Issues

Fiscal Responsibility

Since 2001, state spending has nearly doubled, approximately 15 billion dollars more than the rate of growth in population plus inflation. The standard refrain heard from legislators is that their hands are tied because of federal mandates and dedicated funds that are part of the budget process. Despite these claims, when revenues fell 10 billion dollars below projections in 2003 and 15 billion in 2011, they were able to balance the budget for the following years. This happened only because the funds were not available to spend and they were required by the Texas Constitution to balance the budget. By holding a hard line on spending at the rate of inflation plus growth in population we will control the growth of government. By controlling the growth of state government, revenues will continue to increase allowing surplus funds to be available for the purpose of property tax reduction.

Stop Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration is one of the most important issues facing Texas today. The failure of the federal government to enforce the current immigration laws and the lack of leadership in Austin has allowed illegal immigration and the security of our border to reach a Crisis Level. The flood of illegal aliens across our border has overwhelmed our public schools, driven up the cost of healthcare, and clogged our criminal justice system, costing Texas taxpayers billions of dollars annually. Based on the latest census data there are at least 1.7 million illegal aliens in Texas. It is estimated that in the last 10 years, the state’s illegal alien population has increased by more than seventy percent. About twelve percent of the state’s total school age population, some 600,000 children, are illegal aliens or the offspring of illegal aliens. In 2010, roughly 74% of the illegal aliens deported from Southeast Texas had a felony or misdemeanor conviction. More than twenty percent of the medical caseloads in Texas involve illegal aliens, including seventy percent of all babies born at publicly funded hospitals. The majority of the illegal drugs smuggled in to the US come across the U.S./Mexico border. Texas has 1,254 miles of border with Mexico. Despite this accurate and compelling assessment, the Texas Legislature has done little to address this problem. We can no longer tolerate the attitude that this is a “federal issue” or accept that our elected officials are doing all they can. The first line of defense is to redirect resources from providing services to illegal aliens to enforcing current law at all levels of law enforcement. We must eliminate sanctuary cities in Texas, provide sufficient funding to incarcerate illegal aliens pending deportation, and provide additional resources to our border area sheriffs. In addition, we should implement a state-sanctioned, well regulated, volunteer Civil Border Guard to aid in securing our border.  Furthermore, the Texas Legislature should provide national leadership by calling for the end of birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

Cap Property Tax Appraisals

Current law allows residential homestead property tax appraisals to increase up to 10% annually and unlimited increases on all other real estate. Although, the Texas Legislature has lowered the rate on school property taxes, they did nothing to abate the automatic tax increases that occur through rising appraisals. Furthermore, appraisals increase the amount of taxes levied on property owners by county, city and other local taxing authorities. Annual appraisal increases should be capped at the lesser of 3% or the rate of inflation for the preceding year. If the governing body of a taxing authority deem it necessary to increase revenue, it should be done by raising the tax rate, thereby making the actions of elected officials accountable to the voters. Our ultimate goal should be to abolish property taxes and reform our tax system with a focus on end-user consumption.

Abolish the Margin Tax

In 2007, under the guise of property tax relief, the Texas Legislature passed the largest tax increase in state history. Despite record budget surpluses that year, the Texas Legislature increased taxes on Texas business owners by more than 6 billion dollars. The Gross Margin Tax is a business income tax based on gross receipts, less either the cost of goods or cost of wages. This means that many small business with high revenue and low percentage of profit, particularly those who rely heavily on contract labor (which is not deductible) and those that have a close-to-even ratio of cost of goods and wages have seen a dramatic increase in their tax burden. In some cases, a business may pay more in margin tax than they made in profit. In fact, under the Gross Margin Tax a business can lose money and still be required to pay taxes on revenue. Because the Texas Legislature failed to cap the automatic increases that occur through rising property tax appraisals, the end result has been a net increase in spending, resulting in larger government and higher taxes. We must end the shell game that is continuously played with taxpayers by the legislature. By controlling the growth of state government, at the rate of inflation plus growth in population, surplus funds will be available to achieve true reduction in the total tax burden.

Free Market Principles

Stop the practice of subsidies, bail-outs, and grants. In 2011, the legislature voted for 48 million dollars in grants to subsidize alternative fuels. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. Let the free market work!

Stop Forced Annexation

Consent of the governed and the right of self-determination are fundamental rights that we have held sacred for more than 230 years. Abraham Lincoln said it best: No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in this great state that would openly disagree with that statement. However, today in the State of Texas residents of areas annexed by home rule cities (cities with populations of 5,000 or greater) are not permitted to vote on this issue. In 1997, I fought the city of Houston on the issue of forced annexation, passing the only bill in history through the Texas Senate that would prevent forced annexation. Although the bill was blocked in the Democrat controlled house, I was able to persuade Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock to appoint a Special Interim Committee on Annexation. As a result, the committee passed the greatest reforms curbing forced annexation since 1963. Since that time Republicans have gained more seats in the Texas Senate and gained control of the Texas House of Representatives. It is unacceptable that measures such as this one, consistently blocked in the past by Democrat control of our legislature, have not been passed by our Republican majority.

Term Limits

It is ironic that since gaining a Republican majority in both houses of the legislature, this issue has fallen off the radar. The longer an elected official is in office, the more contributions they receive from the lobby and special interests. As a result, these officials become greatly entrenched and beholden to those special interests. Term limits will ensure a balance of power and provide for more equal representation within our republic.

 

 THE WOODLANDS – Three of four candidates vying for the State Senate District 4 seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Tommy Williams faced off at a late afternoon candidate’s forum Tuesday on the Sam Houston State  University The Woodlands Center campus.

Republican candidates Richard “Gordy” Bunch, Brandon Creighton and Michael Galloway answered questions posed by forum moderator Andrew DuBois.

Candidate Steve Toth, who was unable to attend the forum, was introduced in brief remarks made by campaign manager Laurie Frio. Toth is the incumbent Republican State House District 15 Representative.

DuBois is executive editor of Houston Community Newspapers and editor of The Courier and Villager.

The forum, sponsored by the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, offered voters a chance to hear candidates’ views on the issues ahead of a May 10th State Senate District 4 special election called for by Gov. Rick Perry.

Each candidate was allowed a two minute introduction followed by a one-minute opportunity to answer questions posed by Dubois.

And in an interesting twist, each candidate was offered the opportunity to play a one minute rebuttal card at any point throughout the forum to rebut another’s candidate’s response to a question.

Bunch, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years fighting drug trafficking and slave traffickers, has been married 19 years with three boys.

He has served on the Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, the Woodlands Township, the Woodlands Convention and Visitors, and in 2001 founded the Woodlands Financial Group.

“I’m concerned about the narrative our children are hearing,” he said. “I want to re-ignite the American Dream.”

Bunch said the next generation used to have higher expectations than the past, but that that was no longer the case. He wants today’s kids to believe they can exceed the achievements of past generations.

Creighton, who currently is in his fourth term as State House Rep. for District 16, said he wants to make sure that Texas (not the Federal government) still runs Texas.

Married for 12 years, he is also the father of a daughter and a son.

Creighton doesn’t want Texas to be “turned upside down” like California, Michigan or New York, he said.

He said the next State Senator representing District 4 does not have time for on-the-job training.

Creighton said he believes as Texas goes, so goes the nation.

Candidate Michael Galloway, a former State District 4 Senator for almost a decade from the mid ‘90’s through the early 2000’s, has been married for 28 years and is the father of a daughter and a son.

Galloway said during his tenure as a Texas state senator he helped pass the most comprehensive tort reform and the most comprehensive education reform in the state of Texas.

He also said he helped return more than a billion dollars in surplus to Texas taxpayers.

Galloway said that since he left office the Texas state legislature has passed one of the largest budgets in its history, has raised taxes and failed in the areas of crime, education and healthcare.

In the course of the forum: Creighton said as budget chair in the house he helped cut $16 billion. Galloway said the state legislature has made it a habit of not saying “no” to new spending. Bunch said as a local politician in The Woodlands he has helped cut debt and “what we do locally I’d like to take to Austin.”

All three candidates said they are not in favor of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Galloway said he is opposed to business subsidies to help lure businesses to Texas and Montgomery County. Bunch said The Woodlands has made good economic decisions in bringing businesses like ExxonMobil to the area, and he will work to take that to Austin. Creighton said he wants to continue the good work of Gov. Rick Perry to recruit businesses to Texas.

All agree that Texas infrastructure projects are behind schedule and need funding, instead of diversion of funds approved for TxDOT and infrastructure projects. Galloway said that the Rainy Day Fund should not be used for infrastructure or other projects, “but saved for a rainy day.”

Creighton said 86 percent of Texans support strengthening borders in Texas, and that Federal government has failed in their duty to protect Texas borders. Galloway said we should end sanctuary cities. Bunch said we have guest worker programs for nannies; we could also have guest worker programs for construction and other economic areas.

MAGNOLIA – (10 Mar 2014) Conservative businessman and former Senator Michael Galloway has announced his candidacy for the seat being vacated by Tommy Williams. Galloway represented the Fourth Senatorial District from 1995 to 1999.

Galloway was endorsed and recommended by Tea Party organizations across the district for the same seat in the 2012 Republican primary. Galloway has received previous endorsements from the Texas Patriots PAC, Independent Conservative Voters, and the National Rifle Association. In addition, Galloway received a “Best” Conservative Rating with the Conservative Coalition of Montgomery County in his last election.

“I’m running for the same reason I have always run for this seat: To fight for conservative, free market values in the Texas legislature,” said Galloway, who defeated long-time Democratic incumbent Carl Parker in 1994 to become the first Republican to represent Senate District 4 in more than 100 years. “Too often, legislators go to Austin to be somebody rather than to do something. Voters in this district deserve someone who will not just vote conservatively but actively work toward conservative goals, something of which I have a proven record.”

Galloway is likely best known for leading the fight against forced annexation, an effort which led to the most sweeping reforms since 1963. In 1995, he fought the EPA and TNRCC to remove Southeast Texas from the auto emissions testing program. In addition, Galloway challenged the status quo by passing legislation that successfully reformed Lamar University. Senator Galloway was instrumental in defeating an effort to expand the business tax in 1997 and returning a billion dollars in surplus to Texas taxpayers.

While in the Texas Senate, Galloway had a 100% attendance record and was consistently ranked as the lowest spender in the Senate. Galloway served as Vice-Chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee and was a member of the committees on Education, State Affairs, and Health and Human Services. Galloway was listed on the Young Conservatives of Texas’s Honor Roll. The Free Market Foundation also named him “Leader of Excellence” for both legislative sessions in which he served.

Michael and his wife of twenty-eight years, Angela, reside in Montgomery County and have two children, ages twenty and seventeen.

To the editor:

Character is when no one is looking and still doing the right thing.

In the fight over annexing communities against their wishes, there is only one candidate to vote for in the state Senate election – Michael Galloway.

As a former state senator, Galloway never went with the good ’ol boy network. If something struck him as morally and ethically incorrect, he had the courage of his convictions. Before the Tea Party, he introduced legislation that passed the Senate and effectively slowed down and provided a process for how annexations take place – giving neighborhoods a chance to fight. He believes annexing communities against their will is an abomination against property rights and, dare I say, the spirit of Texas.

I met him at Conroe High School during the hearings on Conroe’s annexation of April Sound and he was not even running in the district which represents my neighborhood. Instead, he was there on principle alone. He spoke to people in my neighborhood about the history of annexation, and people came away impressed when I invited him to speak to my neighbors.

Galloway is also an independent oil producer, which to me would serve the citizens of this county extremely well. Other qualities count as well, such as being able to recite Texas historical speeches without missing a word; being married to the same lady for most of his adult life is a plus also in my book; but mostly, as a former government teacher, he taught me about the processes of the Texas Senate in my fight against annexing my neighborhood. I respect his integrity, knowledge and judgment.

Galloway will rock the boat and still get things done.

Mr. Creighton and Mr. Toth are both good men. But I fear that they are not the rebels we need in our state Senate. We need people who understand that our state budget is bloated, not saying how well things are going economically. We are not immune to economic calamity and should be preparing ourselves for such eventualities. As an oil producer, Galloway knows this all too well – that things don’t necessarily always go up.

Michael Galloway would make this entire area proud with his being returned to the Texas Senate.

Robert W. Coats

 

April Sound

Source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/opinion/return-galloway-to-texas-senate/article_102a608c-d47c-597c-8bab-0082c343ec03.html?mode=story

The race for the Texas Senate District 4 seat may be adding another potential candidate as businessman and former legislator Michael Galloway weighs options in potentially pursuing the seat recently vacated by Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands.

If he decides to run, Galloway will be facing competition from state Reps. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, and Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, as well as The Woodlands Township board member Gordy Bunch, who all have announced their intentions to run in the special election for SD4, which probably will be in May 2014.

“I think we need some people that will have some grit in office,” Galloway said. “I’m willing to do what others are not willing to do and that is standing by my conservative principles for the sake of good governance.”

Galloway represented the senatorial district from 1995-99, after defeating Democratic incumbent Carl Parker in 1994. He ran against Williams unsuccessfully in more recent elections.

Among his achievements, Galloway had a 100 percent attendance record in the Senate and served as vice chairman of the intergovernmental relations committee. He was also a member of the committees on education, state affairs and health and human services.

While in the Senate, Galloway was named a “Leader of Excellence” by The Free Market Foundation and has received previous endorsements by organizations like the Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC, Independent Conservative Voters and the National Rifle Association.

In a statement, Galloway expressed his desire to return to the legislature and stated that conservative supporters throughout the district have urged him to consider to run.

“I have a passion for the Texas Senate and the legislative process in general,” Galloway said. “I’ve had issues with the claims that the Legislature has made regarding the state’s rate of spending and a lack of focus on property tax appraisals and illegal immigration.”

Among some of the issues Galloway highlighted alongside fiscal responsibility was the reintroduction of term limits to state legislators. Galloway said term limits were a hot topic among Republicans and conservative representatives as way to deal with what is seen as entrenched career politicians.

“Now that the Republican Party has attained majorities, suddenly the term limits issue has fallen completely off the table,” Galloway said. “I would like to see that instituted.”

Galloway also spoke in opposition against proposals to utilize the Rainy Day fund to assist with the state’s water programs and again criticized current representatives for being disingenuous when speaking about balancing the state budget.

“The claim that we balance the budget in accordance with inflation and population growth is a bit of a shell game,” Galloway said.

Galloway also said it’s disingenuous for lawmakers to take credit for the state’s strong economic footing.

“You have a lot of talk about how they’re doing such a great job and the economy is good and I was really taken aback by that,” Galloway said. “I didn’t know they were able to set the price for oil in the world market. The good economy isn’t necessarily because of great stewardship.”

MAGNOLIA – Conservative businessman and former Senator, Michael Galloway, is considering running for the seat being vacated by Tommy Williams. Galloway represented Texas’ Fourth Senatorial District from 1995 to 1999.

“I am taking a hard look at the race,” said Galloway, who defeated long-time democratic incumbent Carl Parker in 1994 to become the first Republican to represent Senate District 4 in more than 100 years. “Conservative supporters throughout the district have urged me to consider running.”

 

Since 2001, state spending has nearly doubled, approximately 15 billion dollars more than the rate of growth in population plus inflation. The standard refrain heard from legislators is that their hands are tied because of federal mandates and dedicated funds that are part of the budget process. Despite these claims, when revenues fell 10 billion dollars below projections in 2003 and 15 billion in 2011, they were able to balance the budget for the following years. This happened only because the funds were not available to spend and they were required by the Texas Constitution to balance the budget. By holding a hard line on spending at the rate of inflation plus growth in population we will control the growth of government. By controlling the growth of state government, revenues will continue to increase allowing surplus funds to be available for the purpose of property tax reduction.

 

Illegal immigration is one of the most important issues facing Texas today. The failure of the federal government to enforce the current immigration laws and the lack of leadership in Austin has allowed illegal immigration and the security of our border to reach a Crisis Level. The flood of illegal aliens across our border has overwhelmed our public schools, driven up the cost of healthcare, and clogged our criminal justice system, costing Texas taxpayers billions of dollars annually. Based on the latest census data there are at least 1.7 million illegal aliens in Texas. It is estimated that in the last 10 years, the state’s illegal alien population has increased by more than seventy percent. About twelve percent of the state’s total school age population, some 600,000 children, are illegal aliens or the offspring of illegal aliens. In 2010, roughly 74% of the illegal aliens deported from Southeast Texas had a felony or misdemeanor conviction. More than twenty percent of the medical caseloads in Texas involve illegal aliens, including seventy percent of all babies born at publicly funded hospitals. The majority of the illegal drugs smuggled in to the US come across the U.S./Mexico border. Texas has 1,254 miles of border with Mexico. Despite this accurate and compelling assessment, the Texas Legislature has done little to address this problem. We can no longer tolerate the attitude that this is a “federal issue” or accept that our elected officials are doing all they can. The first line of defense is to redirect resources from providing services to illegal aliens to enforcing current law at all levels of law enforcement. We must eliminate sanctuary cities in Texas, provide sufficient funding to incarcerate illegal aliens pending deportation, and provide additional resources to our border area sheriffs. In addition, we should implement a state-sanctioned, well regulated, volunteer Civil Border Guard to aid in securing our border.  Furthermore, the Texas Legislature should provide national leadership by calling for the end of birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

Abolish the Margin Tax –

In 2007, under the guise of property tax relief, the Texas Legislature passed the largest tax increase in state history. Despite record budget surpluses that year, the Texas Legislature increased taxes on Texas business owners by more than 6 billion dollars. The Gross Margin Tax is a business income tax based on gross receipts, less either the cost of goods or cost of wages. This means that many small business with high revenue and low percentage of profit, particularly those who rely heavily on contract labor (which is not deductible) and those that have a close-to-even ratio of cost of goods and wages have seen a dramatic increase in their tax burden. In some cases, a business may pay more in margin tax than they made in profit. In fact, under the Gross Margin Tax a business can lose money and still be required to pay taxes on revenue. Because the Texas Legislature failed to cap the automatic increases that occur through rising property tax appraisals, the end result has been a net increase in spending, resulting in larger government and higher taxes. We must end the shell game that is continuously played with taxpayers by the legislature. By controlling the growth of state government, at the rate of inflation plus growth in population, surplus funds will be available to achieve true reduction in the total tax burden.

 Cap Property Tax Appraisals

 Current law allows residential homestead property tax appraisals to increase up to 10% annually and unlimited increases on all other real estate. Although, the Texas Legislature has lowered the rate on school property taxes, they did nothing to abate the automatic tax increases that occur through rising appraisals. Furthermore, appraisals increase the amount of taxes levied on property owners by county, city and other local taxing authorities. Annual appraisal increases should be capped at the lesser of 3% or the rate of inflation for the preceding year. If the governing body of a taxing authority deem it necessary to increase revenue, it should be done by raising the tax rate, thereby making the actions of elected officials accountable to the voters. Our ultimate goal should be to abolish property taxes and reform our tax system with a focus on end-user consumption.

 

Stop the practice of subsidies, bail-outs, and grants. Last year the legislature voted for 48 million dollars in grants to subsidize alternative fuels. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. Let the free market work!

 

Consent of the governed and the right of self-determination are fundamental rights that we have held sacred for more than 230 years. Abraham Lincoln said it best: No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in this great state that would openly disagree with that statement. However, today in the State of Texas residents of areas annexed by home rule cities (cities with populations of 5,000 or greater) are not permitted to vote on this issue. In 1997, I fought the city of Houston on the issue of forced annexation, passing the only bill in history through the Texas Senate that would prevent forced annexation. Although the bill was blocked in the Democrat controlled house, I was able to persuade Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock to appoint a Special Interim Committee on Annexation. As a result, the committee passed the greatest reforms curbing forced annexation since 1963. Since that time Republicans have gained more seats in the Texas Senate and gained control of the Texas House of Representatives. It is unacceptable that measures such as this one, consistently blocked in the past by Democrat control of our legislature, have not been passed by our Republican majority.