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Texas House, District 64

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    Myra Crownover (R) Former Teacher.

  • Emy Lyons (D)

  • Braeden Wright (G)

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Biographical Information

Length of residency in your district:

Occupation/main source of income:

Education (include all degrees):

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishment:

Highlights of past civic involvement/accomplishment:

Previous public offices sought or held:

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

Who are your top three contributors?

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings? If so, please explain:

Have you ever been involved in any civil lawsuits or declared personal or professional bankruptcy? If so, please explain:

What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?

What political leader do you most admire and why?

Why are you running for this office?

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

What are the state's greatest challenges that government can address?

The current two-year budget restored billions of dollars from previous cuts. Are there places where you advocate more spending and, if so, how would you pay for it? Are there areas where you would spend less?

The state’s business climate is considered a jobs magnet. How would you improve on today’s business conditions, regulation or promotion?

Please assess the safety net for Texas' poor and working poor. What changes, if any, would you make?

The 2013 Legislature broke with the recent past and boosted spending on mental health care. What other reforms should lawmakers pursue to address mental health in Texas?

What would you advocate to prevent another disaster like what happened in West?

Texas' "Closing the Gaps in Higher Education" master plan is due for a 2015 update. Are there new directions or initiatives you advocate for the state's colleges and universities?

How will you judge whether the state’s new accountability system is working for public education?

The Legislature may have to contend with another court order to overhaul the system of financing public schools. What is your idea of a better way to support public education in Texas?

If voters approve an extra $1.2 billion a year in highway spending in November, that’s only a fraction of what TxDOT says is needed. How would you bridge that gap to meet the needs of the growing population: taxes, fees, tolls, borrowing, some combination, or none of the above? Please be specific.

An ABA-sponsored, bipartisan review of Texas’ death penalty recommended numerous reforms. What weaknesses or needed improvements would you cite in the administration of the death penalty?

Do you favor open carry for handgun owners in Texas?

Gov. Rick Perry has advocated "decriminalization" of marijuana possession. What changes would you support in prosecution of drug laws in Texas?

Would you vote to place a medical marijuana amendment before Texas voters?

What changes, if any, would you make in Texas’ open records and open meetings laws?

Should the Legislature pass laws that supersede local control over oil and gas drilling?

What, if anything, should the state do to reform laws that govern payday lending?

City/Town Denton
Age 70
Campaign Phone Number (940) 594-7653
Over 30 years.
Former Teacher / Investments.
B.A. from Southern Methodist University, Masters in Education from Texas A&M.
Serve Denton – Advisory Board Member; St. Andrews Presbyterian Church – Member for 30 years, Former Deacon; UNT Foundation, Inc. - Board Member; North Star Bank – Board Member; Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science (TAMS) – Advisory Board Member; Communities in Schools of North Texas Advisory Council – Member; Children's Advocacy Center of Denton County - Board Member; Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) Citizen Advisory Group.
“Public Official Award 2014” – Texas Public Power Association; “Lone Star Conservative Leader” – Texas Conservative Roundtable, 2013; “Legislator of the Year 2013” - Texas Civil Justice League; “Silver Star Award” – Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education, 2013; “Legislative Champion” - Texas Oil and Gas Industry, 2013 ; "Fighter for Free Enterprise" - Texas Association of Business, 83rd Legislative Session; “Courageous Conservative” – Texas Conservative Coalition 2011; "Distinguished Citizen Award" by the Longhorn Council of Boy Scouts 2009; "Guardian of the Rainy Day Fund" - House Republican Caucus 2009; "Legislative Champion" - National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 2009; Denton Benefit League – Member, Former Board Member; Denton YMCA - Former President/Board Member; "Advocate of the Year" - Communities in Schools of North Texas 2008; "Heart of Honor" - American Heart Association 2008; "Champion for Free Enterprise" - Texas Association of Business, 79th, 80th, 81st, 82nd Legislative Sessions; March of Dimes Award for Dedication and Hard Work to Save Babies 2006; Denton Hispanic Chamber - Recognition for Dedicated Service, Commitment and Contribution, 2006; Texas Veterinary Medical Association - Awarded Honorary Membership in 2005; "An Outstanding Advocate for TWU" - Texas Women's University - 79th Legislative Session; University of North Texas - Texas Academy of Mathematics & Science (TAMS) - Honorary Alumnus - May 7, 2004; "Service Above Self" Award - Denton Rotary Club 2004; Texas 21 Legislative Caucus - Recognition for Dedicated Service 2005; "Freedom and Family Award" - Texas Eagle Forum 2001; "Texas Top Ten" for conservative voting record - Free Market Foundation; "Freshman of the Year" - National Republican Legislators Association - 1 of only 3 nationwide 2001
none
During the last reporting period I raised $46,445.
Texas House Leadership Fund; Texas Association of Business - Business and Commerce PAC; Ryan Texas PAC.
No.
I have never declared personal or professional bankruptcy. In 2012, I was involved in a lawsuit that was a family matter and that has been settled.
During the 2013 legislative session I was asked by the March of Dimes and the American Heart Association to file legislation to expand Texas Newborn Screening Program to include a simple screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD). I worked with parents, hospitals, doctors, mid-wives, doulas, home birth advocates, and policy experts to ensure that everyone’s concerns were addressed in the legislation. The hard work paid off and I am proud that Texas is one of the first states in the nation to implement a newborn screening program for CCHD that will save the lives of Texas children for years to come.
I have great respect for Margaret Thatcher. Many women politicians support bigger government and that promotes the generalization that women just want someone or something to protect them. Thatcher was tough and conservative and helped break that stereotype. She always conducted herself with class and dignity – two things we could use a little more of these days.
Responsible leadership is about making educated choices and balancing competing interests to improve the lives of all Texans. It is important that Texas Government remain fiscally disciplined. I have served six terms on the Appropriations Committee that writes the budget for the State of Texas. I am proud that every legislative session that I have been on Appropriations we have balanced the budget without raising taxes and spending has actually decreased by 11.5% when adjusted for population growth and inflation. I have also worked hard as a member of the Energy Resources Committee to ensure Texas continues to lead the nation and the world in the responsible production of energy. I also understand that we need to protect our environment while we produce our natural resources. In 2011, I authored legislation requiring oil and gas operators to disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process. I have passed legislation to increase the number of pipeline inspectors in Texas and legislation requiring oil and gas companies to clean up the surface of the land.
I have lived in and served Denton County for my entire adult life. I know and understand the people who live here and the challenges they face. I have built relationships with our local school boards, the administration at UNT, TWU, and NCTC. I work closely with the Chamber of Commerce and I am on the Board of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County and Serve Denton. My late husband, Ronny Crownover D.V.M., and I raised our boys at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and all four of them graduated from Denton public schools and went on to earn degrees from UNT, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas. We also ran a small business and paid our taxes. Denton County is a wonderful place and it deserves a state representative who will fight for the people and institutions that make this community such a great place to live and raise a family.
Government must first and foremost respect the taxpayer. We must ensure that every tax dollar expended is invested effectively and efficiently. Our rapid population growth dictates that we build and maintain infrastructure that enables us maintain our quality of life. In 2013, we took a big step forward in addressing our water infrastructure needs. In 2015, we must show the same determination in addressing our transportation infrastructure needs. We also must address our education system. Texas cannot continue to be a first rate state without a first rate education system.
Dumping money on a problem is seldom the answer. Indiscriminate increased spending rarely solves any problem. The intelligent question is not whether to spend more or less, the intelligent question is “Is every tax dollar expended effectively and efficiently?”. However, there are areas that need additional investment. Our transportation infrastructure will not keep up with growth without investment. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that we need an additional $4 billion a year just to maintain our current road system. Debt can be passed down to our children in many ways. Infrastructure debt is as great a threat to the future of Texas as fiscal debt. If we leave our children with a balanced budget but a state with inadequate roads, water, and schools, have we done them a favor?
Texas is a low tax, low regulation, and right to work state. These are key elements that have led to our economic growth and I will continue to fight to ensure that Texas remains the nation’s leading job creator. We must also address our ailing transportation infrastructure. We will not continue to grow and prosper without the roads needed to handle that growth.
We know that government cannot provide all things to all people. Medicaid spending is growing at an unsustainable rate and absorbs more and more of our budget every year. At the current rate of growth, current spending on entitlement programs will soon overtake spending on education. Unfortunately the federal government has prevented any real reforms to Medicaid other than to try and force the expansion of an out of control program. The best thing we can do for all Texans is continue to create jobs. As our economy improves the job market will improve and the standard of living for every Texan will improve as well.
Texas is a leader on the “smart on crime” movement. In 2013 we were able to close two prisons and save over $90 million. We must take a similar approach to mental health care. The most expensive way to deal with people with mental illness is to imprison them. We must be smart about how we handle non-violent offenders with mental illness. If we are, it will save human potential and save the state money.
I am not a fan of government regulation of private industry but for hazardous industries the public should be protected. The tragedy in West exposed a blind spot in our system. Some counties have expressed the desire for increased zoning authority and I think we will need to look at that in 2015.
I think it is a new day for colleges and universities in Texas. Universities must respect the burden the increasingly high cost of higher education is placing on Texas families. I am proud that the University of North Texas has taken a leading role in reducing the cost of education by eliminating unnecessary degree programs and unnecessary administrative positions. I would also like to see more financial counseling for incoming college freshman. I think that too many of our students think of student loans as “free money”, only to graduate to find themselves buried under a mountain of debt. I believe that if students had a better understanding of the cost of their education they would take their classes more seriously, graduate faster, and with less debt. Texas Tech is doing a great job of this with their “Red to Black” program.
I heard the objections parents and teachers regarding the over testing of our students. The outcry was loud and justified coming into the 2013 legislative session. That is why I voted for House Bill 5 to reduce the burden of testing on our students. I do think we have to be careful not to reject accountability entirely. Accountability is important to the success of our public schools. Time will tell if we have struck the right balance with House Bill 5 or if more changes are necessary.
Local control is the most important factor in successful schools. Every public school community is different and has different needs. I would like to free our public schools from wasteful federal regulation. State and local taxpayers provide over 75% of the funding for public schools but federal education policy ties the hands of educators and is a burden on teachers and administrators.
Building roads is a core function of government and it costs money to build roads. First and foremost, I support ending diversions from the State Highway Fund. We currently spend about $1.5 billion of the highway fund for DPS and state employee benefits. Under the latest revenue projections we can pay for those obligations out of General Revenue and we should start there. We must also come up with a comprehensive plan to address our transportation infrastructure. I am concerned about the amount of borrowing Texas has engaged in to build roads in recent years and I support returning to the “pay as you go” model for building roads. Texas currently spends over $1 billion per year just paying back debt on roads that are already built. We have tried borrowing, and tolling, and the most efficient way to build a road is to pay as you go.
I support the death penalty. I also feel strongly that the state should not take anyone's life or liberty unless they know they have the right person in custody. I am not opposed to any reform as long as it leads to justice for the victim, punishment for the guilty, and freedom for the innocent.
I have been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Rifle Association in every election that I have been a candidate and I am proud of my 100% A rating from both organizations. I grew up in Texas and ranching, hunting, and guns were a part of my everyday life. I do not fear guns and I fully support all Texans 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. I do not think we live in a time and place where it is necessary to brandish weapons in public, however, I do support the right for all Texans to do so if they so choose, as long as they show respect for the equal rights of their fellow citizens.
I think we need to wait and see how things progress in smaller states like Colorado and Washington before we make any major changes in Texas. I understand the arguments for legalization or decriminalization but I think Texas is too large a state to experiment with drug policy. While I do not have sympathy for drug dealers, I do think we need to find a better way of dealing with addiction and drug addicts than putting them in prison. Imprisoning non-violent drug addicts is costly and ineffective and is often a mental health issue.
I sympathize with those who suffer from PTSD and other chronic illnesses who seek relief from their disease - especially our veterans. However, I think we should learn more from Colorado and California before we make major changes.
I support whole-heartedly the public’s right to know what is going on in government. I also think that some individuals and groups have learned to abuse open records laws as tools for harassment and intimidation. I would support changes that would prevent the abuse of open records laws.
It is the responsibility of the State of Texas to ensure that all Texans and our environment are protected from harm. That is why I have filed and passed multiple pieces of legislation throughout my career dealing with oil and gas production that protect landowners rights, the environment, and the people of Texas. Oil and gas production is the single biggest driver of economic activity in Texas. I believe in local control. However, local ordinances need to work together, make sense, and be based on sound science.
The United Way of Denton County and our local banks have partnered to promote the “Bank On” program to help teach financial stability and enable families to make good financial decisions. While programs like “Bank On” are important, the State of Texas must address the predatory practices of the bad actors in the payday lending industry. People should also have access to short term loans that banks are not willing to provide. I believe there is middle ground between shutting the industry down and letting bad actors continue to prey upon the most vulnerable.
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