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New legislative measures have taken effect

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State Rep. Ernest BailesState Rep. Ernest BailesSpecial to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — State Rep. Ernest Bailes said 30 new measures enacted by the State Legislature are taking effect this month, stemming from the many legislative achievements delivered to Texans by the Legislature over the course of the year:

“The Texas House worked tirelessly in 2023 to deliver major conservative wins for the people of Texas; including $5 billion allocated to secure our southern border, the banning of sexually explicit performances in front of minors, and the largest property tax relief package in the nation,” Bales said.

Of the measures that recently went into effect, a few notable include:

•the banning of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in publicly funded universities;

•the elimination of harmful gender modification surgeries for Texas minors;

•a cost of living adjustment for Texas’ valued retired teachers; and

•the establishment of the Texas Broadband Development Fund to increase access to high-speed internet for Texans.

In addition to those outlined above, the 88th Legislature delivered a broad range of victories for Texas:

•enacted border security measures against Mexican cartels, including designating them as foreign terrorist organizations and imposing tougher penalties for crimes.

•empowered border patrol to arrest criminals for state offenses;

•prohibited COVID-19 vaccine mandates in private companies to safeguard employee rights;

•enhanced school safety by mandating armed security at public schools, reinforcing safety protocols, and providing youth mental health training for certain personnel;

•safeguarded integrity in college women’s sports by preventing biological males from competing on female-designated teams;

•increased funding for flood control and mitigation projects to improve disaster recovery post-Hurricane Harvey; and

•protected Texas children from explicit content by banning pornographic materials in school libraries and requiring age verification on websites and social media platforms sharing harmful sexual material.

“I am proud of what my colleagues and I were able to accomplish in 2023 and I feel confident that the successes achieved will continue to improve the quality of life and reflect the values of my constituents,” said Bailes.

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