Eligible high school students can take as many dual-credit courses as they want under HB 505, a bill the governor signed into law May 23.

  • No final approval was granted for
    HB 1891, which would have allowed struggling schools to adopt a community schools system model used in other areas with success.


A photo of SH 45 SW
SH 45 SW toll has been open in South Austin for a year

A long-planned toll road connected southwest Travis County and north Hays county clebrates its first anniversary.

Richard Rhodes, the president and CEO of Austin Community College, said June 1 that the district is prioritizing the hiring of a new chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
Austin Community College prioritizing hiring equity officer despite ongoing hiring freeze

The district brought up the hiring during a discussion about protests and demonstrations that have taken place over the past weekend.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster in Texas on May 31, while various city officials and law enforcment responded to protests and violence over the weekend.

A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)
Group of 16 Travis County mayors signs letter requesting $23M in county COVID-19 relief funds

City leaders in Travis County, from Bee Cave to manor, have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting more than $23 million in federal coronavirus relief funds be released to 21 municipalities as soon as possible.

Austin City Hall was one of several downtown buildings to be vandalized during this past weekend's protests. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin leaders, representatives react to weekend protests

Local, state and federal representatives took to social media throughout the weekend to voice their opinions.

Blazier Elementary School students break ground on a new relief campus in Southeast Austin in June 2019. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD accepting names for new Blazier Elementary relief campus through June 5

The new relief campus for Blazier Elementary School will open this August.

Protesters march toward the Texas Capitol. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
PHOTOS: Demonstrators gathered in front of the Texas Capitol as protests against police brutality continued nationwide

Protests against the killings of Goerge Floyd and Michael Ramos took place throughout the weekend in Austin.

Dripping Springs Healthcare rebrands to CARMApsychiatry

The facility offers psychotherapy, medication and alternative medicine treatments for mental health conditions.

There have been 1,168 coronavirus recoveries in the county since mid-March, and active cases in Travis County are estimate at 2,011. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Weekend update: Austin metro coronavirus hospitalizations drop to lowest level since April 28

There have been 1,168 coronavirus recoveries in the county since mid-March, and active cases in Travis County are estimate at 2,011.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the Texas Capitol on Sunday, May 31, to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Concerns over violence from outside groups force organizers to cancel ‘Justice for them All’ protest at Texas Capitol; demonstrations persist downtown

Demonstrations occured across the nation to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

A map of the Bella Fortuna PID
Travis County holds off on making development funds available for South Austin Bella Fortuna PID through payments from future homeowners

Travis County commissioners cited concern that funds would not be used to adequately buy down the cost of homes, making them affordable.