Rep. Charlie Howard interview on Gambling

August 16, 2011

As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 4th interview is with Rep. Charlie Howard.  We talked with Rep. Howard about the important battle to defeat the expansion of gambling in the state of Texas.

Liberty Institute Statement on 82nd Legislative Session End: Life, Liberty Proctected With Some Exceptions

June 30, 2011

The Texas Legislature adjourned sine die the special session, and presumably concludes its official legislative work for the 82nd Texas Legislative Session.  Highlights of the session include passage of  (1) the Sonogram bill, (2) Voter I.D. bill,  (3) Choose Life license plate bill; (4) the defunding of millions of taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood; (5) the protection of the elected State Board of Education, (6) the protection of citizens whose constitutional rights have been violated, (7) the defeat of attacks on marriage and efforts to expand gambling, and (8) the balancing of the 2012-2013 budget without raising taxes or using the rainy day fund.

Liberty Institute released the following statement:

“While some religious liberty and conservative legislation did not pass, we are proud that Texas showed it stands for protecting women, protecting of innocent human life and taxpayer dollars and protecting the elected State Board of Education that has so valiantly defended teaching about our religious heritage, our U.S. Constitution and American exceptionalism.

“We are so thankful that Texas has distinguished itself from Washington, and Texas leaders have shown the rest of the country how to pass a balanced budget without raising taxes.

“Many elected officials responded to the will of the people, and that’s good government.”

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal and policy group dedicated to protecting freedoms and strengthening families. Liberty Institute maintains a full-time office in Austin, two blocks from the Texas Capitol and has a daily presence at the Capitol to advocate and assist in the legislative process.  Visit for more information.

View the full statement in pdf form here.

Editor’s Note:  Jonathan Saenz, director of Legislative Affairs for Liberty Institute, can help round out your coverage of the Texas 82nd Legislative Session.  Call Jennifer Grisham to schedule an interview.

If you like the work Liberty Institute is involved in, please support us by making a donation today.  We are a nonprofit organization.

Gambling Expansion Opportunity Today, In Texas House?

April 8, 2011

12:37 p.m.  Currently, 27 amendments have been considered.   Rep. Hartnett passes amendment allowing Tx. Racing Commission to revoke a license of a racetrack that has not held a race in a three year period.

Today, the Texas House will consider HB 2271, which generally is a bill about “sunset review” for the Texas Racing Commission.  There is talk that those looking to expand gambling in Texas will try to amend this bill with language to actually expand gambling in Texas.  We don’t know if that is true, but there are 19 pre-filed amendments for this bill today.  We have not been able to actually see the amendments at this point, and at least some of the amendments are likely designed to prevent gambling expansion, as theyhave been filed by known opponents of gambling expansion (Rep. Charlie Howard).

Below is a portion of the brief description of HB 2271:

“In 1986, the Legislature passed the Texas Racing Act, allowing pari-mutuel wagering on horse and greyhound races and creating the Texas Racing Commission to oversee the racing industry. The Commission’s authority spans from licensing racetracks and their employees, to overseeing live racing events, and monitoring and certifying wagering transactions. The Racing Commission is subject to the Sunset Act and will be abolished on September 1, 2011, unless continued by the Legislature. As a result of its review of the Racing Commission, the Sunset Advisory Commission recommended continuation of the agency for six years and several statutory modifications to provide the agency with stronger regulatory tools to oversee the declining racing industry.” (Source:  Texas Legislature Online).

Call your elected official today and remind he/she that you oppose any expansion of gambling in Texas.

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