Texas Speaker Joe Straus is doing a good job

As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, I am approached often with questions on a wide variety of issues affecting our state. A recurring topic is leadership — specifically, Speaker Joe Straus and my opinion of his leadership in the Texas Legislature.

Since taking the oath of office on Dec. 23, 2011, I have learned the keys to success in the Texas Legislature. Above all, an elected official must be capable of building relationships and earning trust in order to represent effectively his or her district. Though challenging at times, these interpersonal skills are the grease that keeps the wheels of the Texas Legislature spinning.

Speaker Straus demonstrates the qualities of an effective representative and proven leader. He has earned the trust of his colleagues in the Texas Legislature, and has led on the serious issues facing our growing state. Moreover, Speaker Straus approaches the challenges of our state with level-headed reason, remains true to his word, and illustrates a deep and admirable faith. I believe that the speaker and his wife, Julie, care deeply about the economic prosperity of our state and the health and well-being of its citizens.

Under the leadership of Speaker Straus, the Texas Legislature made significant investments in transportation, natural resources and community health. Since it is estimated that more than 1,200 people move to Texas each day, the following investments were critical to keep Texas competitive and ensure our continued growth:

• Passage of Proposition 6 to secure a reliable source of water for our children and grandchildren.

• Passage of Proposition 1, which is on the ballot this November and will invest in transportation infrastructure.

• Increased funding for health and human services programs, including mental health and women’s health.

• Additional funding for the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife to improve border security and fight illegal immigration.

• Additional $3.6 billion in public education funding and reducing the burden of excessive testing in public schools.

As Texas continues to grow, I will support Speaker Straus and his dedication to our conservative principles.

During his tenure, the Texas Legislature balanced the budget, improved government efficiency and transparency, passed Voter ID, protected Second Amendment rights, prioritized higher education in the state budget, and made significant public education reforms.

I believe that Speaker Straus is an experienced leader who stands up to special interests and respects the members’ commitment to their communities and the success of our great state.

For all these reasons and many more, I will support Joe Straus for speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in the 84th legislative session.