Joe’s highest priority has always been providing a great education. Outstanding local schools inspire children and bring communities together. Our colleges and universities prepare students to have productive careers and to contribute to the world around them. Joe strongly supports education because he knows that great schools create opportunities for young people and invite investment from job creators.
Joe has always worked to support private-sector growth. He believes that government should not get in the way of the private sector’s success, but that those who serve in elected office should prioritize solutions that will encourage economic activity, such as making sure that the state has a well-educated workforce and a reliable infrastructure.
One of Joe’s highest priorities in the Texas House has been improving and reforming behavioral health care in Texas. Joe formed the first-ever House Select Committee on Mental Health in order to take a comprehensive look at behavioral health issues in Texas and recommend ways that services could be delivered more effectively and efficiently. The work of this committee led to landmark mental health reforms in the 2017 session of the Texas Legislature.
Protecting children and other vulnerable Texans is one of the state's most critical responsibilities, and Joe has put a major focus on improving Child Protective Services and the state’s foster care system. He has also led the House is passing a number of bills to combat human trafficking. Joe has received the Children’s Champion Award from the Texas Association for the Protection of Children and the Angel of the Shelter Award from the Children’s Shelter in San Antonio. He has also received the Joe M. Kilgore Award for Public Service from the Austin Crime Commission.
As a native of San Antonio, Joe profoundly appreciates and understands the contribution that members of the military make, both while they are on active duty and after their service. During Joe's time as Speaker, the House has prioritized the needs of active service members, of veterans, and of military communities.
Joe has led the way in making government more accountable and transparent, and he has also worked to ensure that all who serve the public are held to high ethical standards. The Texas House has taken critical steps under Joe’s leadership to strengthen ethics laws and increase transparency in government by: