Representative John Cyrier won the special election to fill the vacant seat for House District 17 in the Texas House of Representatives on February 17, 2015, and was sworn into office just nine days before the deadline to file legislation for the 84th Legislative Session. Without fail, he hit the ground running on his very first day in the House and it is evident that he came to the Texas Capitol with a goal of achieving what the voters of his district sent him there to do and it paid off. Although he was elected a month after the legislative session began, he was able to pass legislation that is important to his district, and was very effective in helping the House pass crucial legislation for the state of Texas.
Republicans in the Texas House, including Rep. Cyrier, delivered one conservative victory after another in the 84th Legislature by making the border region safer, cutting taxes, improving education and funding transportation. Rep. Cyrier and his conservative colleagues passed a state budget that keeps growth beneath 2 percent per year. The budget, House Bill 1, provides additional funding for education, border security, transportation and child protection, while staying well below the constitutional spending cap. Even while limiting spending in the budget, the Legislature was able to deliver almost $4 billion in tax relief for Texans: a 25 percent reduction in the business franchise tax, as well as a $10,000 increase in the homestead exemption, which will provide relief for homeowners.
House Republicans made border security a top priority and made a historic and unprecedented investment in securing the Texas-Mexico border. The House worked with Governor Greg Abbott to approve legislation that increased financial support of $800 million in border security funding. This allocation of funds, coupled with House Bill 11, allows for the hiring of an additional 250 state troopers to patrol the Texas border. In addition, they also passed House Bill 12 which provides further funding and new resources to the state’s Border Prosecution Unit. The unit helps border-area authorities prosecute crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering. Finally, the House made significant strides to combat human trafficking and provided additional resources for the victims of this horrible crime.
“I believe that we had an extremely successful session and am really enjoying being a member of the Texas House; it is a lifetime opportunity that I take very seriously. The work that we did to pass the budget was remarkable to be part of and will have a positive impact on Texans for years to come,” Rep. Cyrier told me.
Rep. Cyrier represents twenty-six school districts across five counties in HD 17 and he, along with the other members of the Texas House, know the importance of supporting our public schools. As a founding board member of the Lockhart ISD Education Foundation, Rep. Cyrier was able to provide knowledge and insight into public education and the issues that the schools in his district are facing. Through HB 1, legislators fully funded classroom enrollment growth across the state at $2.3 billion and provided an additional $1.5 billion in public education funding over the next two years. In addition, the Committee on Public Education has been issued multiple interim charges regarding public education to help prepare for the next legislative session, including studies on high school and college readiness and addressing school district facility needs and debt.
Although Rep. Cyrier spent most of the session racing the clock, he was able to file many critical bills on behalf of HD 17. In fact, twenty-seven of the bills that he either authored or sponsored were passed into law. One of the bills he championed was House Bill 3163, which protects groundwater conservation district board members from personal liability lawsuits by providing a member with immunity from suit and liability for official votes and actions. Because of this legislation, volunteer public servants across Texas can now make water decisions for their communities without fear of legal intimidation.
“Coming into session later than most legislators, I only had nine days to file legislative bills which was a challenge in and of itself. However, it was key for me to prioritize legislation that would help protect our Lost Pines Water Conservation District and others’ around the state in order to better equip them for developing local water infrastructure. For these reasons, I am proud that I was able to get this crucial piece of legislation filed and passed during the 140-day legislative session," said Rep Cyrier.
As a lifelong Republican, Rep. Cyrier has always valued hard work and the importance of serving your community which led to his appointment as Caldwell County Commissioner in 2010 and later his election as County Judge Pro-Tem until 2013. He became only the 2nd Republican to ever be elected to the board and while serving, he focused his efforts on transportation, subdivision rules and regulations, and economic development.
After the end of a successful conservative session at the Texas Capitol in June 2015, Rep. Cyrier returned to House District 17 in Central Texas. His commitment to the community he represents continues to require many hours engaging individuals in the district and he has remained vigilant on issues affecting the five counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee. In his spare time, Rep. Cyrier and his wife, Rachelle, live on their ranch just outside of Lockhart, TX where they manage a registered Texas Longhorn Herd.