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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bonnen Works to Protect Citizens and Businesses from Federal Spending

Insider's Report Vol. 7, No. 14

Honors football legend and Angleton native 
Emmitt Thomas

On Wednesday, April 15, concerned citizens around the state and nation held a series of "tea party" meetings to protest rampant government spending and the rapid expansion of federal programs.  I, too, am frustrated by the federal government's continuous spending of money we don't have.  As a father, husband, business owner, legislator and most importantly, a citizen of this country, I remain opposed to the federal bailouts, the stimulus package, the $3.5 trillion federal budget, and pork in general.

I believe in the proven practices of limited government and fiscal conservatism that have brought Texas to the forefront of the national economy.  Coincidentally, I laid out HB 2534 in the Ways and Means committee on Wednesday, when so many were expressing their outrage at the increased size and scope of the federal government, and also on the day when we hand over our hard-earned money to Uncle Sam each year -- Tax Day.  This bill will provide much-needed margins tax relief to small business owners by raising the small business tax exemption to $5 million.  Currently, only businesses with a total revenue of $300,000 or less are exempt.   To view several of my comments from the hearing, please visit:

Now more than ever we need to support small businesses, which are responsible for creating more than two-thirds of all new jobs in Texas over the last twenty years.  The people driving the center of our economy – industrialists, small business owners, entrepreneurs, etc. -- who create jobs and prosperity along the way, should not be crippled by undue tax burdens.  This bill is a continuation of my efforts over the past several years to increase the exemption and it would provide small businesses with the relief they need to keep their doors open as they continue to protect our local economies.

Texas was one of only seven states to enter 2009 without a budget deficit and I am working to ensure that Washington politicians do not push their costly agenda on the Texas government.  My co-authorship of HCR 50 this session reaffirms my staunch belief in states' rights and, as we take up the budget this week, I will continue to legislate with the basic principles of limited government in mind.

On Thursday, I was successful in helping pass the supplemental appropriations bill that includes $13.5 million to re-build Bluewater Highway.  It also appropriates $120,111 to Brazosport College to recover losses caused by Hurricane Ike.  I am once again on the House floor today in a lengthy debate over our state's budget to ensure that Brazoria County has a strong voice in the process.

Emmitt Thomas Resolution Adopted

I was honored to have one of Angleton's own, Emmitt Earl Fyles Thomas, as my guest on the House floor this week.  I presented a resolution which paid tribute to his outstanding career in football and his lifetime of achievement.  Mr. Thomas was joined by several members of his family, and I was pleased to recount his childhood beginnings growing up in Angleton, which led to an impressive thirteen year playing career with the Kansas City Chiefs and onto his current position as the assistant head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

In Mr. Thomas' closing statement of his Hall of Fame acceptance speech last year, I think he summed it up best:  "Our talent is God's gift to us.  How we use that talent is our gift to him.  My sincere hope and prayer is that God finds my gift back to him a worthy one."