John Frullo

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Representative Frullo Encourages Participation in Texas Red Tape Challenge
Website aims to give public easier access to legislative process
August 6, 2012

LUBBOCK - State Representative John Frullo (R-Lubbock) is encouraging Texans to take part in a new web-based project aimed at giving citizens easier access to the policy-making process.

The Texas Red Tape Challenge (www.texasredtapechallenge.com) is a website which allows members of the public to offer ideas on how to reduce the burden of state laws and regulations, and provide recommendations on how to improve the efficiency and productivity of the state government. The website serves as a forum for all members of the public to share their own ideas or show their support for recommendations made by others.

"It’s exciting that we’ve come up with an easy, new way to hear from constituents who have ideas to make government more effective and efficient," Frullo, a member of the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform, said. "I encourage folks to take some time, log on and give us their ideas!"

The Challenge focuses on four subjects, including occupational licensing, public education mandates, state agency rulemaking, and manufacturing in Texas. Specific laws and regulations relating to each subject will be introduced for the public's consideration and comment.

"There are thousands of regulations and mandates embedded within hundreds of chapters of state law," Bill Callegari (R-Katy), state representative and chairman of the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform, said. "The purpose of the Texas Red Tape Challenge is to show people where those laws are and ask how those regulations could be streamlined, improved or even abolished."

New policy slates will be introduced to the Challenge every two weeks. The Challenge concludes in October, and a Committee meeting will be held to discuss ideas and recommendations generated through the Challenge in November. The ideas adopted by the Committee will be included in its report to the 83rd Texas Legislature beginning in January 2013.

83RD LEGISLATIVE SESSION

KEY CONSERVATIVE INITIATIVES: GUN RIGHTS, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION
We must continue to promote the restraint of government and the freedom of our citizens.

senate-affairsThe Legislature passed several bills that were key to protecting gun rights, religious freedom, and the sanctity of life. In response to the threat of local and federal regulations for gun owners, legislators passed SB 987. This bill will give the Attorney General the ability to obtain a temporary or permanent injunction against a city or county that attempts to enforce unlawful restrictions on gun owners. In addition, we passed SB 1907 to allow concealed handgun license holders to transport and store firearms and ammunition in private vehicles on college campuses. We also passed several bills to decrease the bureaucracy in obtaining a concealed handgun license. To address the onslaught of lawsuits related to religious freedom, the Legislature passed HB 308. The bill allows Texas public schools the freedom to educate students on the history of traditional winter celebrations, including Christmas and Hanukkah and allow students and teachers to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” without the threat of restriction of religious freedom. Schools will also have the freedom to display scenes or symbols associated with Christmas or Hanukkah. It’s too bad we had to pass this type of legislation, but it was necessary to ensure our religious freedom. During the 2nd called Special Session, the Legislature passed HB 2 to increase safety and protection for women seeking an abortion and stopped the practice of abortion after five months.

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN
Even in Lubbock we have human trafficking.

legislationAfter passing Alicia’s Law last session, we continued our work to combat human trafficking. We secured $1.6 million in funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces in the State of Texas. These highly trained officers work tirelessly to pursue those committing crimes against children. One of my biggest legislative priorities was HB 2268. This bill streamlines bureaucratic procedures that hinder prosecutor's ability to retrieve evidence for prosecution against perpetrators who are using the internet for crimes; this allows states to honor search warrants across state lines. In this legislation, we also created the strongest privacy laws in the nation protecting all your email content from search and seizure without a search warrant. In addition, SB 742 will help law enforcement to better identify children who are at risk of human trafficking and create a system of reporting for attempted abduction of children. HB 2637 increases penalties for sex offenders who have been found to have used someone else’s identity.

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PUBLIC PENSION REFORM
Retired teachers prior to Aug. 31st, 2004 will receive a cost of living adjustment.

ttu-2013As a member of the Pensions Committee, we worked closely with teacher and state employee groups to create state policy that will ensure that the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and Employee Retirement System (ERS) are a stable source of retirement for years to come. We also provided a cost of living adjustment in HB 1458 for teachers across the state who have been retired since August 31, 2004. In addition, I joint authored HB 13 that will increase transparency and oversight of our public pension plans. Thank you to all of you from Lubbock who came to Austin to advocate on behalf of teachers. It was great to see you during the legislative session!

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PUBLIC EDUCATION
Increases flexibility and opportunities for students.

This session, the Legislature heard from many parents, teachers and school administrators, particularly related to testing and accountability. As a result, we passed HB 5 which includes significant reform. The bill creates more flexibility in the core curriculum, decreases the end of course exams from fifteen to five, and creates a new state rating system for schools. In addition, the bill encourages more technical training at the high school level. This legislation represents a concerted effort to bring needed flexibility while maintaining high standards for our students.

 

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