In response to the growing concern over the need to meet increasing energy demand while balancing the state’s air quality and public health concerns, Representative Anchia has become a leader in the Texas House of Representatives on energy issues. He has authored numerous legislative proposals that would save businesses, government, and residential consumers’ money while protecting the environment by promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative technologies like plug-in hybrids and combined heat and power plants. He has also filed legislation that incentivizes builders to use green building standards for homes and businesses.
As a former member of the House Elections Committee, Representative Anchia has consistently fought to protect and expand Texans’ right to vote. Among Representative Anchia legislative initiatives, he has authored legislation that would: allow voters to register to vote during the early-vote period; create an election-day holiday; extend additional voter registration efforts to eligible high school students; create an independent redistricting commission; and implement campaign finance reform for state judicial candidates. He also led the floor debate against the photo ID legislation that passed in 2011, as this legislation has the potential to disenfranchise minorities, the elderly and women in the state of Texas, while at the same time doing nothing to deter the main cause of voter fraud in Texas, that which involves mail-in ballots.
Representative Anchia has worked to improve the Texas public education system by improving teacher pay, increasing the relevance and opportunities for success for both college-bound and vocational students, and decreasing the reliance on a single test to determine a student’s level of performance. Throughout his tenure at the legislature, Representative Anchia has a consistent voting record supporting teacher pay increases. He has passed legislation that broadens the curriculum to include room for more vocational and technical courses, while matching the quality of those courses with related math and science education requirements. He has consistently been an outspoken opponent of using public money for private school vouchers, and during the 83rd session supported legislation that reduced the number of high-stakes tests that high school students are required to take in order to graduate.
Representative Anchia has worked tirelessly in the legislature to make the neighborhoods of District 103 a safer place. He has passed legislation that cracks down on auto theft by increasing the penalty to a felony on the third offense.
Representative Anchia has also worked with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to crack down on problematic bars in Dallas which have become nuisances to local neighborhoods, and he has passed legislation that provides law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools they need to shut down illegal massage parlors and combat human trafficking syndicates.
In addition, he passed legislation that aids victims of stalking and further regulates sexually oriented businesses.
In an effort to reward the officers who fight crime and protect our communities, Representative Anchia successfully passed legislation that provides Dallas police and firefighters overtime compensation.
Representative Anchia has worked to pass legislation which makes health care affordable and accessible to all Texans. In 2007, Anchia co-authored a bill which restored many of the cuts made to the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program made in 2003, covering an additional 118,000 Texas children since its passage.
Representative Anchia also worked to support and increase the prevalence of school-based health centers in Texas schools. During the 81st session, Representative Anchia passed a bill that expanded the availability of funding for these programs which provide physical, mental and emotional health services to Texas students and their families.
He has been a staunch advocate for women’s issues and has been relentless in fighting against efforts to restrict women’s access to safe and affordable healthcare.
Representative Anchia has long been a champion for equal treatment under the law for members of the LBGT community. During the 79th session, he was one of only five members who spoke out on the House floor against the amendment that bans marriage between same-sex couples in Texas. When the constitutional amendment passed both houses of the legislature and was slated to appear on the November ballot for ratification by the voters, Representative Anchia spoke throughout his district to groups representing many diverse communities, in an effort to persuade them that the amendment was discriminatory and unjust. And even though the amendment passed statewide, it was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters of District 103.
For three sessions in a row, Representative Anchia has filed legislation that removes the current requirement that only two parents of opposite genders may be listed on an adopted child’s birth certificate. He will file the bill again for the 84th session.