Over the last several weeks, we have surveyed readers to see which lawmakers they saw fighting for the Texas taxpayers during the 140-day legislative session. Everyone received two picks in each chamber and could only vote once.

As the legislature adjourns, we’re pleased to announce the 2019 Citizens’ Choice Awards. All four will be presented with engraved Bowie knives, symbolizing their willingness to jump into the fight for liberty.

Texas Senate

BettencourtThe 2019 Citizens’ Choice Award winners in the Texas Senate were Harris County’s Paul Bettencourt and Tarrant County’s Kelly Hancock. Both men have been at the forefront of substantive government reform efforts.

Bettencourt, a former tax assessor/collector, knows the problems with—and the solutions to—the property tax system better than anyone. He not only led an interim committee that traveled the state studying the issue, but has been the lead author for several sessions running on comprehensive legislation to protect taxpayers.Hancock

Hancock, meanwhile, has been a vocal proponent of limiting the growth of government, among other pro-taxpayer polices. Several sessions in a row, he has successfully pushed legislation in the Senate to better define government growth and put it on a strict diet. Unfortunately, the Texas House has killed the legislation repeatedly.

Texas House

The 2019 Citizens’ Choice Award winners in the Texas House were Fredericksburg’s Kyle Biedermann and Bedford’s Jonathan Stickland.

Sophomore lawmaker Biedermann was a vocal proponent of protecting the Alamo and other historic monuments from destruction. He has also been the lead on border security initiatives and other issues important to Texans. Biedermann has also stood with his fellow local taxpayers against wasteful projects and tax hikes in his hometown.

Stickland, a four-term favorite of the conservative grassroots, successfully passed a ban on red-light cameras this session and was the only “no” vote on the bloated budget passed this week. Stickland is perhaps most well known for following Calvin Coolidge’s mantra that it is better to kill bad legislation than pass good legislation. He keeps close watch on the “Local and Consent” calendar, which has been a favored tool of cronies to pass bad bills without public debate. Many have appeared on his popular “Bad Bill of the Week” feature.

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