Capitol Office: (512) 463-0564
District Office: (979) 848-1770
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bonnen Announces Passage of Local Legislation (2 of 2)

Insider's Report Vol. 7, No. 25

Part two of two

Earlier this week I sent you the first part of a compilation of local bills that I passed during the 81st session.  This newsletter includes the remaining pieces of successful legislation that I developed from ideas brought to me by the citizens of Brazoria County.  The passage of these proposals is indicative of our invaluable collaboration to ensure the prosperity of House District 25.

Interstate Firearm Purchases - HB 267 (SB 1188) -  Dwight Beck of Angleton contacted me after he was prohibited from buying a rifle while on a hunting trip in Mississippi due to a Texas law that limited the purchase of firearms to only states that border Texas.  My legislation allows Texans to purchase firearms, ammunition, reloading components, and accessories in all fifty states.

SIDS Brochure - HB 1510 - This legislation requires that information regarding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), including current recommendations for infant sleeping conditions to lower the risk of SIDS, be added to an existing resource pamphlet that is provided to the parent of a newborn.  This idea was presented to me by Jennifer Monical and the Southwest SIDS Research Institute in Lake Jackson who work to raise awareness about this leading cause of death in infants.

Retired Optometrists - HB 675 - With the help of Dr. Tom Pruett of Lake Jackson and Walter Branson of the Brazosport Rotary Club, I was able to pass this bill to enable the Texas Optometry Board to renew the license of a retired optometrist wishing to perform strictly charity care without requiring them to meet the same fee requirements as an active optometrist who is in daily practice.

Tax Bill Fowarding - HB 653/SB 562 - Brought to me by Brazoria County Tax Assessor-Collector Ro'Vin Garrett, this bill grants the tax assessor-collector the option to allow the U.S. Postal Service to forward tax bills to the address they have on file.  Under current law, tax bills are required to be returned to the tax office if the homeowner has moved.  My legislation will help tax payers avoid unnecessary penalties and late fees by ensuring that they receive their tax notice.

Treasure Island - HB 1445 - Due to the unique and dynamic erosion pattern at Treasure Island, public infrastructure and private property may be adversely affected.  In working with General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson, I granted this community the authority to construct shore protection structures and, in turn, fix the "line of vegetation" at the seaward side of this structure with the Commissioner's approval.  This will protect homeowners who are at risk of losing their property, while also ensuring public access to the beach through the requirement of a public easement, adjacent sidewalk, and plenty of parking spaces along the structure.

Coastal Protection - HB 2073, HB 2074, & HB 2387 - To ensure that the coastal communities in my district are protected, I passed a package of legislation to make certain that our limited resources are spent efficiently among these communities by requiring state and local governments to work better together when planning and funding coastal projects.  My efforts also ensure that crucial beach renourishment projects are not delayed by prolonged litigation with property owners who have ended up on the public beach due to erosion.

CCA-Texas License Plates - HB 1749 - In recognition of the many Coastal Conservation Association members and supporters in my district, I passed a bill to make CCA license plates available to all Texans and to redirect the revenue generated from the sale of these plates to the CCA to support their efforts of marine coastal conservation and management .  Until now, these plates were only available to CCA members and the money was deposited into the State Highway Fund.

Creation of Municipal and Management Districts - HB 1946 and HB 4775 -  I worked closely with the City of Lake Jackson to create the Alden Lake Management District, which will enable the future growth and prosperity of this area. With the support of the Village of Bonney, I also passed legislation to create the Brazoria County Municipal District No. 64.  Both districts will aid in the development of residential housing and commercial businesses in their respective communities.