Results not Rhetoric

During the 82nd and 83rd legislative sessions, Lance Gooden distinguished himself as one of the leading voices in the conservative movement in Texas. Because of his efforts, he received a 97% conservative rating from the Texas Eagle Forum and was listed in the Top 20 members of the House by Empower Texans for his votes on core budget and free enterprise issues. Lance was also rated as one of the Top 20 members of the House by the Young Conservatives of Texas.

Here are some of Lance’s legislative highlights from 2011-2015.

Passed Fiscally Conservative Budgets

In 2011, during his first session in the Texas House, Lance Gooden addressed the state’s $27-billion shortfall by helping to draft and pass one of the most fiscally conservative budgets in Texas history that slashed wasteful spending, excluded new taxes and protected the Rainy Day Fund. In 2013, he did it again by passing a balanced budget that protected the Rainy Day Fund and cut $1.36 billion in taxes.

Stopped Obamacare Expansion in Texas

In the face of tremendous pressure to embrace the expansion of Obamacare in Texas, Lance Gooden and conservative members of the House of Representatives stood their ground. Lance voted on three separate occasions to oppose Medicaid expansion (Amendment 51 to SB 1, Amendement 26 to SB 7 and SB 1795).

Guaranteed Religious Liberty

Lance worked to pass HB 308 which allows Texas public schools to display nativity scenes and other religious symbols on school grounds. The bill also allows teachers to educate students about the history of Christmas and its significance to Christians. This is an important victory in the ongoing fight for religious freedom in public places; particularly in light of attempts in recent years by out-of-state liberal groups to have Henderson County’s nativity scene in Athens removed.

Protected the Unborn

Lance is proud to have helped pass the strongest pro-life legislation in the United States in 2013. HB 2(83S2) bans abortions after twenty weeks, requires that any legal abortion center must be equivalent to those for an ambulatory surgical center, and requires that any physician performing an abortion must provide obstetric or gynecological services, and must have active admitting privileges at a hospital no more than thirty miles from the site where the abortion is performed. This critical bill made Texas the nation’s leader in the protection of the unborn.

Protected Our Second Amendment Rights

By helping to pass SB 864 and HB 48, Lance Gooden strengthened the rights of Texans to carry firearms without government interference. The two bills reduce the number of hours required for classroom instruction in order to obtain a Concealed Handgun License, in addition to repealing the continuing education requirements for renewal of the license.  Lance also helped pass SB 987 which gives authorization to the Attorney General to act against cities or counties that adopt prohibitive regulations regarding firearms, supplies and ammunition in violation of an individual’s second amendment rights.

Made Local Control of Education A Top Priority

In 2013, Lance made sure that public education was a top priority for the legislature. During the session, he helped increase the level of funding for public and higher education while eliminating 2/3 of the standardized tests required under state law (HB 5) in order to give local control of schools back to parents and teachers. He also helped pass HB 462 that prohibited President Obama’s liberal national school curriculum, the Common Core Standards Initiative, from being forced on Texas school children.

Provided Tax Relief

Lance’s work on tax policy in the 83rd legislative session resulted in over $1 billion in tax relief to Texans. HB 500, HB 800, HB 1133, HB 1223, and HB 3390 provided franchise tax relief to small businesses, offered tax credits for research and development and extended the Economic Development Act by a decade.

Sponsored Texas’ tough new Voter ID law

All Texas voters are now required to present a valid photo ID in order to cast a ballot because of the efforts of Lance Gooden. This measure had continually failed in past legislatures, but in 2011, Lance help steer it into law. It has gone a long way toward ensuring the integrity of our elections and to protect against voter fraud.

Fought for us against investor-owned utilities like Monarch

When a bill that would allow water companies like Monarch to raise customers’ rates without a hearing came up for debate, Lance stood up for us and killed the bill with a point-of-order. Since then, he has worked diligently to ensure that citizens do not become victims of an unjustified rate increase.

Ensured our Privacy from Drone Surveillance Over Private Property

Lance authored and passed HB 912 which restricts the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image of an individual or real property with the intent to monitor or conduct surveillance. This was pro-active legislation designed to address the FAA’s estimate that there will be more than 30,000 unmanned vehicles and aircraft operating in United States airspace by the end of the decade. This new technology creates concerns about privacy, so this legislation ensures that no one will be able to use drones to monitor our activities in the future.

Mandated Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits

Taxpayers and employers should not have to fund benefits provided to individuals who are engaging in illicit drug use. That’s why Lance supported SB 21 which requires all initial applicants for unemployment compensation benefits to submit to a drug screening assessment. Failure to take or to pass the drug test renders an individual ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits.