Representative Bell sets priorities – opposing high speed rail, high property taxes – for 87th Legislative Session, as Governor flounders

State Representative Cecil Bell (left), Republican of Magnolia, met with one of his constituents in the State Capitol in Austin on December 5, 2020.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Austin and Magnolia, January 13 – State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr., Republican of Magnolia, has made clear what his priorities are during the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature, which opened yesterday in Austin.

“My priorities continue to be reducing property taxes, asserting the state sovereignty assured by the United States Constitution, protecting Second Amendment gun rights, stopping High Speed Rail, and protecting private property rights,” Bell told The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper. “As for as major legislation, I think the Session will be defined by the Budget and by redistricting.”

Governor Greg Abbott yesterday visited the Texas House and Senate Chambers to deliver opening day remarks for the start of the 87th Texas Legislature. The Governor urged the members of the House and Senate to work together over the next 140 days “to tackle the issues that matter most to Texans across the state.”

“Over the next 140 days, we have the opportunity to not only respond to the challenges we face, but we also have an opportunity to put Texas on a trajectory to a future of even greater hope and opportunity,” said Governor Abbott. “Now more than ever, Texans need the Legislature to succeed this session. But equally important, America needs Texas to lead the way. If we do this, then we will chart a course towards a healthier, safer, freer, and more prosperous future for every Texan.”

Bell has fought valiantly against high speed rail in central Texas. He disclosed late in 2020 that “public documents show Texas Central [the high speed rail conglomerate] has deeded property from Texas landowners to the Japanese Government through an offshore entity set up in the Cayman Islands.”

Bell noted further, “The impact of this is that the Japanese government required Texas Central to put up the land, already acquired along the affected route, as collateral for the sizeable loan owed to them. Texas Central filed a ‘Deed of Trust, Assignment of Leases and Rents, Security Agreement and Fixture Filing’ with the beneficiary of all of these deeds as an offshore entity named ‘Japan Texas High-Speed Railway Cayman GP.'” Bell explained, “Texas Central did not disclose the existence of this offshore beneficiary to any of the landowners it convinced to sign an option contract. Nor did it disclose its plans to use the property purchased through the option contracts to secure a loan from the Japanese government.”

“Texas Central has lied over and over to Texans,” said State Representative Bell, Jr. “Texas Central said this project would cost $10 billion, now we learn their estimated costs have ballooned out of control to $30 billion. Texas Central said that this project would be privately funded but they are now actively seeking funding through a stimulus bill in Washington, D.C. They also claim to be a Texas company, yet we now know that they deeded Texas properties to the Japanese Government. Texas Central must be stopped before more Texans are duped and Texas taxpayers end up on the hook for the exorbitant cost of this project. Many of my constituents’ family members fought and died for the land they own. To take their land and give it to a foreign government under these circumstances is an insult to not only these families, but to every single Texan that cares about private property rights and our way of life.”

 

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