News

Rep. Schaefer Looks at All Sides of Texting and Driving Bill

Monday, April 22, 2013
Members of the state House are discussing legislation to make texting while driving illegal.House Bill 63 would make texting and driving a Class C misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $100, or $200 if the person has been convicted of the same offense.Members against the legislation have cited the laws ramifications regarding personal freedom, problematic enforcement of similar laws and question whether laws prohibiting texting and driving in other states are effective. Members for the legislation have cited the public safety impact and dangers of driving while texting.... Read More

TX Legislators Debate Major Changes to Public Education

Monday, April 01, 2013
TYLER, TX (KLTV) – The Texas House of Representatives took up debate on a bill Tuesday that would enact major changes to graduation requirements, student assessments and school accountability laws.House Bill 5 was filed in February by new House Public Education Committee Chairman Representative Jimmie Don Aycock as a jumping off point for discussions.... Read More

District 6 Speaks Out on Potential Texting and Driving Ban

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — There are currently 39 states in the U.S. that already have some type of texting and driving ban in place. Texas has a partial ban for texting in school zones, and restricts commercial truck drivers from texting.But a new bill (House Bill 63) to enforce a statewide texting and driving ban is back on the table in Austin this session.Governor Rick Perry vetoed the statewide texting and driving ban in June of 2012. However Texas State Representative of Smith County’s distict 6 says, ”I think the main motivation behind the bill is public safety.”... Read More

KETK Reports Problems in ESD #2

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Smith County Emergency Services District #2 covers most of the county. Its governing board is appointed by the Commissioner’s Court. The whole purpose of the 2003 law that created the ESD’s is to organize financing for small, volunteer fire departments with a property tax, so they get the equipment and training they need with a dependable funding mechanism.... Read More

“Clean hands” Before More Taxes

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
TYLER, TEXAS (KETK) — According to the Texas Comptrollers’ office Texas is $41.3 billion dollars in debt, and the debt owed to the Texas Department of Transportation reaches a whopping $13 billion.Solutions to solve this debt problem have been floating around the Legislature in Austin, In February Republican State Senator, Kevin Eltife proposed raising the gasoline tax, which hasn’t been raised 21 years.... Read More

Texas Ranking Accurate?

Monday, March 18, 2013
Texas ranks 49th in the nation in spending per student, according to research compiled by the National Education Association.The professional organization put the state third to last in the ranking with the other states and Washington, D.C.Arizona and Nevada spent less per child on education, according to the research, which was presented in a Texas State Teachers Association news release.... Read More

Local News Support for Smith County ESD No. 2 Bill

Monday, March 18, 2013
Let’s begin with a fundamental fact: the power to tax property is, ultimately, the power to take that property away. That’s why any entity with such power must be directly answerable to voters.We heartily endorse a bill filed in Austin by state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, that would make the board of Smith County’s ESD No. 2 an elected body. Currently, the board is appointed by Smith County commissioners.... Read More

ESD Bill Would Leave Boards Up to Elections

Thursday, March 14, 2013
A local bill designed to make Emergency Services District board members accountable to voters has local officials weighing the pros and cons of elected representation. House Bill 3257, filed by Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, would make the five-person, volunteer Emergency Services District No.1 and No. 2 boards elected positions.... Read More

New Legislation Aims to Assist Veterans in Work Force

Thursday, March 14, 2013
TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Both state and national lawmakers are pushing for new legislation that would help veterans get back to work faster. U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Texas State representative Dan Flynn have introduced bills that will cut the red tape that they say keeps a large number of service men and women unemployed for months after they return home.For many military men and women, coming home doesn’t mean the job is done. While service overseas is on hiatus, finding work is necessary but not always easy.... Read More

East Texas Legislators Hard at Work

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Bills filed by local legislators were among more than 7,000 bills to be considered this session. The deadline for filing bills was Friday.East Texas legislators filed dozens of bills they say are designed to create jobs, address rural water companies’ rate structures and transportation funding, teacher qualifications and term limits for statewide leaders.Local representatives and senators shared their priorities as the 83rd Session picks up steam.... Read More