Here’s an early look at the Tarrant County legislative delegation in the 84th Legislature. Lawmakers head to work Tuesday.
Senator: Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
District: This district includes Arlington, Fort Worth and eight Northeast Tarrant County cities.
Contact: 512-463-0109 (Capitol)
Social Media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/TexansForKellyHancock; Twitter: @KHancock4TX
About: Hancock, a small-business owner, served in the Texas House before being elected in 2012 to the Senate. He said his priorities are “state spending, fixes to our transportation infrastructure and protecting the Texas economy.” This session, he said, lawmakers “must be responsible with taxpayer money, focus on priorities like good schools, water and roads, and otherwise limit government excess to encourage job creation and private sector investment.” Transportation, water and energy infrastructure will be key issues, as will ending “burdensome regulations being passed down from federal bureaucracies.”
Senator: Konni Burton, R-Colleyville
District: This district includes Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield, Colleyville, and other areas of south and Northeast Tarrant County.
Contact: New members’ telephone numbers should be set up soon.
Social Media: www.facebook.com/KonniBurtonTX; Twitter: @KonniBurton
About: Burton won the hotly contested battle to replace Wendy Davis in the Texas Senate. A conservative with Tea Party ties, Burton is a former small-business owner who said her top goals are clear: “I want to prioritize state spending on its core functions. Those core functions are education, roads, water infrastructure and public safety. We need to end budget diversions and work for a more transparent government. Securing the Texas border is also a priority for me.” She notes that the state faces several challenges, among them “building the infrastructure for our growing workforce, educating our young people, ensuring public safety and battling drug traffickers by working to secure the border.”
Senator: Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound
District: This district includes part of Denton County and the Tarrant County cities of Grapevine, Haslet, Saginaw, Westworth Village, Westover Hills, White Settlement and Azle.
Contact: 512-463-0112 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/SenatorJaneNelson; Twitter: @SenJaneNelson
About: Nelson, a former teacher and businesswoman, is the dean of the Tarrant County delegation, having served in the Senate since 1993. Chosen last year to lead the powerful Senate Finance Committee, she said her top goal this session is “to pass a responsible budget that meets our growing needs, protects our successful economic formula and eases the burden on taxpayers.” But she said the state faces several key issues, including education, transportation and border security. She said she is working to develop Senate Bill 1, the appropriations bill, and has filed nine other bills that address issues ranging from zero-based budgeting to ensuring that welfare recipients are drug-free.
Senator: Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury
District: This district includes pieces of Tarrant County, including parts of Grand Prairie, Arlington and Mansfield, and stretches west to Hood County and south to Falls County.
Contact: 512-463-0122 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/BrianBirdwellForTexas; Twitter: @SenatorBirdwell
About: Birdwell, who has served in the Senate since a 2010 special election, is a Fort Worth native who grew up to become an Army officer — and a survivor critically injured in the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. He has served as vice chairman of the Veteran Affairs & Military Installations Committee and on the higher education, economic development and government organization committees.
Representative: Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth
District: This district stretches through Fort Worth, including parts of the north side, south side, near west side and Polytechnic Heights neighborhoods.
Contact: New members’ telephone numbers should be set up soon.
Website: www.ramonromerojr.com; www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=90 (after Tuesday)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/pages/Ramon-Romero-Jr-For-State-Representative/371863612949631; Twitter: @RamonRomeroJr90
About: Romero, owner of A-Fast Coping Tile and Stone, replaces Lon Burnam, who has represented this district since 1997. Romero bested Burnam in the Democratic primary last year, winning by 111 votes. After the election, Burnam, D-Fort Worth, filed a lawsuit challenging the results because he believed the election was scuttled by illegal mail-in ballots. After several rounds in the courtroom, Burnam dropped the lawsuit in June; Romero was unopposed in the November general election.
Representative: Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth
District: This district covers North Richland Hills, Richland Hills, Haltom City, Watauga, and part of Fort Worth.
Contact: 512-463-0599 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/Stephanie.KlickTx; Twitter: @StephanieKlick
About: Klick, a registered nurse and former Tarrant County Republican Party chairwoman, was elected in 2012 to replace outgoing state Rep. Kelly Hancock, who was elected to the Texas Senate, in the Texas House. She easily won re-election in 2014. She has served on House committees for elections, human services and rules and resolutions.
Representative: Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford
District: This district is centered in Hurst-Euless-Bedford
Contact: 512-463-0522 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/votejs; Twitter: @RepStickland
About: Stickland, a consultant to oil and gas companies and former pest-control technician, begins his second term in office. He said his priorities this session are clear: “Protect life, liberty and property rights.” Other than that, he said there are several issues facing the state, including over-taxation, over-regulation, transportation and education. He said he would like to see any extra revenue spent to cut taxes for Texans. And he has already filed several bills, including proposals to ban red-light cameras, allow constitutional carry of firearms and end in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.
Representative: Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth
District: This district stretches 30 miles across Tarrant County from Haslet to Arlington.
Contact: 512-463-0562 (Capitol)
Social Media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/KrauseforTexas; Twitter: @RepMattKrause
About: Krause, a corporate benefit and transition consultant who lives in far north Fort Worth, has been in office since 2013. He said his priorities include transportation funding, securing the Texas grid and strengthening legislation to prosecute the online solicitation of minors. The biggest issues facing the state, he said, include transportation funding, education reform and tax relief. He said the legislature should look at addressing the needs of the state, and then giving “the remaining funds back to the taxpayers.” Among the measures he has filed, or plans to file: zero-based budgeting, immigration court reform, protection of Texas’ grid, protection of Texans’ Second Amendment rights, strengthening online solicitation laws, pro-life measures and protection of religious liberty.
Representative: Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington
District: This district is in central west Arlington and includes Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens. It stretches from Interstate 30 south to the Mansfield line and from Loop 820 east to Collins Street.
Contact: New members’ telephone numbers should be set up soon.
Online: tonytinderholt.com; www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=94 (after jan. 13)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/tonytinderholtfortexas; Twitter: @Tony_Tinderholt
About: Tinderholt, a 21-year military veteran, won a contentious GOP primary battle last year, besting incumbent state Rep. Diane Patrick, who has represented this district since 2007. He went on to win the general election against Democrat Cole Ballweg and Libertarian Robert Harris. Tinderholt, director of training and recruiting for Eliot Management Group, said he sought this office because he wanted to continue serving even though he’s out of the military. He has said his top priorities include securing the border, passing anti-abortion legislation, helping create a transparent budget, protecting Second Amendment rights, preventing additional federal mandates on medical care and ensuring free enterprise.
Representative: Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth
District: This district includes downtown Fort Worth, Forest Hill, Everman and Edgecliff Village
Contact: 512-463-0716 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/Nicole.CollierTX; Twitter: @NicoleCollier95
About: Collier, a civil trial attorney, has been in office since 2013. She said she remains “dedicated to ensuring that (her constituents) have a progressive leader and outspoken advocate to represent them well at the state level.” Top issues this session: public and higher education, consumer protection, state infrastructure (including transportation and water resources), and public health and safety. She said state agencies must be held accountable for what they are required to do. And she said she hopes to work on “providing community resources for homeless initiatives, economic development and public health.”
Representative: Bill Zedler, R-Arlington
District: This district includes parts of Arlington, Mansfield and Kennedale.
Contact: 512-463-0374 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/bzedler; Twitter: @Bill_Zedler
About: Zedler, who begins his sixth term in the House, said he has clear priorities for this session: border security, limiting the growth of government to population plus inflation, reducing or eliminating unfunded mandates to schools, requiring the Texas Medical Board to follow the rules of due process; and requiring that hospitals get the permission of patients before they put a do not resuscitate order in their medical records. But he said he realizes the state has key issues to address, such as continuing to fund increased border security, eliminating magnets “that attract illegal immigration,” funding transportation by dedicating sales tax revenue from automobiles and trucks to transportation; and limiting the growing of government.
Representative: Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth
District: The district includes southwest Fort Worth and Benbrook.
Contact: 512-463-0608 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/teamgoldman; Twitter: @GoldmanCraig
About: Goldman, a former campaign strategist for Sen. John McCain and adviser to Sen. Phil Gramm, has been in office since 2013. Top priorities this session include maintaining security along the Texas-Mexico border, establishing an “actuarially sound transportation funding solution,” addressing finance mechanisms that fund Texas schools; and working to phase out or eliminate the margins tax. Also in Texas, he said, “we are in serious need of a funding solution for our transportation infrastructure needs.” He said he has filed a bill to redirect oil and gas sales tax revenue to the State Highway Fund rather than to the General Revenue Fund.
Representative: Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake
District: The district includes Grapevine, Colleyville, Keller, Southlake, Westlake and part of far north Fort Worth.
Contact: 512-463-0690 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/VoteGiovanni; Twitter: @VoteGiovanni
About: Capriglione, who runs his own private-equity business, has served in office since 2013. A former Ron Paul supporter, he has worked for several local Republican and conservative grassroots groups, focusing on turnout and voter education. Last session he served on House committees for government efficiency and reform and international trade and intergovernmental affairs.
Representative: Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth
District: This is a northwest Tarrant County district.
Contact: 512-463-0610 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/charlie.geren.1; Twitter: @charliegeren
About: Geren is a restaurant owner and rancher who has represented this district since 2001. Geren was one of the 11 ABC Republicans — “Anybody But Craddick” — who supported San Antonio state Rep. Joe Straus as a consensus candidate in the speaker’s race, helping unseat former House Speaker Tom Craddick in 2009. A close ally to now House Speaker Straus, he is part of the speaker’s leadership team and is chairman of the powerful House Administration Committee. He said his top priorities include passing a state budget and funding transportation and water infrastructure. Also, “border security is high on the list for everybody here and will continue to be until the federal government steps in and does what they are supposed to do,” he said.
Representative: Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie
District: The district runs along both sides of Texas 360 and takes in east Arlington and the Tarrant County portion of Grand Prairie.
Contact: 512-463-0574 (Capitol)
Social Media: www.facebook.com/RepChrisTurner; Twitter: @ChrisGTurner; Instagram: chrisgturner
About: Turner, a public relations consultant and former executive director of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, most recently helped run the gubernatorial campaign for state Sen. Wendy Davis. Turner, the No. 2 member of the House Democratic leadership, will be serving his third term in office. Education and increasing funding for Texas public schools, while making “the school finance system more equitable for districts in our community,” are among his top priorities. Other key issues for him include increasing access to healthcare coverage, bringing good-paying jobs to Tarrant communities and addressing the lack of public transportation in Arlington and Grand Prairie.
The 84rd session of the Texas Legislature will run for 140 days.
Tuesday— Session begins
Jan. 20 — Republican Greg Abbott will be sworn in as governor today; Republican Dan Patrick will be sworn in as lieutenant governor today.
March 13 — Deadline for filing bills and joint resolutions other than local bills and emergency measures.
June 1 — Last day of the session
June 21 – The last day the governor may sign or veto bills passed during the regular legislative session.
Aug. 31 – Date that bills without specific effective dates become law.
Source: Texas Legislature Online