Republican Mike Krusee has represented District 52 since 1992 in the Texas House of Representatives. District 52 includes north Austin, Williamson County, and the home of Dell Computers in the City of Round Rock. He currently serves as Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, is a member of the Executive Council of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and a board member of the Congress for New Urbanism.
Krusee’s political platform on the issues of abortion, marriage, and education support the conservative Republican points of view. He supported SB30 that requires a physician to obtain permission from a parent, guardian, or acting conservator in order to perform an abortion on a minor. Krusee recognized the definition of marriage in the Texas Constitution as a union of one man and one woman by co-authoring Bill HJR 6 in the 79th session. Texas voters subsequently passed this proposition. During his early years in office, he
worked on education reform with then Governor Bush to enact the “No Child Left Behind” program enabling all children to succeed in school. He also supported teacher pay raises, educational funding to school districts, and additional district funding to be spent on classroom instruction. In the 78th session, he co-authored HB 2522, which enabled Texas State University to expand its facilities to Round Rock therefore providing additional education opportunities for area residents. Krusee’s conservative Republican views have embraced pro-life, pro-education, and opposed same-sex marriage.
One of the most noteworthy bills of 2003 was HB 3588 authored by Representative Krusee. It provided the Driving Responsibility Program. It assessed surcharges for several driving offenses including drunk driving. In addition to the original fine, surcharges are assessed for three years. For example, a first time DUI offender would have to pay a surcharge total of $3,000 ($1,000 x 3 years) with part of the money funding trauma care. Krusee made headline news when he was arrested for driving under the influence on April 30, 2008. This was an embarrassing moment for Krusee. He went from the “statehouse to the jailhouse”.
Conservative Republican’s might question Krusee’s endorsement of “new urbanism” which they feel gives government more control, hurts the free market, and increases regulations. Krusee on the other hand believes that “new urbanism” strips the layers of government regulation and encourages free market. Because of his beliefs, he co-authored HB 3588 in 2003. HB 3588 created a new model with public-private partnerships for funding new toll roads in Texas. Central Texans’ benefited with the creation of Toll Roads 130, 183A, and 45. The building of these specific toll roads was part of the largest and fastest construction project in Texas history. Prior to 2007, several contracts were awarded to private companies to construct and operate various toll roads in Texas. One of the main contracts executed with Cintra-Zachry, a Spanish firm, would have allowed the building of the Texas portion of the Trans Texas Corridor (“TTC”) extending from Canada to Mexico through Texas. In 2007, through Senate Bill 792, the legislators passed a two-year moratorium on previously awarded toll road contracts. As Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Krusee supported this moratorium in order to allow the State of Texas and the public to study the economic implications that the public-private partnership TTC would have on Texas. In addition, some legislators have questioned the implications of keeping America free and independent if such public-private contracts are implemented.
During the 80th session in 2007, Representative Krusee authored or co-authored various legislation related to education, health issues, freedom of speech, and animals. One of the most publicized bills in our area involved the death of a Rockdale woman, Lillian Stiles, who was attacked by two pit bull dogs. HB 1355 “Lillian’s Law” provides that a dog owner will be held criminally liable if they fail to secure the dog(s) while off their property and the dog causes serious bodily injury or death in an unprovoked attack. HB 1098 stated that an immunization against human papillomavirus was not required for a student’s admission to an elementary and secondary school. HB 3678 requires a school district to adopt a policy enabling students to express religious viewpoints during school events, graduations, in class assignments, and in noncurricular activities. It prohibits the district from discriminating against such expression. HB 2074 allows Temple Junior College to establish a teaching center in Eastern Williamson County in conjunction with several colleges to provide higher education opportunities.
Representative Krusee’s father was in the Air Force and they moved often within the United States and abroad. Krusee attended Georgetown University, got married, and moved to Round Rock, Texas to begin his career. His professional work history includes working for a document retrieval company, educational consultant, paralegal, director of a non-profit organization, and small business owner. He is married and has five children. Although he has been a successful representative for the past 16 years, he had no prior political experience. Representative Mike Krusee has announced that he is not seeking re-election at the end of his term. He says that he will remain a busy husband, father, and businessman. Krusee plans to continue to support his passion for the light rail system for Central Texas and his urbanist principles.