Public schools continue to face serious challenges such as increased enrollment, decreased funding, aging facilities and changing technology, and the need to hire quality teachers. The problems in our community have continued to be overcrowded classrooms, which puts a strain on our educators and hurts academic achievement rates. Representative Wu consistently fought for legislation during the 83rd Legislative Session that sought to restore $3.9 billion dollars to public education funding which will begin to relieve some of the stress our schools face.
The emphasis of over-testing in the classroom takes away the authentic education experience our children deserve. Representative Wu co-authored HB 5, which reduces the number of state standardized tests high school students must take to graduate. This law will also create a standard diploma that allows every student the opportunity to apply to a four-year university in Texas and gives students the flexibility to pursue diploma endorsements in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), business or arts and humanities.
Another focus for Representative Wu is expanding access to higher education. He authored HB 1409, expanding the course credit by examination options available for students at institutions of higher education. Wu believes increasing access to higher education is critical to the development of a skilled workforce, which will ensure that Texas remains competitive nationally and globally.
One of Representative Wu’s priorities for the 84th Legislative Session will be to expand access to Pre-K and Early Childhood programs for all families. Many students, especially from immigrant or lower-income families, being primary school already behind their classmates in terms of language and learning skills. These programs will help every child will begin school on the right foot.
- HB1409 – expanding the course credit by examination options available for students at institutions of higher education.
- HB 1410 – improving college readiness and student tracking by allowing higher education institutes notify school districts of the amount of students which needed developmental coursework.
- HB 2221 – allowing a compliance report to be submitted to the United States Department of Education containing data concerning certain citations issued on public school property.
Safer Neighborhoods/Public Safety
Crime is an issue of concern for Representative Wu:
Among the bills authored was HB 2842, establishing punishable offenses for offenders engaging in organized criminal activity. This bill passed in the Criminal Jurisprudence House Committee. As former Felony Prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Representative Wu understands the strain on our criminal justice system, as well as the limited time and resources law enforcement has.
Wu authored HB 2229 and co-sponsored similar Senate legislation SB 275, increasing the punishment for failure to stop and rendering aid at the scene of an accident. Often, driving drunk is a factor and people will leave an accident to avoid intoxication-related charges. This legislation will deter people from leaving the scene and likely prevent future deaths
- HB 2219 – amending the penal code making attempted murder punishable by a second degree felony with a maximum term for 40 years
- HB 2229 – increases the penalty for failure to stop and render aid in an accident resulting in the death of a person.
- HB 2405 – relating to county reports regarding the implementation of cite and release provisions by local law enforcement agencies.
- HB 2579 – relating to the prosecution of certain offenses committed against a person in custody.
- HB 2842 – establishes punishable offenses for offenders engaging in organized criminal activity.
- HB 2857 – relating to the disposition of abandoned or unclaimed property seized at the time of certain arrests.
As a proud new father, protecting Texan children is a priority for Representative Wu:
He authored HB 3259, which modernizes investigations in child abuse and neglect cases. Representative Wu believes that government’s primary function is public safety, and no one is more deserving of our protection than children. Representative Wu will empower law enforcement professionals to go after the criminals who target children, and demand accountability from agencies tasked with their protection.
- HB 2404 – relating to consideration by the court of sexual abuse and conduct that constitutes sexual assault in certain suits affecting the parent-child relationship.
- HB 2228 – relating to the applicability of the exception to prosecution for the offense of abandoning or endangering a child.
- HB 3259 – modernizes statutory language relating to investigation records in child abuse and neglect cases.
- HB 3743 – relating to the authority of a prosecutor in a juvenile case to appeal certain judicial decisions.
Representative Wu fought to ensure that Texas businesses have the resources to maintain our current economic growth:
Growing our economy and creating high-quality jobs are essential to the future of Texas. We must encourage companies to move into our community by making sure they have the tools for success. Our state should invest in capital improvements and repair existing public infrastructure. During the 83rd Legislative Session, Representative Wu supported efforts to create the Texas Water Development Fund, and voted to provide nearly $1 billion in additional funding for Texas roads. Representative Wu will continue his push to adequately fund our state’s water and road infrastructure in the 84th Legislative Session.
Additionally, for the 84th Legislative Session in 2015, Representative Wu will focus his efforts on ensuring that Texas businesses, especially those in the energy sector, have the skilled workers they need. Labor costs and shortages are the biggest obstacles during this energy boom. Representative Wu plans to offer legislation which will boost training for workers and encourage investment.
Our Energy Economy
Representative Wu was proud to represent the Greater Houston area as the only member of the delegation appointed to the House Energy Resources Committee:
Part of this plan is making sure that we are using safe, energy efficient measures. Representative Wu authored HB 1864, expanding the opportunities for critical government buildings to upgrade or install CHP (combined heat and power), an on-site energy system that is essentially immune from grid power outages and natural disasters, and is environmentally responsible.
Wu authored HB 1863, which addresses pipeline safety standards and establishes that safety measures in Texas are in line with federal law. Failing to address this issue would have jeopardized federal money for the Texas pipeline safety program.
Wu also authored HB 2406, allowing a common carrier to operate a saltwater pipeline in a right-of-way. This legislation will reduces the number of heavy trucks on the road, which wear down our congested county roads. The expanded use of saltwater pipelines will alleviate costs to the state and local governments by minimizing the need for overweight trucks.
- HB 1863 – increasing the maximum amount of a civil penalty for a violation of oil and gas provisions relating to safety or to the prevention or control of pollution.
- HB 1864– increased opportunities for critical government buildings to upgrade or install CHP (combined heat and power).
- HB 2406 – the installation, maintenance, operation, and relocation of saltwater pipeline facilities.