On 9/15/2015, Texas State Representative Cecil Bell provided a legislative update to the Magnolia Rotary Club members. Representative Cecil Bell is shown in the photo.
Kelly McDonald introduced Texas State representative Cecil Bell to the membership and explained that he only had about 20 minutes before he left. As part of her introduction, Kelly explained that as a result of redistricting in 2011, District 3 was moved from northwest Texas to northwest Houston.  On May 29, 2012, Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. became the first state representative for newly-formed District 3. Rep. Bell has served in the 83rd and 84th Legislative Sessions. Continuing with Representative Bell's introduction, Kelly explained that Rep. Bell is a sixth generation Texan whose family has been in the State of Texas since 1852.  The oldest of three siblings, Rep. Bell was born in Rosenberg but raised all across Texas.

A 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist for the Southwest Region, Rep. Bell serves as the CEO of six active enterprises, providing clients with a variety of services and creating jobs for Texans.  Driven by his strong entrepreneurial nature, Rep. Bell has been self-employed at B-5 Construction Co., Inc. since 1983, constructing water and wastewater treatment facilities.  Tejas Underground Utilities, incorporated in 1997, provides installation of underground utilities.

Rep. Bell’s support for the future of our community and willingness to volunteer his personal time and resources can be seen in his community service.  He has served as the Chairman of the Greater Magnolia Economic Development Partnership and President of the Magnolia ISD School Board of Trustees.  He is a charter member of the local rotary and also supports his local FFA, youth clubs, area churches and community organizations.

Rep. Bell remains Chairman of the Montgomery County Pct. 5 TCLEOSE Training Facility and serves as a Major in the Engineering Group of the Texas State Guard.  As a Life Member of the NRA and the TSRA, Rep. Bell believes in our 2nd Amendment right to have and bear arms.

Rep. Bell’s cow/calf ranching operations, located in Leon and Freestone Counties, demonstrate his personal commitment to his Texas heritage and to agriculture in Texas.

In recognition of his efforts to advance, support, and vote for conservative policy positions in the 83rd Texas Legislature, Rep. Bell earned the Courageous Conservative Award from the Texas Conservative Coalition, the Lone Star Conservative Leader Award from the Texas Conservative Roundtable, and was named the Voice of the Conservative Vote by Texas GOP Vote. He was named a Champion of Free Enterprise by the Texas Business Association and a Guardian of Business by the National Federation of Independent Businesses

In January 2015, Rep. Bell introduced legislation, House Bill 623, which eliminates the salary, pension, and other benefits from any Texas state employee who issues a same-sex marriage license. The bill includes a provision which immunizes Texas from legal action challenging the proposed law by mandating that state courts dismiss any such challenges and award court costs and attorney’s fees to the state.

Bell is an advocate of expanding career and technology training at public high schools so that interested, motivated students can enter the job market without following the college or university route, for which they may be unsuited.

Rep. Bell met his high school sweetheart and now-wife, Jo Ann, at the 1979 National Meeting of the Beta Club Honor Society.  The Bells moved to Magnolia in 1993.  He and Jo Ann have two boys.  Cecil “Trey” Bell, III is a 2010 graduate of Magnolia West High School and Charlie is a senior at Tarleton State University.  The Bell family attends the Magnolia Church of Christ, where Rep. Bell served many years as a Deacon. Cecil Bell is also a member of the Magnolia Rotary Club.

Representative Cecil Bell told everyone that he only had a short time but would try to say something about some of the Texas House Bills that he has been involved with:

Bills without an effective date did not pass.

  • H.B. 181, relating to information printed by school districts on high school diplomas
    • Removes the requirement that a high school diploma contain a student’s endorsements and achievements, correcting an error from last session and saving school districts time and money.
    • Effective immediately
  • H.B. 389, relating to the Montgomery County Hospital District
    • Aligns the election date for the Montgomery County Hospital District to run concurrently with November elections for other offices and aligns the district’s competitive bidding threshold with other hospital districts.
    • Effective Sept. 1, 2015
  • H.B. 479, relating to the transfer of the regional emergency medical dispatch resource centers program to the Commission on State Emergency Communications and a pilot project to provide emergency telemedicine medical services in rural areas
    • Moves the Emergency Medical Dispatch Resource Center located in Conroe to the Commission on State Emergency Communications, where the intent of the program is better aligned with the agency. An amendment added creates a 9-1-1 telemedicine medical services pilot program.
    • Effective Sept. 1, 2015
  • H.B. 1418, relating to the annexation of certain territory by general law municipalities
    • Provides statutory authority for cities to annex a property in its ETJ if the owner of a noncontiguous area voluntarily petitions the city to be annexed.
    • Rolled into H.B. 1949, effective Sept. 1, 2015
Some of the Bills that did not pass due to the recent Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriages anywhere is the United States:
  • H.B. 3602, relating to the religious freedom of a conscientious objector to act or fail to act with respect to certain issues of marriage, sexual relations, and gender
    • Protects individuals from adverse action if a person has a sincerely held religious belief.
  • H.B. 4105, relating to the issuance, enforcement, and recognition of marriage licenses and declarations of informal marriage
    • Expressly prohibits state or local government employees from recognizing, granting, or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses. Also prohibits courts from recognizing same-sex licenses and requires a court to dismiss actions challenging the law.
  • H.C.R. 29, declaring that presidential executive orders cannot interfere with states’ rights
    • Declares presidential executive orders moot in Texas if they interfere with state actions or activities.
Representative Cecil Bell had to leave at this point but told everyone that more information can be found at his site at http://www.cecilbelljr.com/legislation/.
Kelly McDonald than made a presentation to Deborah Rose Miller of a plaque from the Texas Monthly Magazine honoring Deborah as an "Outstanding Rising Star Real Estate Professional". The photo of that presentation is below.