Five local lawmakers touted their accomplishments in the latest legislative session during the Denton Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon Friday at the University of North Texas Gateway Center.
Each legislator spoke about what they were proud of this session, with state Sen. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper, leading the discussion about his first term in the Texas Senate, after serving in the state House of Representatives.
Fallon touted the school finance reforms and property tax changes, saying both efforts will benefit Denton County. Also, he discussed at length a bill he wrote and got passed to require a state constitutional amendment to adopt an income tax, meaning any future efforts would need a two-thirds vote in both chambers instead of a simple majority.
“This is a Chamber of Commerce event, let’s talk turkey,” Fallon said. “We need people to move to Texas to continue our prosperity, so we need them to know that we are committed to our Texas model — low taxes, limited government and reasonable regulation over the long term — and this moves us in this direction.”
For Rep. Lynn Stucky, R-Denton, he said his greatest accomplishment this session was securing a new Texas Department of Public Safety building for Denton. The existing center has been the same size since 1976, and long waits for driver’s licenses were one of the top complaints from his constituents, Stucky said.
“We have five workstations there, and in 1983 when we showed up there was about 100,000 people in this county. We’re [now] rounding 900,000 people in this county and that place is exactly the same as it was in 1976,” Stucky said.
By December 2020, a second location should be open in Denton with an additional 11 employees, he said.
Three other area legislators also spoke at the event: state Reps. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound; Michelle Beckley, D-Carrollton; and Jared Patterson, R-Frisco.
All spoke briefly about their interests this session, with Beckley offering the dissenting viewpoint that the session was not as productive as the other elected officials said. She said she’s skeptical that the school finance legislation will be as beneficial as people think it will be, and the session was more divided on party lines than she anticipated.
“I did learn down at this session that everything becomes partisan — the things you never thought were going to be partisan become partisan,” she said. “I do think there’s a lot of cute stories, but we need to look at the numbers. I’m a realist. I’m a small business owner and I’m celebrating 40 years. And I think everything’s not all rosy.”
North Texas Fair & Rodeo announces lineup
The luncheon was sponsored by the North Texas Fair & Rodeo, which is set for Aug. 16-24 at the North Texas Fairgrounds in Denton. In a video presentation, leadership announced the following musical lineups:
- Aug. 16 — Parker McCollum
- Aug. 17 — Easton Corbin
- Aug. 18 — La Zenda Norteña
- Aug. 19 — Jake Hooker
- Aug. 20 — Kody West
- Aug. 21 — Ned LeDoux
- Aug. 22 — Flatland Cavalry and Josh Ward
- Aug. 23 — Pat Green
- Aug. 24 — Tracy Lawrence