Tepper discusses conservative priorities representing Lubbock, Shallowater

Texas House District 84 will have a new representative for the first time in 12 years when the 88th Legislature convenes Tuesday.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 8:25 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2023 at 10:23 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas House District 84 will have a new representative for the first time in 12 years when the 88th Legislature convenes Tuesday. Carl Tepper is set to take his seat in the Texas House of Representatives. The newly drawn district covers most of Lubbock and Shallowater.

“It’s been a very interesting process,” Tepper said. “It was a tough campaign but I hope, at this point, we can all come together and work towards the good and future of Texas. We want to keep the Texas miracle going.”

Tepper told KCBD when it comes to the budget, Texas Tech University and higher education will take up a lot of the discussion, especially surrounding the Permanent University Fund.

“How’s the money meted out through the state budget and how much more Texas Tech and non-PUF fund colleges would get compared to the PUF fund colleges? Can we get them all lined out and make it more of an equitable, fair distribution of state dollars for the state universities?”

He said there are steps that can be taken to free up some of the funding for Texas Tech and other qualifying universities.

“There are a couple of plans out there that will possibly cause Texas and Texas A&M to use their PUF fund for all their university system,” Tepper said. “They’re sort of double dipping right now. They’re using the PUF fund and they’re using some of the other higher education dollars out there.”

Regarding institutions of higher education, Tepper has filed HB 1006 to, among several things, “prohibit: the funding, promotion, sponsorship, or support of: any office of diversity, equity, and inclusion...,” which he says he has not discussed with Texas Tech University.

“I did file a bill to essentially eliminate or certainly curtail the Offices of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in public universities,” Tepper said. “I call them, you know, division, inequity, and indoctrination.”

That’s one of two other bills he, so far, has filed pertaining to his social conservatism. The other two, HB 1033 and HB 1046, prohibit the use of “political tests” by government entities and public higher education institutions.

“In the same spirit of the DEI bills, we heard a lot from public employees about, they feel like they’re being coerced and indoctrinated with tests to get their job,” Tepper said.

Three other bills he has filed are in attempts to limit property appraisals for tax purposes.

“There’s already an appraisal cap on your homestead, 10 percent a year,” Tepper said. “I’d like to see that lowered to 2.5 percent a year and introduce a cap on commercial, rental property, and investment property to 8 percent.”

Tepper also hopes to address issues regarding infrastructure, water, and transportation, as well as to “shore up” the ERCOT grid.

“We’re looking at the Ports-to-Plains, now I-27 has a federal designation,” Tepper said. “We’re looking for money for that or maybe help it with some state funds. Also, Loop 88 is being built from Slaton to Shallowater, which is going to be a major state investment. Right now, they’ve invested about $10 million a year for 10 years. It sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but in transportation dollars, it’s not a ton. We’ll have to see if maybe we can bolster the funding for those types of projects in West Texas.”

Tepper said he’s proud to be working with his colleagues Dustin Burrows and Charles Perry, as well as with local leaders, “for the good of West Texas.”

“I’m just so honored to be able to represent Lubbock, Texas and the city of Lubbock, Shallowater, and the Republican Party.”