To the constituents of Liberty County;
When I was elected, I took an oath to represent only one group – the great people of House District 18. With each and every vote, I see issues through the lens of how it will impact my constituents. I do not vote for the interests of Houston. I do not vote for the interests of Austin or Dallas. I vote to represent my friends and neighbors in San Jacinto, Hardin, Liberty, and East Montgomery Counties.
This past year, I voted to stop a school voucher scam that was predicted to cost taxpayers $500 million, and increase to $2 billion in just two years. I have committed to my voters time and time again, that I am a principled, fiscal conservative – values which simply cannot allow me to support the diverting of your tax dollars to private school entities. While I knew there would be political pushback from those behind this failed policy, it has always been my goal to cut property taxes and government spending - not increase it.
Under the bill, illegal immigrants would also be eligible to receive such a voucher. I have fought tirelessly to increase border security, and I cannot support a bill that would encourage the behavior we are trying to stop.
Due to this vote, many private interest groups wishing to lie about my record and influence this election have gotten involved, donating millions of dollars from outside the state of Texas. They are involved for one reason and one reason, only. These groups are more interested in someone who will blindly do their bidding rather than honestly represent rural Texas. They are twisting my strong conservative record and trying to mislead my constituents with flat out lies about a myriad of topics.
Let's set the record straight on just a few topics…
· I am in full support of increasing teacher pay and student funding. However, it was the bill author himself who withdrew this robust bill after the voucher portion was removed;
· I voted to allocate over $6 billion dollars to securing our southern border - with an additional $40 million for law enforcement in the Colony Ridge Development;
· In 2017, I placed some of the only restrictions ever placed on the Colony Ridge Development in an effort to manage growth through the filing of an MMD at the request of the city, county, and school district;
· I fought hard for the largest property tax cut in Texas history - providing $18 billion dollars of relief for homeowners and small businesses;
· I supported the strongest pro-life measure ever passed — banning abortion as soon as a heartbeat is detected;
· and I banned transgender surgeries and prohibited drag shows for minors.
When the hits keep coming, and you read something that just doesn’t sound quite right — never hesitate to reach out. I will never compromise who I am or cower to political pressure in order to win an election. Liberty County deserves better.
Your State Representative, Ernest Bailes