Pushing Back on Washington in the Era of Big Government Mandates
As a tireless advocate of states rights, Representative Parker is quick to point out that the federal government obtained its power from the individual states, and not the other way around. He believes in fewer federal mandates and empowering individual state legislatures with the ability to address their own needs and provide for their citizens’ prosperity.
During the 82nd Legislative Session, Representative Parker served as a co-author to HCR 50, a resolution that reaffirms to Washington that Texas is a sovereign state protected under the 10th amendment of the United States Constitution. As a businessman focused on protecting our state’s economy, Representative Parker has also previously filed legislation challenging federal government mandates by providing that Texas would accept stimulus dollars earmarked for unemployment insurance, but as soon as those dollars were exhausted the costly “strings” attached to their acceptance would immediately expire. While his legislation ultimately did not pass, the attention it received helped craft the argument for why Texas is better served to turn down federal dollars that come with costly, unnecessary mandates.
As a lawmaker who believes that consumer choices are best left to the consumer, Representative Parker has also been outspoken in his support for Attorney General Greg Abbott’s constitutionality challenges to the federal healthcare plan and other Washington mandates. During the 82nd Legislative Session he supported numerous measures meant to exempt Texas from most of the new federal healthcare requirements.With the fundamental belief that Texas’ challenges are best addressed by those elected from this state to govern this state, Representative Parker will remain a leader in pushing back against big government and promoting the constitutional rights of individual states.
Fiscal Responsibility with Your Tax Dollars
Three times recognized for his efforts by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Representative Parker believes in a sound fiscal approach that is centered on responsible spending and reducing taxes. In 2007, he was part of the largest property tax reduction in our nation’s history. That same year, he supported successful legislation that reduced and then refroze property tax rates for seniors and disabled citizens. Then again in 2009, Representative Parker co-authored legislation that removed an additional 40,000 small businesses from the franchise tax rolls. His efforts have helped Texas to achieve the designation of spending less per-capita than any other state in the nation.
During the 2011 session, Representative Parker supported a state budget that reduced spending by 8.1 percent so that Texas could continue its tradition of living within its means without raising taxes. In the past, he has championed legislation to further prohibit a state income tax in Texas and to also dedicate budget surpluses to further property tax relief. His priorities for the future remain: opposing unnecessary increases in government spending, reducing taxes and returning future budget surpluses to Texas taxpayers.
Providing a Strong Education System
Since Representative Parker joined the Texas Legislature, public education funding has increased by more than $5 billion dollars, Texas teachers twice received a pay raise and retired teachers were given a bonus 13th check in 2008. Even though the 2011 state budget reduced overall spending, Representative Parker worked with his colleagues to increase the state’s share of public education funding by over $3 billion, making K-12 education 57% of where your state tax dollars are spent. The Legislature’s efforts in 2011 helped to close the public education funding gap created from declining property tax revenues and a reduction in federal education dollars.
While an advocate for aggressively funding public education, Representative Parker also places great emphasis on responsibly allocating tax dollars so that Texas can achieve the most out of its public education resources. This approach is contributing to why Texas high school students achieved higher ACT scores in 2009 than 14 states that spend more per student on funding public education.
Representative Parker has also supported a menu of tools provided to public schools meant to improve the quality of education in Texas, including: replacing the TAKS Test with end of course exams for grades 9 – 12, greater technological resources and programs that help at risk students stay on the path to high school graduation. Results from these programs can already be seen, as Texas’ drop-out rate fell from 16.6% to 10.8% in just one year.
In 2007, Representative Parker proudly supported successful measures that protect a student’s right to voluntary religious expression and allows biblical studies as an elective course in high school curriculums. As a father of two young daughters in the Lewisville Independent School District, Representative Parker remains committed to providing an excellent public education system centered on classroom success and individual student growth that allows our children, our greatest asset and investment, to be competitive in a 21st century global economy.
Securing our Border, Fighting Illegal Immigration and Safeguarding our State in a Post 9/11 World
In the absence of true action by the federal government, Representative Parker supports a state’s ability to proactively address their border security and immigration concerns. Having extensively toured segments of the Texas/Mexico border, he understands, first hand, the resources that are necessary to secure our border and protect our prosperity. That is why Representative Parker has three times supported increases in border security funding, the creation of the Governor’s Border Security Council, Blackhawk helicopters assigned to patrolling Texas’ border and has championed for additional DPS officers to protect our vast border region.
In the past, Representative Parker has supported key initiatives on the immigration reform front. He joint-authored successful legislation that penalizes businesses who accept taxpayer funded grants while knowingly employing undocumented workers. Additionally, Representative Parker has co-authored attempts to: require proof of identification to vote in Texas, use the e-verify system for verifying the citizenship of potential state employee hires, make transparent the cost of services and benefits provided to non-citizens in Texas and ensure the enforcement of federal immigration laws by local law enforcement.
In focusing on reform for the future, Representative Parker remains committed to these initiatives and also to deploying the National Guard to assist in border security, licensing local law enforcement as Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agents and dedicating more resources to border security in Texas.
Strengthening Our Economy, Bringing New Jobs to Texas
Representative Parker developed his economic strategy from more than 16 years as a successful businessman in the private sector. He firmly believes in a limited government, free enterprise approach where private business can depend on a responsible, predictable regulatory climate where government encourages job creation through sound tax policy.
His approach, and that of likeminded state leaders is why:
- Texas is rated as the 3rd friendliest state for entrepreneurship
- Texas created over 500,000 new private sector jobs since 2005 while the rest of the nation combined lost nearly 5 million private sector jobs
- More Fortune 1000 companies call Texas home than any other state
- Even during these challenging times, Texas’ unemployment rate remains below the national average, and
- Texas is the number 2 state in gross domestic product.
While we have weathered this global economic downturn in a much more manageable fashion than other states and nations, Representative Parker understands that we still have work to do in order to get more hardworking Texans back to work. That is why he is committed to: a responsible state spending approach that continues to reduce business taxes, maintaining a reasonable regulatory climate that does not hinder economic activity, properly training our next generation’s workforce to compete in a global economy, and strengthening tax incentives that attract new jobs to Texas.