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Last week was a busy one in Austin, with House debates heating up and committee hearings running late.

Last week saw movement on three bills which are important many East Texans. HB 1515, the Heartbeat Bill was heard in the Public Health Committee on Wednesday, with the hearing going well into Thursday morning. The Heartbeat Bill would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, providing needed protections for our unborn.

After a marathon hearing last week, the Elections Committee voted to send HB 6 to the full House for debate. HB 6, the companion to SB 7, would serve to strengthen our elections process and make sure Texans have confidence in our elections.

The third issue, Constitutional Carry, which I have heard from many of you on, moved to the Calendars Committee. I am hopeful that this bill will be on the House floor for a debate soon. I am proud to co-author all three of these bills and look forward to working with my colleagues to pass these bills out of the House and on to the Senate for their consideration.

State Affairs met again last week and considered several bills on a wide range of topics. We heard a bill that would close a loophole currently being exploited by the City of Austin to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. We also heard several bills relating to the structure of our electricity market, ranging from allowing more consumer choice in storage and home energy generation to the need, or lack of, to incentivize building additional generation facilities. We also heard several bills which would strengthen Texas’ public information act and ensure transparency for taxpayers.

Last week, the House debated and passed HB 5, which creates the Broadband Development Office within the Office of the Comptroller. This office will help the state understand where our deficiencies are and develop a plan to bring broadband to rural Texans. This office will also help bring in federal dollars that are being directed to help bring broadband to rural areas. We also passed HB 1239 which would protect churches from being shut down by executive order. I am proud to co-author both of these important pieces of legislation.

It is great to hear from so many of you, letting me know what is important to you. I want to encourage you to reach out to me about issues that concern you or legislation that you would like to see advanced. I can be reached at 512-463-0556 or district9.paddie@house.texas.gov.

In addition, my district director, Joe Buck Crisp, will be spending time each month in every county to meet with you about legislative concerns and to help with issues you may be having with the state government. Please contact our Marshall office at 903-935-1141 if you would like to meet with Joe when he is in your town.

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