Defending life is of the upmost importance to Gary VanDeaver. He worked to help pass important pro-life legislation that closes a loophole that previously allowed minor girls to undergo an abortion without parental consent. He also helped to pass House Bill 3074, which honors patients in end-of-life situations by protecting their right to life-sustaining treatment. This bill is the result of a great deal of research and has achieved consensus from every major pro-life organization in Texas.
As a proud member of the NRA and someone who believes that the Second Amendment must be protected and defended in law, Gary VanDeaver co-authored and helped pass “open carry” legislation, which removed concealment restrictions for Texans with concealed handgun licenses.
Gary VanDeaver helped to end the practice of diverting funds from the State Highway Fund to other programs. This effectively provides more than $1 billion additional dollars for transportation during the upcoming two-year budget cycle. Gary also helped to pass a new constitutional amendment to dedicate $2.5 billion more to transportation from current state revenues without raising taxes or fees.
As a retired school superintendent, Gary VanDeaver is working to improve and support public schools in Texas. That is why he authored and passed three new laws to reduce burdensome paperwork by eliminating duplicate reports between state and federal governments, help school districts purchase instructional materials for use in the classroom, and work toward reducing high stakes testing in schools. He worked to reverse funding cuts to public schools and keep the promises made to our retired teachers.
Junior colleges and universities are very important to our house district. As a member of the Appropriations and Public Education Committees, Gary spearheaded legislation to continue the exciting advancement of Texas A&M University - Texarkana by expanding its two-year nursing program into a full four-year degree program, and to assist Texarkana College and Paris Junior College in their mission to make quality higher education affordable for many Northeast Texas students and families.
Nearly 10 years ago, more than 76 percent of Texas voters amended the Texas Constitution to declare marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” In recent years, unelected federal judges have overturned the will of the people by striking down laws such as these. That’s why Gary VanDeaver was among more than 100 co-sponsors of an event at the Texas Capitol in support of traditional marriage in Texas, and supported the Pastor Protection Act, which protects pastors and religious organizations from having to participate in same-sex weddings.
Gary VanDeaver believes that your money belongs to you and not the government, which is why he fought to return $3.8 billion to taxpayers through tax relief. He voted to add $10,000 more to the homestead exemption for school taxes, which will lower property tax bills for Texas homeowners by $1.2 billion. He also supported a 25 percent cut to the business franchise tax, which will help to grow jobs and the Texas economy.
Because the federal government has persistently failed in its responsibility to secure the border, the Texas Legislature developed a permanent border security plan for Texas. Gary VanDeaver was the proud co-author of House Bill 11, which provides for the nation’s strongest border security plan. This plan is placing 250 new state troopers along the border, establishing new intelligence operations, and increasing penalties for border crimes like trafficking and smuggling.
Gary also helped to pass House Bill 10 into law, which attacks the problem of human trafficking. This law makes it easier to prosecute those who force children into prostitution and helps to better identify victims of child trafficking.
State Representative Gary VanDeaver was one of only three freshmen legislators selected to serve on the budget-writing Appropriations Committee. In this role, Gary helped write the most conservative budget in Texas history, which held state spending below a constitutional spending cap, reserved more than $3.8 billion for tax relief, and protected the Rainy Day Fund. The new budget also devotes $840 million more to border security, and gives additional resources to public schools and transportation.
Gary also helped to pass budget transparency legislation to end the practice of spending dedicated funds that are collected for a specific purpose but used to fund another purpose altogether. Eliminating this budgeting gimmick makes the state budgeting process more open, accessible, accurate, and easier to hold state spending in check.