State Representative Harvey Hilderbran Reports

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					                                           State Representative
                                       Harvey Hilderbran Reports
                                      State Representative p District 53
                                                                 F A L L   2 0 0 7

A Note From Harvey
   Now that the 80th Session of the Texas Legislature
has come to a close, I would like to update you on leg-
islation and issues that may affect you and your com-
   This was one of the most difficult legislative ses-
sions in my tenure. Nonetheless, we got the job done,
passing important statewide and district bills that were
high up our priority list, including parks, mental health
services and water rights. As always, I continued to
represent rural interests and private property rights.
   I appreciate your continued support.                       Rep. Hilderbran discusses proposed legislation with his fel-
                                Sincerely,                    low House members during the 80th Session.

                                                                How to reach Representative Hilderbran:
                                                                State Capitol Office               District Office

      Victory for Parks
                                                                P.O. Box 2910                      125 Lehmann Drive
                                                               Austin, Texas 78768                Kerrville, Texas 78028
                                                               Phone: 512/463-0536                Phone: 830/257-2333
    State park funding was   the House version. While                                Visit us online at:
my number one state pri-     it provides short-term re-
ority this session. The      lief to the ailing parks
omnibus parks bill I au-     system, it does not pro-
thored aimed at restoring
excellence to the state
                             vide for a long-term solu-
                             tion. Rather than allocate
                                                            Legislation eliminates unfair tax
park system and historic     all future sales tax reve-
                                                               Rep. Hilderbran filed House Bill 1022 and House
sites gained Senate ap-      nue from the sale of sport-
                                                            Joint Resolution 54 to clarify that personal vehicles used
proval only hours before     ing goods, the bill author-
                                                            for the production of income are exempt from ad
the end of the 80th Legis-   izes a one-time appropria-
                                                            valorem taxation.
lative session.              tion.
                                                               “Most small business owners and professionals use
    H.B. 12 will provide         We had a tremendous
                                                            their personal vehicles for both personal and business
approximately $182 mil-      short term victory for
                                                            purposes," Rep. Hilderbran said. "This mixed use should
lion in additional funding   Texas parks. We secured
                                                            not warrant an additional tax burden. My bill and the
in the 2008-09 biennium.     record appropriations for
                                                            accompanying joint resolution will give much needed tax
The substantial increase     the next two years; how-
                                                            relief to an already overburdened small-business owner
in funding will be a huge    ever, a long-term funding
                                                            in Texas. Everyone from independent lawn maintenance
step in the much-needed      solution is unfinished
                                                            service people to real estate agents to CPAs will benefit
improvements in park re-     business.
                                                            from this personal vehicle tax exemption.”
pairs and operations.            We will work hard dur-
                                                               During the 2005 legislative session, Rep. Hilderbran
    The approved Senate      ing the interim to find a
                                                            passed legislation that business owners are no longer re-
version of the bill, spon-   long term solution to pre-
                                                            quired to render a personal vehicle for ad valorem pur-
sored by Sen. Craig Estes,   sent to the 81st Legisla-
                                                            poses. However, since the legislation was passed and
differed somewhat from       ture.
                                                            signed into law, the Texas attorney general has issued an

And the Winners Are...                                      opinion stating personal vehicles used in the production
                                                            of income are still taxable unless specifically exempt
                                                            from taxation in the Texas Constitution.
Congratulations to the 2007 Hilderbran Scholars. Two
graduating seniors each received a $500 scholarship. The         “This legislation is necessary to clear up any confu-
awards went to….                                            sion created by the AG opinion,” Rep. Hilderbran said.
Racheal Harris, Brady High School                                The passage of H.J.R. 54 requires approval by the
Racheal is attending Texas Tech University and majoring     public before amending the Texas Constitution. This
in marketing.                                               item will appear as Proposition 6 on the upcoming Nov.
Benjamin Luke England, Winters High School                  6 ballot.
Luke is attending Texas Tech University and majoring in          “I urge all Texans to vote in favor of Proposition 6,”
biomedical engineering.                                     Rep. Hilderbran said.
       PAGE 2

                                       Legislation that affects you
                        Protecting Our Natural Resources                detention center for only a few days. If
The Texas Legisla-
                           In November 2006, the trademark for-         the student did not return to school upon
ture passed more
                        mation of the Caverns of Sonora was ir-         his release or decides to get his GED, it
than 1,200 bills dur-
                        reparably vandalized, resulting in many         would be counted as a drop-out against
ing the 80th Legisla-
                        concerned citizens across the state to          Kerrville ISD.
tive Session.
                        question the current law relating to cave
                        vandalism. The Caverns of Sonora is a           Regulating Non-Indigenous Snakes
                        natural cave that is one of the most active        In an effort to regulate the presence of
                        caves in the world, and is known as a Na-       non- indigenous snakes in the state and
                        tional Landmark.                                prevent a future feral exotic snake popula-
                           H.B. 3502 increases the penalty for a        tion, Rep. Harvey Hilderbran authored
                        person convicted of vandalizing a cave          legislation which would require owners of
                        from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor,        non- indigenous snakes, including con-
                        unless the person has been previously con-      strictors, black mambas, and cobras, to
                        victed of violating this law, in which case     obtain a permit from the Texas Parks and
                        the crime would be considered a state jail      Wildlife. The bill does not make it illegal
                        felony.                                         to own a non- indigenous snake.
                           "This bill will help protect some of the        "The goal of this bill is to protect pub-
                        state's most treasured natural landmarks,"      lic safety and prevent a feral population of
                        Rep. Hilderbran said. "The state cannot         constrictors from developing in this state,"
                        tolerate this type of vandalism."               Rep. Hilderbran said. "Texas should not
 "H.B. 3507 will                                                        wait around for the problems to develop
                        Renaming Loop 534 in Kerrville                  as they have in Florida and California."
     help protect          HB 2294 (amended onto a bill by Sen.
                        Chavez) designates a portion of Loop 534        Protecting Our Streets
      some of the       in Kerrville as Veterans Highway. Loop              Rep. Hilderbran filed H.B. 1256 which
                        534 runs along side the Kerrville Division      would allow local law enforcement to
     state's most
                        of the South Texas Veterans Health Care         hold illegal immigrants in city jails, fin-
        treasured          The purpose of this legislation is to be-    gerprint all minor offenders who do not
                        stow a great honor upon our local veter-        have identification, and detain illegal im-
           natural      ans, past, present and future who have          migrants who returned to the U.S. after
                        given their life in defense of our country.     deportation for criminal convictions or
     landmarks,"                                                        have defied previous deportation orders.
                        A Focus on Education                                HB 1256 would not require local law
                            Recognizing the importance of nature        enforcement to seek out illegal aliens ex-
       Hilderbran       science, Rep. Hilderbran authored legisla-      clusively or do the border patrol's job. To
                        tion that creates a statewide nature science    the contrary, the bill allows local law en-
said. "The state        curriculum project. This program would          forcement who come into contact with an
                        be taught to students in grades six through     illegal alien through the course of re-
cannot tolerate                                                         sponding to a call or performing their
                        12 by classroom teachers and state park
                        employees. It would feature grade-              daily law enforcement duties to have the
      this type of
                        appropriate instruction in science, math,       authority to deliver the suspect to federal
      vandalism."       social studies and language arts as rele-       immigration officials.
                        vant to nature science.                             "If a police officer arrests an individual
                            Rep. Hilderbran also authored a bill        for committing a domestic disturbance or
                        which will ensure that a juvenile offender      any other crime, that officer should have
                        residing in a juvenile detention facility       the authority to inquire about the suspect's
                        does not negatively impact the local            immigration status," Rep. Hilderbran said.
                        school district's academic rating.              "It makes no sense to allow a foreign na-
                            Prior to the passage of this bill, a stu-   tional who is in the country illegally to
                        dent from anywhere in the state attending       stay here after being arrested or detained
                        the Kerr County Juvenile Detention Cen-         by law enforcement."
                        ter in Kerrville was grouped with students          Unfortunately, this bill died in the
                        of Kerrville ISD and could affect the dis-      House Committee on State Affairs but
                        trict's rating, even if he or she was in the    Rep. Hilderbran plans to continue working
                                                                        on this issue until the next session.

  VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1                                                                                       PAGE 3

                                                                                Touring the District
Rep. Hilderbran stayed busy
over the summer by visiting a
number of cities within the dis-
trict. Here he is pictured at the
Eden Public Library. He visited
Eden on Oct. 5 and toured the
library and the Don Freeman
Memorial Museum. Pictured
from left to right are: Vice
Chairman Sherry Schellhase,
Librarian Deanna Beaver, State
Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, Treas-
urer Della Rannefeld, and
Chairman Claire Rucker.

District Happenings
                                                                               IMPROVING MENTAL
                                                                               HEALTH SERVICES

                                                                                  To address the problem of inade-
   Since the end of the Legislative Session, Rep. Hilderbran has trav-         quate bed space in the mental health
eled extensively throughout the district. He attended the annual farm          system, Rep. Hilderbran passed leg-
bureau meetings in McCulloch, Mason and Llano counties. He also                islation to allow Hill Country
attended the annual meetings of the Central Texas Electric Coop,               MHMR Center in Kerrville to con-
Coleman Electric Coop, Southwest Texas Electric Coop, Coleman                  tract with the Department of State
County Telephone Coop, Hill Country Telephone Coop, San Saba                   Health Services to operate a 16-bed
Property Owners Association, and the Pedernales Electric Coop. A               inpatient psychiatric facility on the
member of his staff attended the Kimble County Farm Bureau meet-               grounds of Kerrville State Hospital
ing. Rep. Hilderbran has also been busy hosting community meetings             (KSH).
to discuss local issues. In September, he held meetings in Eden and               The facility will provide inpa-
Menard and toured three sand plants near Brady.                                tient psychiatric services, nursing,

             Protecting our Water Supply
                                                                               and rehabilitation; psychology; and
                                                                               social services for patients in the
                                                                               19-county service area in Central
    As a member of the House           name of the Emerald Underground         and Southwest Texas.
Committee on Natural Resources,        Water Conservation District to the
Rep. Hilderbran is actively in-        Crockett County Groundwater              COMMITTEE TO STUDY
volved in water issues across the      Conservation District. The bill          WHITE -TAILED DEER
state.                                 allows the district to hold elections
    Rep. Hilderbran passed legisla-    in the town of Ozona and by                 In October, Rep. Hilderbran
tion that will protect and ensure      changing the election date to No-        was appointed to the Select In-
Kerrville's future water supply by     vember, allows the district to hold      terim Committee to Study the
deleting a cancellation clause from    its election in conjunction with the     Practice of Breeding White-
a water rights permit granted to the   general election in November.            Tailed and Mule Deer.
Upper Guadalupe River Authority            S.B. 1613, which Rep. Hilder-            "Rep. Hilderbran has the nec-
from the Texas Natural Resource        bran sponsored in the House, re-         essary expertise and come from
Conservation Commission. Ac-           moves a director of a soil and wa-       parts of the state that are particu-
cording to the clause, the UGRA's      ter conservation district from indi-     larly concerned with wildlife
water rights permit would expire       vidual liability in litigation when      management. I am certain he will
in December 2010.                      the director acts within his or her      serve this committee well," said
    To prevent the waste of ground-    official scope of duties and uses        House Speaker Tom Craddick.
water reservoirs, Rep. Hilderbran      his or her judgment or discretion            The Committee will examine
also authored an amendment to          when making a decision.                  breeding facilities throughout the
S.B. 3 which requires a permit for         "This bill is very important in      state and find opportunities to im-
the proposed use of water to en-       rural areas," Rep. Hilderbran said.      prove the breeding industry. The
hance the appearance of landscape.     "It is especially appealing in the       committee will report its findings
    Additionally, Rep. Hilderbran      Brady area where they have had a         to the Legislature by February 1,
filed legislation to change the        problem."                                2009.
     PAGE 4

                A Closer Look: Proposition 4
                   When you read Proposition 4 on the Nov. 6 ballot, you may wonder what it
                has to do with state parks, historic sites, county courthouses and highway and
                public safety. A great deal! More than half of the authorized funds will be
  More than     used to enhance Texas’ natural and cultural treasures, as well as provide much
                needed support to law enforcement agencies to keep lawbreakers off our high-
                ways, streets, parks and playgrounds.
  10 million
                   $52 million will go to over 30 of our state parks which are in need of major
                repairs, including an overhaul of the Battleship Texas. Nearly $50 million
 people visit   will go toward restoration of many of Texas’ historic sites and court-
                houses. Another $50 million will be used to construct a state-of-the art driv-
 Texas State    ing training facility for the Department of Public Safety personnel, as well as
                other law enforcement employees. This will help to keep our highways safe
       Parks    for Texas travelers and visitors in the future.
                   It is hoped that a significant portion of the unassigned funds ($283 million)
   annually,    will be designated by future legislatures for additional dollars for state parks
                and historic sites, because Texas legislators know that well- maintained parks
  generating    make good business sense – good tourism business sense.
                   Our state parks and historic sites are not only places to relax, renew and
$793 million    connect, but also of tremendous economic benefit to local businesses, such as
                motels and restaurants. That is why Texans in 2007 saw a $180 million in-
     in sales   crease in funding for their state parks and nearly $50 million for historic sites
                and courthouse restoration. But Proposition 4 must pass to insure that major
impact, $456    repairs for these projects are funded.
                   “We’ve under- funded our parks for far too long,” Rep. Hilderbran, who
   million in   serves as chairman of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tour-
                ism, said. “The passage of Proposition 4 is crucial to fulfill the legislature’s
     Texans’    record appropriation during the 80th Legislative Session. This bond money
                includes funding for badly needed repairs and will help restore excellence to
   personal     our state parks and historic sites.”
                   With passage of Proposition 4 on Nov. 6, funds will begin to flow to help
income, and     bring these parks and historic sites back to places of Texas pride, and in turn
                become welcoming natural and cultural attractions for our citizens, visitors
11,928 jobs.    and most important of all: our children and grandchildren. The enhancement
                of our state parks and historic sites, coupled with safe highways and streets,
                are a small price to pay for their future well-being.
                   Please vote for Proposition 4 and urge your friends and associates to do

                            Rep. Hilderbran visits with students from Junction who made a visit to the
                            Capitol during the 80th Legislative Session.

  VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1                                                                                      PAGE 5

Overview of Constitutional Amendments

         n the 2007 Regular Session, the 80th Texas Legisla-
         ture passed 17 joint resolutions proposing amend-                  Don’t forget!
         ments to the state constitution. One of these pro-
         posed amendments was offered for approval on the            Election Day is Nov. 6, 2007
May 12, 2007, election ballot. The 16 remaining proposed
amendments will be offered for approval on the Nov. 6 elec-
tion ballot.

Amendment No. 1 (H.J.R. No. 103)                          owner at the price the entity paid to acquire the prop-
Providing for the continuation of the constitutional      erty.
appropriation for facilities and other capital items at
Angelo State University on a change in the govern-        Amendment No. 8 (H.J.R. No. 72)
ance of the university.                                   Clarifying certain provisions relating to the making of
                                                          a home equity loan and the use of the loan’s proceeds.
Amendment No. 2 (S.J.R. No. 57)
Providing for the issuance of up to $500 million in       Amendment No. 9 (S.J.R. No. 29)
general obligation bonds by the Texas Higher Educa-       Authorizing the legislature to exempt all or part of the
tion Coordinating Board to finance educational loans      residence homesteads of certain totally disabled veter-
to students and authorizing bond enhancement agree-       ans from ad valorem taxation and authorizing a
ments for general obligation bonds issued for that pur-   change in the manner of determining the amount of
pose.                                                     the existing tax Abolishing the constitutional authority
                                                          for the office of inspector of hides and animals.
Amendment No. 3 (H.J.R. No. 40)
Authorizing the legislature to limit the maximum ap-      Amendment No. 11 (H.J.R. No. 19)
praised value of a residential homestead to the lesser    Requiring that a record vote be taken by a house of the
of the homestead’s most recent market value as deter-     legislature on final passage of any bill, other than cer-
mined by the appraisal entity or 110 percent, or a        tain local bills, of a resolution proposing or ratifying a
greater percentage, of its appraised value for the pre-   constitutional amendment, or of any other non-
ceding tax year.                                          ceremonial resolution, and providing for public access
                                                          on the Internet to those record votes.
Amendment No. 4 (S.J.R. No. 65)
Providing for the issuance of up to $1 billion in gen-    Amendment No. 12 (S.J.R. 64)
eral obligation bonds by the Texas Public Finance Au-     Providing for the issuance of up to $5 billion in gen-
thority to finance certain improvement, repair, and       eral obligation bonds by the Texas Transportation
construction projects and the purchase of needed          Commission to finance highway improvement pro-
equipment.                                                jects.

Amendment No. 5 (S.J.R. No. 44)                           Amendment No. 13 (H.J.R. No. 6)
Authorizing the legislature to permit the voters of a     Authorizing the denial of bail to a person who violates
municipality with a population of less than 10,000 to     certain court orders or conditions of release in a felony
allow the municipality’s governing body to enter into     or family violence case.
an agreement with an owner of real property in or ad-
jacent to an area in the municipality that has been ap-   Amendment No. 14 (H.J.R. No. 36)
proved for funding under certain programs adminis-        Permitting a justice or judge who reaches the manda-
tered by the Texas Department of Agriculture under        tory retirement age while in office to serve the remain-
which ad valorem taxes imposed on the owner’s prop-       der of the justice’s or judge’s current term.
erty may not be increased for the first five tax years
after the tax year in which the agreement is entered      Amendment No. 15 (H.J.R. No. 90)
into.                                                 Requiring the creation of the Cancer Prevention and
                                                      Research Institute of Texas and authorizing the issu-
Amendment No. 6 (H.J.R. No. 54)                       ance of up to $3 billion in general obligation bonds by
Authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem the Texas Public Finance Authority to fund research in
taxation on e motor vehicle owned by an individual    Texas to find the causes of and cures for cancer.
and used for both business and personal activities of
the owner.                                            Amendment No. 16 (S.J.R. No. 20)
                                                      Authorizing the Texas Water Development Board to
Amendment No. 7 (H.J.R. No. 30)                       issue up to $250 million in general obligation bonds to
Allowing a governmental entity to sell property ac-   assist economically distressed areas of the state.
quired through eminent domain back to the previous
  State Representative Harvey Hilderbran
  P.O. Box 294270
  Kerrville, Texas 78029-4270

                                                          Not paid for at taxpayers’ expense.

Harvey Hilderbran: Fighting for Our Texas Values
     Rep. Harvey Hilderbran was first elected to the Texas House of
Representatives in 1988 and was most recently re-elected in 2006 to
serve the people of District 53.
     Since January 2003, he has served as chairman of the House Com-
mittee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism. As chairman of the commit-
tee, Hilderbran oversees the regulation and control of hunting and fish-
ing, the preservation of wildlife and fish, operation and control of state
parks, development and regulation of the state's cultural and historical
resources, and the promotion of international and interstate tourism.
The committee has jurisdiction over the Texas Parks and Wildlife,
Texas Historical Commission, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the
Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
     As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Hilderbran
is actively engaged in legislation regarding the conservation of the natu-
ral resources of Texas, the control and development of land and water,
and the creation and regulation of water supply districts.
     His first public policy assignment was service as a congressional       Texas nursing homes.
legislative assistant for agriculture and small business issues in Wash-          In the private sector, Rep. Hilderbran has worked in real estate,
ington D.C. in the mid-1980s. He later served as assistant director of       ranching, advertising and business management. He currently serves as
state affairs for the Texas Farm Bureau, where he concentrated his ef-       vice-president of marketing for an engineering firm in Kerrville.
forts on property and water rights.                                               Born in Uvalde in 1960, he is a 1983 graduate of Texas Tech Uni-
     Among his legislative accomplishments are his 1995 landmark wel-        versity. He lives with his wife, Tracy, and their two daughters in Kerr-
fare reform legislation and his 1997 legislation protecting residents of     ville, where they are members of St. Peter's Church.

      Hilderbran named “Legislator of the Year” by Texas Municipal League
                                                                            The Texas Municipal League and its 1,080 member cities
                                                                         recently announced that Rep. Harvey Hilderbran has been
                                                                         named its "Legislator of the Year" for 2007.
                                                                            Rep. Hilderbran is a strong supporter of state and local parks
                                                                         and is the author of legislation during the 80th Legislative Ses-
                                                                         sion that will infuse approximately $15.5 million per year into
                                                                         our local parks system.
                                                                            "Texas cities for many years have relied upon competitive
                                                                         state grants to assist with the development and improvement of
                                                                         local parks," said Frank Sturzl, executive director of TML. "In
                                                                         recent years, some of that funding was eliminated, and we sin-
                                                                         cerely appreciate Rep. Hilderbran's efforts to breathe new life
                                                                         into the local parks grant program."
                                                                            Rep. Hilderbran will be the guest of honor at a reception held
                                                                         Nov. 7 in Dallas.
Rep. Harvey Hilderbran is awarded a plaque by Shanna Igo of                 “I appreciate this honor from the Texas Municipal League
the Texas Municipal League. TML had previously named Rep.                and I hope that it draws attention to the shortfall in our state and
Hilderbran “Legislator of the Month” for February 2007.                  local park funding," Rep. Hilderbran said. "Our parks are vital to
                                                                         the economy of this great state and to the enjoyment of all Tex-
                                                                         ans. It is crucial that we provide appropriate funding to enhance
                                                                         and develop these great resources.”