Austin, June 9 – At the conclusion of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) meeting in Austin on Saturday, June 8, 2019, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey released a slide to this newspaper showing GOP Platform Plank accomplishments during the 86th Legislative Session which adjourned on Monday, May 28. The slide, which SREC Committeeman Mark Ramsey developed and originally presented in Conroe on Monday, reveals that more than 27 Platform Planks became legislation, passing both the Texas House and Texas Senate.
One of the highlights of the 86th Legislative Session was the JD Lambright Local Government Ethics Reform Act, named after the beloved late Montgomery County Attorney who fought for ethics reform, House Bill 1495. At the end of the Legislative Session, State Representative Steve Toth, Republican of Conroe, State Representative Giovanni Capriglione, Republican of Southlake in Tarrant County, and State Senator Brandon Creighton, Republican of Conroe, were able to add mandatory statewide disclosures of taxpayer funded lobbying contracts for all cities and counties to the bill, which also establishes an county ethics commission for Montgomery and Chambers Counties. The legislation passed also as a result of the outstanding procedural efforts of Deer Park Republican State Representative Briscoe Cain and Conroe Republican Representative Will Metcalf. (Strangely, State Representative Cecil Bell, Republican of Magnolia, absented himself from the vote, although he had voted for the legislation on previous occasions.)
In additional action, the SREC voted down a proposal to call for a special legislative session. Only twelve (12) members of the SREC supported the proposal.
Another major victory during the 86th Legislative Session came thanks to the work of State Representative Jonathan Stickland, Republican of Bedford, and political activist Kelli Cook of Willis, who successfully passed a red light camera ban, which Governor Greg Abbott has already signed into law.
Chairman Dickey actively fought for Republican legislation during the 86th Legislative Session. He testified and fought for several bills which were consistent with the Planks of the Republican Party Platform. Montgomery County Republican Party (MCRP) Vice Chairman Reagan Reed also went to Austin several times during the Legislative Session to fight for Republican Party priorities. Meanwhile, MCRP Chairman Wally Wilkerson only fought for legislation which would have given him sole control over the County GOP’s bank accounts, even though there is an elected Treasurer of the Party. Wilkerson’s choice legislation failed to come out of committee during the session.