Press Release: Perry Files Bills to Decrease Regulations on Rural Texas

Legislation Gives Local Communities More Flexibility with School Start Date and TCEQ Penalties

LUBBOCK, TX – Today, Senator Charles Perry filed two bills with the aim of decreasing burdensome regulations on rural communities.

Since 2007, Texas schools have been subject to a legislative mandate that delays the start of the school year until the last week in August. SB 395 grants local rural school districts the discretion to set their own start date as early as the second week of August.

“Many school districts wish to begin earlier than this for a variety of reason, predominantly so that finals are not delayed until after Christmas Break,” said Senator Charles Perry. “Many teachers and administrators argue that uneven semesters can force educators to condense their lessons and teach around a calendar, not what makes most sense for students.”

SB 394 requires the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to allow cities and counties that are first time offenders of a particular offense, the opportunity to apply their penalties towards fixing the problem for which they are cited.

“Environmental laws and rules change so rapidly, it is hard for small rural communities to keep up and correct issues,” said Perry. “Often times, communities are unaware a problem even exists until they are assessed a big fine from the TCEQ. If a community hasn’t committed the offense before, we should give them some leniency and let them fix the problem before we hit them with a hefty fine.”

“In talking with educators and leaders of local government, both of these issues were top priorities in many of the counties I represent,” continued Perry. “Excessive regulations and penalties are stifling our small rural communities. Passing these bills should give our local communities much needed relief.” 

If you have any questions or comments about this bill or any of Senator Perry’s legislative agenda, please feel free to contact our office.