About Dennis Bonnen in The Public Sector

Speaker Dennis Bonnnen
Representative Dennis Bonnen, R-Lake Jackson, serves the 25th Legislative District in the Texas House of Representatives representing southern Brazoria County and all of Matagorda County.

Legislative Highlights

84th Legislature and Interim (2015-2016)

  • Speaker Pro Tempore
  • Chairman, House Committee on Ways & Means
  • Member, House Committee on Natural Resources
  • Authorship and passage of HB 11 to implement a sustained security force with a long-term strategy along our border
  • Authorship and passage of HB 32, the Franchise Tax Reduction Act of 2015, to permanently reduce the business franchise tax by 25% across-the-board, to reduce the E-Z tax rate by 42% (to 0.331% of Texas receipts), and to expand E-Z eligibility to companies with revenues of not more than $20 million (up from the current $10 million)
  • Sponsorship and passage of SB 1/SJR 1 to increase the school tax homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000
  • Sponsorship and passage of SB 1760 to require the governing body of a local taxing unit to have an affirmative vote of at least 60% of its members in order to exceed its effective tax rate
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1914 to increase the allowable time between parole hearings for the egregious crimes of capital murder and aggravated sexual assault
  • Authorship and passage of HB 4168 to increase Brazoria County’s number of seats on the Gulf Coast Water Authority board of directors
  • Authorship and passage of HB 992 and HJR 75 to remove a legal barrier so that all surviving spouses of totally disabled veterans receive a full exemption of their residential property taxes
  • Sponsorship and passage of SB 498 to eliminate the expiration date of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association’s waiver program
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1165 requiring the seller of real estate that adjoins a water storage impoundment to notify the purchaser of the property that the lake level may fluctuate due to drought conditions and entities that exercise their lawful rights to the water
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1421 to strengthen the operational and economic position of the Coastal Plains Groundwater Conservation District (Matagorda County) as water demands increase
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1336 to compensate Velasco Drainage District supervisors at a level that is commensurate with their increased work hours and duties of ensuring compliance with new federal levee regulations
  • Authorship of HB 3052 (amended to HB 1915, as passed) to enable Surfside and Quintana to receive a percentage of Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue for beach maintenance and renourishment
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1321 to create additional heavy-lift road corridors for the transport of cargo to and from Port Freeport
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1466 to better identify and hold accountable bad actors who abandon boats in Texas waterways
  • Authorship and passage of HB 1666 to protect emergency/disaster response volunteers from liability during planning and training exercises

83rd Legislature and Interim (2013-2014)

  • Speaker Pro Tempore
  • Chairman, Sunset Advisory Commission (term ending 2013)
  • Chairman, House Committee on Special Purpose Districts
  • Chairman, House Select Committee on the Fiscal Impact of Texas Border Support Operations
  • Vice-Chairman, Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency
  • Member, House Committee on Natural Resources
  • Authored and passed amendments to dedicate an additional $1 million to Brazosport College’s baccalaureate degree program and grant greater flexibility to offer additional four-year degree plans
  • Authored and passed SB 1702 to abolish the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association’s Alternative Eligibility Certification program and eliminate the WPI-12 structural modification requirements to continue TWIA coverage
  • Authored and passed HB 994 to extend the licensing program for the STP nuclear power plant preserving the option for future construction of reactors 3 and 4
  • Authored and passed HB 2895 to grant Brazoria County the ability to purchase undeveloped state-owned prison land from the General Land Office for the expansion of the county airport
  • Co-authored and passed HB 5 to significantly reduce public school testing and instill greater flexibility within the current 4×4 curriculum requirements for high school graduation
  • Passed legislative package (SJR 1, HB 4, HB 1025) enabling the funding and implementation of the State Water Plan
  • Supported $4 billion additional dollars to public education and $460 million to the Teacher Retirement System to make it actuarially sound
  • Co-authored and passed HB 500 to make permanent the franchise tax exemption for businesses with less than $1 million in gross receipts, allowing a deduction up to $1 million in expenses once the small business exemption is surpassed, and grant a temporary tax rate cut for all businesses
  • Supported the passage of HB 2 (2nd-called special session) to protect women’s health and the life of the unborn

82nd Legislature and Interim (2011-2012)

  • Chairman, Sunset Advisory Commission
  • Chairman, Select House Committee on Voter Identification and Voter Fraud
  • Vice-Chairman, House Committee on Calendars
  • Member, House Committee on Higher Education
  • Member, House Committee on Transportation
  • Member, House Select Committee on Election Contest
  • Member, Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency
  • Balanced the budget with no new tax burden on citizens and businesses despite a $26.8 billion shortfall
  • Restored state funding for Brazosport College in the budget bill, while also successfully passing an amendment to continue the funding of Brazosport College’s bachelor’s degree program
  • Authored HB 623 to give the State of Texas additional power to identify illegal immigrants while also putting pressure on the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws
  • Joint-authored and passed strict Voter ID legislation (SB 14)
  • Supported the passage of Pro-Life legislation including a sonogram bill, the issuance of “Choose Life” license plates, and a prohibition against the use of tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry
  • Authored HB 1411 to support small businesses by extending the $1 million franchise tax exemption (passed as a part of SB 1)
  • Authored HB 1633 to require jurors to read and write in the English language
  • Passed HB 2004 to allow the state to sell a specific parcel of underutilized prison land for the construction of a reservoir that will provide a sufficient and reliable water supply to nearby industrial facilities
  • Supported an amendment to HB 500 that would have delayed state-mandated testing for the upcoming school year
  • Authored multiple bills (HB 2796, HB 2797, HB 2798, HB 3006, HB 3007, HB 3008, HB 3009, HB 3010) to remove burdensome and unfunded mandates imposed upon school districts

81st Legislature and Interim (2009-2010)

  • Vice-Chairman, Sunset Advisory Commission
  • Chairman, Land and Resource Management Committee
  • Member, Elections Committee
  • Authored HB 2534 to increase small business franchise tax exemption
  • Authored HB 3556 to require voters to show a photo ID
  • Authored HB 2533 to fine highway contractors for project delays and direct this revenue to affected businesses
  • Passed HB 267 to allow Texans to purchase firearms and ammunition in all fifty states
  • Passed HB 1510 to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

80th Legislature and Interim (2007-2008)

  • Member, Select Committee on Hurricane Ike Storm Devastation
  • Chairman, Environmental Regulation Committee
  • Member, Ways and Means Committee
  • Chairman, Select Committee on Electric Generation Capacity and Environmental Effects
  • Charter member, Community College Caucus
  • Passed HB 1098 to reverse Governor’s HPV vaccine order
  • Passed HB 2198 to remove pilot status of baccalaureate degree programs offered by Brazosport Community College
  • Passed HB 2714 to create groundbreaking computer recycling program
  • Passed HB 959 to extend the statute of limitations for child abuse crimes
  • Passed HB 1840, the Sarah Kathryn Thompson Act, to increase the penalty for fleeing the scene of an auto accident

79th Legislature and Interim (2005-2006)

  • Chairman, Environmental Regulation Committee
  • Member, Natural Resources Committee
  • Member, National Conference of State Legislators’ Agriculture, Environment, and Energy Committee
  • Member, Texas Legislative Tourism Caucus
  • Amended appropriations bill to include $1 million in funding for Brazosport College’s baccalaureate degree program
  • Passed HB 657, the Donna Hoedt Act, to provide judges the option of terminating the parental rights of a parent convicted of murdering a child’s other parent
  • Passed HB 2096 to establish a self-funding mechanism for the state to remove abandoned vessels at no expense to taxpayers
  • Joint-authored HB 27, the Darren Medlin and Justin Wollam Act, to enhance penalties for the intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter of a peace officer or firefighter
  • Secured appropriations to remove abandoned oil rig, Zeus, in Freeport ship channel

78th Legislature and Interim (2003-2004)

  • Chairman, Environmental Regulation Committee
  • Member, Insurance Committee
  • Member, Select Committee on Public School Finance
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Rock Crushers and Quarries
  • Member, Environmental Task Force of The Council of State Governments
  • Executive Committee member, Energy Council
  • Member, Texas 21 Legislative Caucus
  • Passed SB 193, the Move Over Act, to require motorists to move over or slow down when passing a stationary emergency vehicle
  • Passed HB 1365 to restore full funding of federally-mandated Texas Emissions Reduction Plan
  • Passed amendment to SB 286 to create pilot project allowing Brazosport College to offer limited four-year degrees

77th Legislature and Interim (2001-2002)

  • Vice-Chairman, Environmental Regulation Committee
  • Member, Ways and Means Committee
  • Texas delegate, national study to simplify state sales taxes
  • Increased multipliers for retired teachers
  • Passed HB 2914 to streamline and enhance the Comptroller’s administration of the state’s fiscal matters
  • Passed HB 805 to assist Crime Stoppers
  • Passed HB 2610 and HB 2621 to update gender references in child support and child custody laws

76th Legislature and Interim (1999-2000)

  • Member, Ways and Means Committee
  • Chairman, Business Tax Subcommittee
  • Member, Pensions and Investments Committee
  • Chairman, Interim Subcommittee of Pensions and Investments Committee charged with studying state policies regarding reemployment of people who have retired under state retirement plan
  • Member, Select Committee on Teacher Health Insurance
  • Campaigned for Governor George W. Bush in Iowa Republican Caucus

75th Legislature and Interim (1997-1998)

  • At 24, youngest member of Texas House of Representatives
  • Member, County Affairs Committee
  • Member, Insurance Committee
  • Speaker’s designee for application to the Henry Toll Fellowship Program
  • Member, National Conference of Insurance Legislators
  • Passed SB 553 (HB 1478) renaming portion of SH 35 the Stephen F. Austin Memorial Hwy
  • Passed HB 2868 to permit drafting of county-wide master drainage plan
  • Supported repeal of motorcycle helmet law