AUSTIN – State Representative David Spiller has outlined the upcoming Texas House of Representatives floor schedule, introduced his first bill of the session and details border security legislative priorities.
In a statement released on Saturday, Spiller noted that the Texas House would be in session from Monday through Thursday, with the first House calendar scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The House will convene at 2:00 pm on Monday, and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, they will be on the House Floor starting at 10:00 am.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on State Affairs will meet for testimonies of legislation focused on broadband at 10:30, or upon adjournment of the House.
Spiller also highlighted his first bill to be laid out in committee this past week, House Bill 3407 or the Ibeth Gary Act. This seeks to make commercial automobile insurance mandatory as part of the insurance requirements for individuals licensed under the TDLR for individuals who primarily use commercial vehicles primarily in their line of work to travel to and from their jobs. Currently, there is no requirement for entities licensed under the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) to carry commercial auto liability coverage, even though these entities use vehicles primarily in a commercial capacity when they work.
“This insurance protects victims in the unfortunate event that they are involved in an accident, but also protects licensed plumbers from excess judgment amounts recovered from lawsuits arising out of accident claims similar to what occurred in the Gary matter.” Spiller said.
In addition to his work on insurance requirements, Rep. Spiller detailed border security as a top legislative priority. He cites the federal government’s failure to secure the border as a key factor contributing to the humanitarian crisis in Texas.
“Fentanyl is killing Texans daily, landowners are experiencing illegal trespassing and property damages, and a plague of human trafficking and drug smuggling is affecting our communities,” Spiller said. “As your State Representative, I am committed to supporting bold and innovative solutions to enhance our border security operations.”
This session, Speaker Phelan and the Texas House are prioritizing the following bills to address this multi-faceted issue.
· House Bill 6 increases the penalty for manufacturing or delivering less than one gram of fentanyl to a third-degree felony. This increases the punishment from a 5-year to a 10-year minimum.
· House Bill 800 cracks down on human smuggling by increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for such convictions to 10 years in prison, requiring a person who is convicted of running a stash house to serve a minimum of 5 years. The bill also allows for that person to be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years, for any additional offenses committed.
· House Bill 20 creates a Border Protection Unit, which would be housed under the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and directed by a chief appointed by the Governor. The unit would be responsible for recruiting and hiring individuals with prior experience from border regions around the state.
· House Bill 7 would establish the Legislative Border Safety Oversight Committee, which would guide the state’s safety policies and provide oversight over the Border Protection Unit. The 10-member committee would consist of the lieutenant governor, speaker, and four members from each chamber. Additionally, the bill would create a fund to compensate residents living in border communities for property damages that result from illegal crossings and smuggling.
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David Spiller is the State Representative for House District 68, which includes 12 rural counties: Brown, Comanche, Cooke, Eastland, Jack, Lampasas, Mills, Montague, San Saba, Shackelford, Throckmorton, and Young.