Category Archives: Legislative Session Update

86th Legislative Session Update #6

“Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.” GOVERNOR: State of the State Address – On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature. He started out by saying, “I am honored to work with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen as we embark on this new session. On this very day, about 1,000 new residents will call Texas home. That happens almost every day. Whether you like that or not, we can never lose sight of the reason so many people make life altering decisions to uproot their families and businesses and chart new paths – paths that guided them to Texas. They were fed up with big government policies increasingly running their lives and imposing burdensome regulations. They were taxed out of their states that some of their families…

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86th Legislative Session Update #5

Thanks to McAllen Mayor Jim Darling for the city’s legislative update and agenda.   At our next Government Affairs Council Meeting, on Wednesday February 27, we’ll have County Judge Richard Cortez share the county’s legislative agenda and issues. STATEWIDE: Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act – On Thursday (last week), Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen held a joint press conference to announce their support for the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act. They were joined at the press conference by Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), who filed SB 2, the Senate version of the bill; and Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), who filed HB 2, the House version (the bills are identical). Governor Abbott said, “These two bills start the conversation for meaningful property tax reform and relief for all Texas taxpayers. As I said at the opening of the 86th Legislative session, we are going to solve school…

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86th Legislative Session Update #4

SENATE: The Senate was in session on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week conducting routine business. Senate Committees – Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced Senate committee assignments last Friday. Senate Committees and Chairs: Agriculture – Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) Administration – Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) Business & Commerce – Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) Criminal Justice – John Whitmire (D-Houston) Education – Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) Finance – Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) Health & Human Services – Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) Higher Education – Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) Intergovernmental Relations – Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) Natural Resources & Economic Development – Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) Nominations – Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) Property Tax – Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) State Affairs – Joan Huffman (R-Houston) Transportation – Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) Veteran Affairs & Border Security – Donna Campbell (R-San Antonio) Water & Rural Affairs – Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) Facts About Senate Committees: Number of Committees – The number of Senate committees increased from 14 to 16. Republican Committee Chairs – In 2017, Republicans chaired 12 of the…

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86th Legislative Session Update #3

The Texas Legislature is 90% about the budget/money and 10% poetry. This week’s legislative update looks at what is being proposed by the Senate and the House. House and Senate Budgets – On Tuesday night, the Legislative Budget Board released details of the House budget proposal. It has not been officially filed yet, but it will eventually be introduced as HB 1. On Wednesday, Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) filed SB 1, the Senate’s budget proposal. Here is a comparison: All Funds – The House budget has an all funds total of $247.227 billion. SB 1 has an all funds total of $242.867 billion, $4.36 billion less than the House proposal. General Government – The House budget proposal has a 10.3 percent decrease over the current biennium, or $773.8 million less. SB 1 has a 17.6 percent decrease, or $1.317 billion less. Health and Human Services – The House budget proposal has a 1.5…

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86th Legislative Session Update #2

The 86th session of the Texas Legislature was kicked off at noon on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. As prescribed by the Constitution, the regular session of the legislature will last for 140 days. The last day of the session will be May 27, 2019. Both the Senate and House were in session on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week. On Thursday, they held a joint session to officially canvas the votes for Governor and Lt. Governor, a formality that paved the way for next week’s inauguration. The Senate and House gave each other the required permission to adjourn for more than three days. They will take off Monday and will be back in session on Tuesday of next week. Welcoming Senate and House Members – Governor Greg Abbott made welcoming speeches in both the Senate and House chambers on Tuesday. He thanked the members for being willing to serve in the legislature,…

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86th Legislative Session Update

Here are the Interim report recommendations from the Senate Finance committee:   BUDGET: Senate Finance Committee – On November 30th, the Senate Finance Committee issued its interim report. Committee Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) said, “I appreciate the hard work of the Senate Finance Committee members over the interim to delve into key fiscal issues such as tax policy, fee structure, and the Economic Stabilization Fund. We took a closer look at funding priorities, including education, transportation and health-related services. Additionally, at every hearing we studied our costs associated with Hurricane Harvey, ensuring that communities have the resources they need to rebuild and that available federal funding is being maximized.” The committee’s charges, conclusions and recommendations are: Hurricane Harvey Impact – Monitor all funds currently being used to address Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery. Identify ways to maximize the use of federal funds and ensure the efficient use of state funds. Evaluate…

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