Annexation Reform: Changing Working Relationships

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Annexation Reform in Special Session banner

Annexation Reform is changing the way legislators and the active citizens work together to pass conservative legislation!

It all began with Annexation Reform in the 85th Texas Legislature. of 2017.  I was working with Texas Public Policy Foundation (who supplied the information and resources we needed) and a brand-new activist group of passionate, regular Texans whose homes are in danger of Annexation by larger cities throughout the the State, though most were from the Austin, San Antonio, and Williamson County areas.

Though in days gone by, when technology was brand-new and expensive, and before government became a money-devouring leviathan, it used to improve lives and lifestyles to be annexed. City-provided running water,  electricity, fire and police security improved everyone’s life and lifestyle.

Today, cities are gigantic bureaucracies with nearly bankrupt pension systems (they promised unsustainable benefits in exchange for votes to get elected, and large budgets filled with expensive social programs and expenditures for everything except core government functions like fixing potholes, catching crooks, and paying their pension obligations.

The Annexation Coalition was filled with VERY dedicated activists–almost 200 of these new activists showed up to testify for the Senate Hearing [SB 715 (Sen. Donna Campbell)] in Austin.


We fought for Annexation Reform because TEXAS is one of ONLY 5 States that still allow cities
to forcibly  annex  citizens in  unincorporated  county  areas WITHOUT A VOTE OF APPROVAL.


Not everyone was able to testify for Annexation Reform because the hearing went late, and the buses had to go home, but they made a vivid point for the Senate committee members. And we laid the groundwork for a great working partnership with Senator Donna Campbell that very long day..

Many did get to stay to testify, though. Enough so that it was citizen activists who outstayed The Municipal League and other city and county lobbyist groups! It passed out of the Senate Intergovernmental Committee and headed to the House where it made it through Calendars and landed in the Land and Resource Management Committee.

After another hearing with a phenomenal showing of Texas homeowners who preferred NOT being annexed, and the addition of a couple of amendments by Democrats and opposition water it down so much it’s pointless.  Rep. Dan Huberty of HD-127 did yeoman’s work, as did  a lot of citizens’ who also testified in the House, and managed to get the bill through the process. After a time in Conference, the bill came back to the House where Rep. Huberty was having trouble getting newly conferenced and cleaned SB 715 out of Calendars.

At this point in time, I was busy with an ugly ISD Trustees race back at home so I was away from TLO, Annexation Reform, and the Live-stream video for the next bit.

One afternoon a few days before session’s end, I received a text from Rep. Dan Huberty, my Rep. He asked if I could get our very active activists to STOP contacting the Calendars committee members who were getting ticked at all the activity. I called a friend in the coalition, got brought up to speed, and sent the email to all the coalition leaders and hoped for the best. Success, or so I thought. A few texts later, Dan said it looked like SB 715 was on the Calendar for Friday.

However the next day, the texts started back up saying that it wasn’t on the Calendar, did I think we could get everyone to pound Calendars again. I sent emails to the Coalition leaders, to a Twitter Strike Force Coalition group I belong to, as well as a Legislative alert to the entire Kingwood TEA Party asking them all to contact the House Calendars committee members using the following contact list.

  85th House Calendars Committee
Title Representative’s
Name
 District Room # Capitol Ofc  Email  Twitter Handle
Chair Todd Hunter (R) 32 1W.11 (512) 463-0672 todd.hunter@house.texas.gov @ToddAHunter
Vice-chair Donna Howard (D) 48 E1.504 (512) 463-0631 donna.howard@house.texas.gov @DonnaHowardTX
Roberto R. Alonzo (D) 104 1N.12 (512) 463-0408 roberto.alonzo@house.texas.gov none
Trent Ashby (R) 57 E2.414 (512) 463-0508 trent.ashby@house.texas.gov @TrentAshbyTX
Byron C. Cook (R) 8 GW.7 (512) 463-0730 byron.cook@house.texas.gov none
Sarah Davis (R) 134 GW.4 (512) 463-0389 sarah.davis@house.texas.gov @SarahforHD134
Charlie L. Geren (R) 99 GW.15 (512) 463-0610 charlie.geren@house.texas.gov @charliegeren
Helen Giddings (D) 109 GW.11 (512) 463-0953 helen.giddings@house.texas.gov @helengiddings
Kyle J. Kacal (R) 12 E2.412 (512) 463-0412 kyle.kacal@house.texas.gov @KyleKacal
Ken King (R) 88 E2.410 (512) 463-0736 ken.king@house.texas.gov none
Linda Koop (R) 102 E1.406 (512) 463-0454 linda.koop@house.texas.gov @LindaKoopHD102
Alfonso “Poncho” Nevarez (D) 74 E1.508 (512) 463-0566 representativenevarez@gmail.com @Poncho_Nevarez
Chris Paddie (R) 9 E2.502 (512) 463-0556 chris.paddie@house.texas.gov @ChrisPaddie
Dade Phelan (R) 21 E1.324 (512) 463-0706 dade.phelan@house.texas.gov @DadePhelan
Toni Rose (D) 110 E2.310 (512) 463-0664 toni.rose@house.texas.gov @RepToniRoseTX

Being new to this, I didn’t ask everyone to send me an email back, telling me what they did.  So I called, tweeted, and emailed those without Twitter handles about the importance of Annexation Reform for the next hour or two. But everyone must have stormed the gates!!! I saw my tweets getting retweeted and others retweeting from the Twitter Strike Force, and even received several emails letting me know they had called or emailed. It soon became apparent that we had made a good case for Freedom through Annexation Reform. Within a an hour or two, Dan texted back and said it looked like SB 715 would be on Sunday’s calendar, but it wasn’t up yet. I took a break, came back 15 minutes later and saw this:

Annexation Reform SB 715 Snippet
Annexation Reform Snippet

Rep. Dan Huberty shepherded Sen. Campbell’s bill out of Calendars and on to the floor for a vote. And we all watched every moment on Texas Legislature Online’s Live-stream. Some chubbing but no amendments, and it PASSED and went immediately to the Senate, where they had over an hour to pass it! Success.

Went to the Senate Live-stream, and saw Sen. Campbell present her bill, but then Sen. Melendez was given the floor to ask her a question….but he didn’t. He filibustered for the remaining hour and our valiant, hard-fought bill died in the Senate close of session.

Thanks to Governor Abbott, we have another chance in this Special Session to pass Annexation Reform and expand FREEDOM in Texas by passing Senator Donna Campbell’s Annexation Reform bill with Rep. Huberty sponsoring and all our allies back together to

LET TEXANS VOTE before ANNEXATION!

And that’s why we have a Special Session Survey to try to pass as much conservative legislation as we can!

July 18 – Aug. 16, 2017 Special Session Survey

Special Session Survey - Uncle Sam 1

Please CLICK HERE to take  for  our July Special Session Survey Part 1 for Items 1 – 10.


When you complete Part 1,  CLICK HERE for Survey Part 2 for items 11 – 19.Special Session Survey - Uncle Sam 2