Geanie Morrison

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Geanie Williams Morrison
Texas State Representative from District 30 (Victoria, Aransas, Calhoun, De Witt, Goliad, and Refugio counties)
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1999
Preceded by Steve Holzheauser
Personal details
Born (1950-10-06) October 6, 1950 (age 64)
Victoria, Victoria County
Texas, USA
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jack Ryberg Morrison, Jr.
Children Lauri Gean Morrison Perry

Matt Clayton Morrison

Residence Victoria, Texas
Alma mater Victoria College
Occupation Homemaker

Geanie Williams Morrison (born October 6, 1950)[1]is a homemaker from Victoria, Texas, who has been since 1999 a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 30, based in Victoria County but including as well Aransas, Calhoun, De Witt, Goliad, and Refugio counties. Victoria is located 125 miles west of Houston off U.S. Highway 59 in the southeastern portion of the state.[2]

Background[edit]

Victoria native Morrison is one of four children of the late Vesta and Gene Williams. She has a sister, Carol Williams of rural Prairie Lea in Caldwell County, Texas, and two brothers, Jeff Williams of Victoria and Wayne Williams of Palo Alto, California.[3]

Morrison is a member of the Junior League of Victoria. She has served as secretary and treasurer of the Texas Conservative Coalition, a bipartisan group of lstate legislators. She is a member and former officer of the National Council of State Legislatures. She is a former executive director of the Governor's Commission for Women, a position which she held under then Governor George W. Bush.[1][3]

The interest group, the Texas Community College Teachers Association once named Morrison, who attended a community college, Victoria College, as its "Legislator of the Year". In 2008, she was named "Distinguished Citizen of the Year" by the South Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America.[4]

She is married to Jack Ryberg Morrison, Jr. (born c. 1947), a partner of the Certified Public Accounting firm, Bumgardner Morrison Company, LLP. The couple has two children, Lauri Gean Morrison Perry (born c. 1972) and Matt Clayton Morrison (born c. 1978). Lauri and her husband, Christopher Perry, reside in Austin with their two children, Cole Matthew Perry and Ella Simone Perry. The Morrisons' son, Matt, is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a lawyer in San Antonio, Texas.[1][5][3]

Political life[edit]

In 1998, the Republican incumbent Representative Steven Glenn Holzheauser (born c. 1953) of Victoria did not seek reelection to the District 30 House seat, which he had won over fellow incumbent Tim Von Dohlen, a Democrat from Goliad, in the 1992 general election following redistricting from the 1990 census.[6]Geanie Morrison narrowly defeated John Taylor Starkey (born c. 1958) of Victoria to claim the Republican nomination for the seat in the 1998 primary election. She polled 3,183 votes (50.9 percent) to Starkey's 3,065 (49.1 percent).[7]Morrison then claimed the seat in the general election by defeating the Democrat Vernon N. Reaser (born c. 1965), of Victoria, 16,176 (52.7 percent) to 14,494 (47.3 percent).[8]

After her initial election, Morrison was mostly unopposed for reelection every two years. However, in the 2012 general election, she faced a Democratic attorney, Alex R. Hernandez, Jr. (born c. 1971) of Victoria, whom she defeated, 38,304 (68.3 percent) to 17,750 (31.7 percent).[9]

Morrison is the chairman of the House Elections Committee and serves as well on the Insurance Committee.[1]

As a freshman legislator, Morrison authored the Texas "Baby Moses law", which was enacted in 1999 to offer desperate women an alternative to abandonment of their newborn babies. The other forty-nine states have since passed similar measures. Morrison said that nearly one hundred newborns in Texas alone have been saved from abandonment.[3][4]

In 2009, Morrison teamed with State Senator Glenn Hegar to introduce legislation establishing as a four-year institution the University of Houston–Victoria, a separate entity from the University of Houston System. The measure was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools quickly approved the admission of the first underclassmen to UHV. The institution was already admitting junior and senior students and granting degrees, accordingly.[10]

Voting records[edit]

In the 2013 legislative session, Morrison supported a ban on abortion after twenty weeks of gestation; the bill passed the House, 96-49. She voted for companion legislation to increase medical and licensing requirements of abortion providers. In 2011, Morrison voted for an amendment to forbid state funding of facilities that perform abortions; the measure passed the House 90-44. She voted in 2011 to require women procuring an abortion to first undergo a sonogram.[11] Despite those high-profile votes, Texas Right to Life rated her only 33 percent favorable in 2013, but 62 percent in 2011 and 100 percent in 2005.[12]

Morrison voted to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure passed the House, 73-58. She supported legislation to provide marshals for school security as a separate law-enforcement entity. She supported the requirement of immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House approved, 71-61. She supported the law to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. Morrison voted to prohibit texting while driving. She voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. She voted against the "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61. Morrison voted to forbid the state from enforcing federal regulations of firearms. She vote to allow college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. She voted for the redistricting bills for the state House, the Texas Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. Morrison voted against term limits for certain state officials.[11]

In 2011, Morrison voted to ban smoking in public places; the measure passed the House, 73-66. That same year she opposed a measure to reduce funding for state agencies. She opposed legislation to establish corporal punishment as a method of discipline in public schools, but the measure passed, 84-55. She voted for a sales tax on Internet transactions in Texas; the measure passed the House, 125-20.[11]

Legislative ratings[edit]

In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Morrison 75 percent favorable. Eagle Forum rated her 50 percent in 1999, when she first arrived in the legislature. The Young Conservatives of Texas gave her a cumulative score of 70 percent since 1999. The Texas League of Conservation Voters rated her 79 percent in 2013; the Sierra Club, 17 percent in 2011. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, founded by Michael Quinn Sullivan, rated her 56 percent, but 75 percent in 2011. The Texas Association of Business rated her 87 percent in 2013. The National Rifle Association rated her 92 percent.[12]

On March 4, 2014, Morrison is running unopposed in the Republican primary for a ninth consecutive House term.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Geanie Morrison's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Texas House Member: Rep. Morrison, Geanie W. (District 30)". house.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Morrison: Texas State Representative District 30". geaniemorrison.com. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "State Rep. Geanie W. Morrison District 30 (R-Victoria)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Jack Ryberg Morrison". intelius.com. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ "1992 General election returns (House District 30)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  7. ^ "1998 Republican primary election returns (House District 30)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ "1998 General election returns (House District 30)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ "2012 General election returns (House District 30)". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ "University of Houston-Victoria Overview". uhv.edu. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Geanie Morrison's Voting Records". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Geanie Morrison's Ratings and Endorsements". votesmart.org. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Steve Holzheauser
Texas State Representative from District 30 (Victoria, Aransas, Calhoun, De Witt, Goliad, and Refugio counties)

Geanie Williams Morrison
1999–

Succeeded by
Incumbent