Featured Voice of the Texas GOP: Harvey Hilderbran
by TexasGOPVote on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM
Rep. Harvey Hilderbran was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1988 and was most recently re-elected in 2010 to serve the people of District 53.
In 2011, he was appointed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which deals will all legislation relating to the state’s tax code. As chairman of the committee, Hilderbran sits on the Legislative Audit Committee and the Legislative Budget Board. The board prepares the draft appropriations bill along with budget estimates for each state agency. Hilderban also serves as a member of the Redistricting Committee, State Affairs Committee, and the Select Committee on Voter Identification and Voter Fraud. During the 80th Legislative Session, he served as chairman of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism. As chairman of the committee, he authored a comprehensive funding bill aimed at restoring excellence to the state park system, as well as our state's historic sites. H.B. 12 provided approximately $182 million in additional funding in the 2008-2009 biennium for state and local parks. The substantial increase in funding is a huge step in the much-needed improvements in park repairs and operations. Rep. Hilderbran was named "Legislator of the Year" in 2007 by the Texas Municipal League. He was also the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Legislator Award by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society; and most recently was awarded the "Frank Madla Award" from the Texas Deer Association for Representative of the Year. During his tenure with the House of Representatives, Rep. Hilderbran served as chairman of the Human Services Committee for three sessions. During that time he wrote and passed 1995's landmark welfare reform legislation. In 1997, he was instrumental in passing the state=s most significant legislation protecting residents of Texas nursing homes.
Rep. Hilderbran was the 1999 recipient of the Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship and the 2004 recipient of the Vietnam Veterans of America Texas State Council's Legislator of the Year Award. He was named Freshman of the Year by the Young Conservatives of Texas, and also won the Legislative Courage Award for his involvement in school finance reform. In 2001, he was named Legislator of the Year by Texas Young Republicans. In 2003, he created the Hilderbran Scholars Fund.
His first public policy assignment was service as a congressional legislative assistant for agriculture and small business issues in Washington D.C. in the mid-1980s. He later served as assistant director of state affairs for the Texas Farm Bureau, where he concentrated his efforts on property and water rights.
In the private sector, Rep. Hilderbran has worked in real estate, ranching, advertising and business management and marketing. Born in Uvalde in 1960, he is a 1983 graduate of Texas Tech University. He lives with his wife, Tracy, and their two daughters in Kerrville, where they are members of St. Peter's Church.
"New taxes aren't the only way to increase state revenue. Instead, we can generate literally hundreds of millions of dollars by encouraging compliance with tax laws, increasing tax penalties, closing loopholes to address inequalities in the tax code, strengthening the audit system, and changing collection timelines."