accomplishments

History and Accomplishments throughout Senator Nichols’ Career & Life

Nichols has a strong conservative record focused on limited government and representing our district’s interests. He authored and passed legislation to reduce government spending, protect landowners and encourage free-markets. Before becoming a state senator, Nichols was a successful businessman who built four manufacturing facilities, earned 32 U.S. patents, and created more than 900 jobs for East Texas families. He has also served as a mayor and was appointed by then Governor George W. Bush and re-appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Transportation Commission where he served for eight years.

Today

Today

September 17, 2021

Passed SB 6 Bail Reform

Prohibits the release of violent offenders on personal bonds or the release of offenders who are charged with additional crimes while out on bail. It also requires more judicial training, data collection, and that officials examine a defendant’s criminal history before setting bail. Relating to rules for setting the amount of bail, to the release of certain defendants on a monetary bond or personal bond, to related duties of certain officers taking bail bonds and of a magistrate in a criminal case, to charitable bail organizations, and to the reporting of information pertaining to bail bonds.

September 7, 2021

Passed SB 1 Election Integrity

Ensures that early voting hours are standardized and expanded statewide. It also protects the sanctity of the ballot by strengthening the requirements for mail-in voting by adding identification requirements to mail-in ballots. Relating to election integrity and security, including by preventing fraud in the conduct of elections in this state; increasing criminal penalties; creating criminal offenses.

August 30, 2021

Passed SB 1 and SJR 2 Homestead Exemption Increase – Property tax relief measure

The Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 and Senate Joint Resolution 2, which puts a constitutional amendment before Texans to lower their property taxes. SJR 2 will increase the homestead exemption from $25,000 in appraised home value to $40,000, equating to a 60% increase over existing law.  

June 18, 2021

Passed SB 15 Data Privacy

Authored legislation to crack down on robocallers running car warranty scams and protect drivers’ privacy from public data. Relating to the Texas Consumer Privacy Act Phase I; creating criminal offenses; increasing the punishment for an existing criminal offense.

June 16, 2021

Passed HB 1239 Freedom to Worship Act

Ensures that houses of worship are protected from being forced to close under any emergency powers in the future. Relating to the prohibited suspension of laws protecting religious freedom and prohibited closure of places of worship

June 16, 2021

Passed HB 19 Trucking Litigation Reform

Cuts down on frivolous lawsuits in the trucking industry and other commercial vehicles. Relating to civil liability of a commercial motor vehicle owner or operator, including the effect that changes to that liability have on commercial automobile insurance.    

June 15, 2021

Passed HB 5 Broadband Accessibility

Authored legislation of meaningful broadband reform to expand broadband services across Texas. Relating to the expansion of broadband services to certain areas.

June 14, 2021

Passed SB 6 Business Pandemic Liability Protection

Provides retroactive liability protections for large and small businesses, health care providers, and first responders. Relating to election integrity and security, including by preventing fraud in the conduct of elections in this state; increasing criminal penalties; creating criminal offenses.

June 14, 2021

Passed SB 827 Insulin Co-Pay Cap

Limits the out-of-pocket cost of insulin. Relating to health benefit plan cost-sharing requirements for prescription insulin.

June 8, 2021

Passed SB 1336 Improving Texas’ Spending Limit

Relating to a limit on the rate of growth of certain appropriations.

June 8, 2021

Passed SB 3 ERCOT Reforms

Requires upgrades for power generators and transmission lines improvements to withstand extreme weather. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas will conduct inspections of the facilities, and failure to weatherize may result in penalties. Substantial changes to the governance of Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (“ERCOT”). Relating to preparing for, preventing, and responding to weather emergencies and power outages; increasing the amount of administrative and civil penalties.

June 8, 2021

Passed SB 2 Public Utility Commission Reforms

Established that rules adopted by ERCOT under delegated authority by the PUC may not take effect before receiving PUC approval. Relating to the governance of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and an independent organization certified to manage a power region.   

June 1, 2021

Passed HB 1900 and SB 23 Prevent Defunding of Police

Requires major counties hold an election before reducing their law enforcement budgets. The House bill would financially punish the state’s larger cities if they cut police funds. Relating to an election to approve a reduction or reallocation of funding or resources for certain county law enforcement agencies.

May 27, 2019

Authored SB 14 Rural Broadband

Increased access to broadband internet for rural areas in Texas (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Co-Authored SB 6, 7, & 8 Disaster Relief Bills

Bolstered the state’s emergency preparedness and disaster relief programs (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed SB2 Texas Property Tax Reform

Taxing entities must seek voter approval before levying a 3.5 percent property tax increase (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed HB 3 Funding Texas Public Education

Provided $6.5 billion for public education, including raise in funding per student and teacher salary raises (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed SB 12 Teacher Retirement System

Ensures Texas teachers’ pension system remains financially stable (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed a Balanced Budget

Served on the Senate Finance Committee and passed a $250 billion budget with no line-item vetoes from the Governor (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed SB 11 School Safety Bill

Provided funding for schools to implement emergency operations plans, training, and safety upgrades (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed HB 1631 Ban Red Light Cameras

Banned red light cameras that take a photo of vehicles then issue a ticket to the owner (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed SB 1978 Protecting Our Religious Liberties

Provides protections for people and businesses who have donated to, supported, or are affiliated with a religious organization (86th Session)

May 27, 2019

Passed HB 2048 Drivers Responsibility Act

Eliminated the DRP that left low-income drivers in a cycle of debt. Individuals with DWIs will face additional fines up to $6000 after (86th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported Pension Reform (HB 3158)

Improved Houston Firefighters and Dallas Police officers solvency (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported American Steel (SB 1289)

Created preference for American steel in infrastructure projects (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported TRS-Care bill (HB 3976)-

Added state funding to teacher’s healthcare fund (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported SB 8

Prohibits partial-birth abortions (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Authored SB 16

Authored SB 16- license to carry fee reduction from $70 to $40 (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Passed a Balanced Budget

Passed a balanced budget, with provisions to hire 600 new caseworkers for abused/neglected children, $800 million to secure the border and hiring of 250 new troopers, and $25 million for protective vests for law enforcement (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported Mental Health Funding

Supported mental health funding, including $300 million for new and replacement state hospitals (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported TxDOT Sunset Bill (SB 312)

Implemented recommendations on the agency (85th Session)

May 29, 2017

Supported Ports Corridor Bill (SB 1524)

Ensured those who manufacture products for export could compete with the rest of the nation (85th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported reduction of transportation debt

Supported SJR 5/HB 20- dedicates $2.5 billion + 35% of motor vehicle sales tax revenues over $5 billion annually to reducing transportation debt (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported improvements to Rusk State Hospital

$4 million/year (84th Session)

June 1, 2015
June 1, 2015

Supported mobility fund

Supported mobility fund to reduce transportation-related debt (HB 122) (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported open carry with background check (HB 910)

Allows Texans to open carry as long as they meet current CHL background check requirements (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported franchise tax cuts

HB 32- cuts franchise tax rates by 25% for all businesses paying the tax (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported Women Veterans Initiative

HB 867 to make Women Veterans Initiative permanent (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Helped fund STEM building at SFA

SFA to receive a $46.4 million tuition revenue bond (TRB) to fund a Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) building on campus (84th Session)

June 1, 2015
June 1, 2015

Helped fund new LSCO building

Lamar State College-Orange (LSCO) to receive a $10 million TRB to fund a multi-purpose education building on campus (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported increase in education basic allotment

From $5,040 to $5,140 in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Supported Border Security

Passed an $800 million border security package

June 1, 2015

Passed Pastor Protection Act

Passed Pastor Protection Act (SB 2065)- protects First Amendment rights of pastors (84th Session)

June 1, 2015
June 1, 2015

Supported Teacher Retirement System of Texas funding

Supported allocation of funds to Teacher Retirement System of Texas (HB 2) (84th Session)

June 1, 2015

Legislator of the Year

Named Legislator of the Year by Texas Forestry Association

June 1, 2015

Passed a Balanced Budget

Passed a balanced budget that was $2 billion under the spending cap

May 27, 2013

Forest Advocacy

Authored SB 1267- TIMOS liability; Sponsored HB 487- volunteer firefighter liability; Sponsored HB 2741- creates an optional timber-specific permit that allows loggers to load up to 44k lbs. on a tandem axle; Supported numerous grant applications for VFDs in all years (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Protected the elderly and disabled with legislation

Medicaid fraud crack down (SB 8) and expanded delivery options for healthcare (SB 7) (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Supported drug testing for those who receive unemployment and welfare benefits

Unemployment benefits- SB 21; welfare benefits- SB 11 (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Supported Justin’s Law

HB 1302- Tougher penalties for sex offenders (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013
May 27, 2013

Passed HB 1133

Telecom tax credit of $100 million

May 27, 2013
May 27, 2013

Helped make permanent franchise tax exemptions

For businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenues (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Improved road safety

SB 510- Drivers required to vacate lanes when construction workers are present (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Passed Research and Development Tax Credit

HB 800- provides $240 million in additional tax relief (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Protected Texas taxpayers with legislation

Contracts with predefined “buy-back” provisions (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Eliminated System Benefit Fund Fee on Electric Utility Bills

HB 7-  resulting in $140 million in fee cuts for consumers annually (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Sped up environmental review process

Passed SB 466 (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013
May 27, 2013
May 27, 2013

Passed a Balanced Budget

Passed a balanced budget with no new taxes (83rd Session) 

May 27, 2013

Improved consumer rate regulation process

Transferred these functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Reformed School Standardized Testing

HB 5 cuts number of tests from 15 to 5 (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013
May 27, 2013

Passed Merry Christmas bill

HB 308 (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013

Supported new transportation revenue for TxDOT

Passed SJR 1/HB 1 (83rd Session)

May 27, 2013
May 30, 2011

Forest Advocacy

Sponsored HB 612 and HB 613- timber theft bills; Sponsored SB 732- Tree cutting bill- “vegetation without representation”; Sponsored HB 3309- maximum weights for state highways, roads, and bridges; Authored SB 646- Texas Forest Service Sunset Bill- 1) Prevented the closure of local TFS sites and 2) Prevented the layoff of “boots on the ground” (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011

Continued to prevent unnecessary privatization of Texas roads

Gave locals control of the roads (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011

Prevented Medicaid fraud

SB 688 (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011

Helped fund education

Reduced the original intended cut in the budget; secured previously denied federal funds (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011

Established protections for water users

SB 573- provides a way out of the water provider monopoly so users can contract with whoever they choose (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011

Sponsored HB 444

Required the TCEQ to provide a copy of an injection well application to the groundwater conservation district (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011
May 30, 2011
May 30, 2011

Promoted private property rights

SB 1812- requires background checks for right-of-way agents licensed in Texas (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011
May 30, 2011

Extended second amendment rights

Passed legislation to prohibit employers from banning employees from storing a gun in their car in a company parking lot (82nd Session)

May 30, 2011

Created a “Choose Life” license place

Co-authored SB 257 (82nd Session)

July 2, 2009

Reformed transportation policy

81st Session- Special Session

June 1, 2009

Secured funding for a Lukfin distribution center for disaster relief

helped victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Reduced spread of flu virus

HB 1409- allowed pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to children ages 7-14; SB 1171- improved communication with local health authorities (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Encouraged job growth

HB 1914- Cut taxes for many small businesses and removed competition from prison labor (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Fought for landowners’ rights

Co-authored legislation to allow Texans to vote on a constitutional amendment to strengthen landowners’ rights (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Supported veterans and their families

SB 93, or the Hazelwood Legacy Act, waived tuition at a public college/university for children of veterans; HB 3613 also exempted fully disabled veterans from paying property taxes (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Forest Advocacy

Sponsored HB 2914- fuel mitigation pilot programs for fire departments; Sponsored HB 3340- conveyance of state forest land in Cherokee County under control of the Texas A&M Board of Regents; Authored SB 1668- TDA Biomass program- legislation amended to ensure biomass fuel sources did not adversely affect other timber-product businesses; Protected use of timber for electric poles; Supported increase in funding of $7 million for Texas Wildfire Protection Plan; Supported increase in funding for Rural Volunteer Fire Dept. Insurance Program and Rural Fire Dept. Assistance Program; Fought legislation to require green building costs (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Prevented gang violence

HB 2680- provided new tools for law enforcement to fight against gangs (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Strengthened border security

With same tools used to prevent gang violence (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Promoted higher education opportunities

40% increase in funding for the TEXAS grant program (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Allowed Polk County to pay 1970s historical price for new higher education center

SB 1670- allowing Polk County to pay the 1970s historical price for land in order to establish a new higher education center in Livingston (81st Session)

June 1, 2009

Protected individuals in state care

SB 643- requiring significant reforms to prevent abuse and neglect (81st Session)

May 28, 2007

Helped pass SB 792

Improves the transportation funding mechanism and  grants toll road authorities the opportunity to complete and extend projects (80th Session)

May 28, 2007

Strengthened border security

SB 11 (80th Session)

May 28, 2007

Protected children from predators with Jessica’s Law

HB 8- toughens penalties on child molesters (80th Session)

May 28, 2007
May 28, 2007
May 28, 2007
May 28, 2007

Provided property tax relief

Extended a 33% tax cut to seniors and disabled taxpayers (80th Session)

May 28, 2007
May 28, 2007

Sponsored the Landowner Bill of Rights

HB 1495- explains the process of eminent domain in language easily understood by the average property owner (80th Session)

May 28, 2007

Protected water rights

SB 3 (80th Session)

May 28, 2007

Co-authored Castle Doctrine

SB 378- allows Texans to use deadly force against intruders on their home or occupied vehicle (80th Session)

May 28, 2007

Protected Texans in rural and unincorporated areas

With ratemaking reforms for water and wastewater utilities (80th Session)

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Today marks the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is a date that will live in infamy and forever be a reminder of the resilience and strength of our nation's veterans. ... See MoreSee Less

Today marks the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is a date that will live in infamy and forever be a reminder of the resilience and strength of our nations veterans.

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God Bless our continued memories!❤️🙏

Let’s us never forget all who answered the call and gave all.

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I was honored to be invited to El Paso by my friend and fellow State Senator Cesar Blanco. It will be a pleasure to work again with my Senate colleagues in the Texas Legislature to improve transportation funding and infrastructure for Texans. ... See MoreSee Less

I was honored to be invited to El Paso by my friend and fellow State Senator Cesar Blanco. It will be a pleasure to work again with my Senate colleagues in the Texas Legislature to improve transportation funding and infrastructure for Texans.Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

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Making all of Texas better!

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SENATOR NICHOLS

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CONTACT

Phone: (903) 586-1200
Fax: (903) 586-7877
Email: info@nicholsforsenate.com

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2347
Jacksonville, Texas 75766

Physical Address:
214 East Commerce Street
Jacksonville, Texas 75766

MEET ROBERT NICHOLS

Texas Sen. Robert Nichols is a devoted husband and father who shares our conservative East Texas values. Sen. Nichols cares deeply about Texas and our country.