86th Legislative Session – Bills that Passed

HB 1 by John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) and Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is the general appropriations bill. It provides:

  • $250.652 billion in all funds;
  • $118.859 billion in general revenue funds;
  • $6.19 billion in general revenue dedicated funds;
  • $86.439 billion in federal funds; and
  • $39.165 in other funds

All Funds Comparison to Previous Sessions:

  • $250.652 billion for the 2020-2021 biennium, compares to:
  • $216.758 billion in the 2018-2019 biennium;
  • $216.399 in the 2016-2017 biennium and
  • $196.9 billion in the 2014-2015 biennium.

Budget Highlights:

Article I, General Government:

  • $10 million to provide grants to Cultural Arts Districts across the state;
  • $1.9 million to expand the Elections Fraud Unit at the Office of the Attorney General;
  • $3.5 million to expand the Human Trafficking Section at the Office of the Attorney General to handle additional prosecutions;
  • $7.7 million increase in funding for rape crisis centers to expand capacity to every area of the state and handle caseload growth;
  • $1 million to expand access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in underserved areas (SB 71);
  • $300 million to maintain the grant pool for Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas grants;
  • $14.7 million to replace outdated 9-1-1 equipment;
  • $6 million to fund grants for Sexual Assault Forensic Exam ready facilities to help deliver specialty care to victims;
  • $2.9 million to provide additional staff for multiple state historic sites;
  • $7.2 million to provide for multi-factor risk authentication functionality at high-risk agencies;
  • $7.3 million for a new licensing operations system at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to improve service and security for licensees;
  • $5.3 million for anti-human trafficking-related efforts at establishments licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission; and
  • $1.9 million to provide additional claims representation and counseling services at the Texas Veterans Commission.

Article II, Health and Human Services:

  • $346.9 million for women’s health services;
  • an additional $59 million to increase outpatient community mental health treatment capacity;
  • an increase of $26 million for an additional 50 community inpatient psychiatric beds;
  • $341.6 million for the Early Childhood Intervention program;
  • $20 million in additional resources to children’s advocacy centers to address the increasing demand for services;
  • an additional $5.5 million to provide enhanced services to victims of family violence;
  • over $100 million for rural hospitals to increase inpatient rates, including $16 million to provide a targeted add-on payment for labor and delivery services;
  • $208.8 million to address critical deferred maintenance needs at our state hospitals and state supported living centers;
  • $220.7 million to provide long-term care rate increases, including those to address attendant wages;
  • $64.3 million to expand Community Based Care into two new regions and transition three regions into Stage 2;
  • $12 million to provide targeted provider rate increases to build additional capacity to serve foster children;
  • additional caseworkers to lower caseloads at Child Protective Services; and
  • $7 million to the Department of State Health Services to address maternal mortality and morbidity.

Article III, Public Education:

  • $2.4 billion to fund enrollment growth for public education, based on an estimated 65,000 additional students per year;
  • a $9 billion overall increase for public education and tax relief to conform with the final decisions on HB 3 and SB 2
  • $8 million, an increase of $3 million, for Pathways in Technology Early College High School;
  • $60 million, a $30M million increase, to Communities in Schools;
  • $5 million for the continued funding of Amachi; and
  • $230 million to maintain current health insurance premiums and benefits for our retired teachers through TRS-Care.

Article III, Higher Education:

  • An additional $80 million for TEXAS Grant to support 70 percent of all eligible students;
  • $157 million, an increase of $60M, to address health care workforce shortages, specifically to maintain the state’s 1.1 to 1 ratio of graduate medical education slots in relation to the number of medical school graduates;
  • An increase of $100 million for the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium;
  • a $200 million increase to the general academic formulas including research funding;
  • Increased funding by $72 million for community colleges;
  • a $45 million increase in funding to the Texas State Technical College formula; and
  • $160 million to increase funding for our health-related institutions, including $13.4 million for UT Southwestern’s new mission-specific formula.

Article IV, the Judiciary:

  • An additional $3 million to support basic civil legal services for veterans and their families;
  • $10 million in funding to provide basic civil legal services to victims of sexual assault;
  • $29.6 million to implement a uniform case management system to provide magistrate judges immediate access to critical information and to speed the timely reporting of court records for federal background checks;
  • $350,000 to support a statewide protective order registry to better protect victims of assault and violence;
  • $3.6 million to create nine new child protection courts, increasing capacity for child protective service cases in high-needs areas;
  • $5 million for a pilot project to identify and provide special representation for indigent defendants with mental illness;
  • An additional $5 million to in grants to counties to support indigent defense costs;
  • $4.8 million to fully implement a statewide Guardianship Compliance Project; and
  • A new attorney at the Special Prosecution Unit to focus on juvenile sexual assault cases

Article V, Public Safety:

  • $84 million to retain correctional and parole officers at the Department of Criminal Justice;
  • $5.3 million for education and vocational pilot programs for offenders at the Department of Criminal Justice;
  • $25 million for armory maintenance at the Military Department;
  • An additional sexual assault coordinator position at the Military Department;
  • $52 million to expand capacity at state crime labs and prioritize the testing of sexual assault kits;
  • $210 million to address wait times and improve driver license operations, including 762 new staff to fill vacant counters and a new facility in Denton; and
  • $1 million to fund a safe gun storage campaign administered by the Department of Public Safety.

Article VI, Natural Resources:

  • 100-percent appropriation of the sporting goods sales tax to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department including $12.5 million for the development of Palo Pinto State Park, $6 million for interoperable radios and law enforcement equipment for game wardens and disaster response teams, and $99.3 million for deferred maintenance of facilities and wildlife fish hatcheries;
  • $28.1 million to improve technology at the Railroad Commission, including 22 additional oil and gas and pipeline safety inspectors, and $39.1 million for oil and gas well-plugging;
  • $1.2 billion, an increase of $75.3 million in All Funds, for food and nutrition programs at the Texas Department of Agriculture, including: the Surplus Food Program, home-delivered meals for at-risk adults and children, School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and After School Care Program;
  • $2.6 million to create a new Skimmer Fraud Unit at the Texas Department of Agriculture for the implementation of detection, investigation, and enforcement program that will crack down on fuel pump credit card skimmers;
  • $45 million to maintain the state’s investment in air quality monitoring systems at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and
  • $1.5 million and 10 FTEs for a dedicated team full-time disaster response staff at the General Land Office.

Article VII, Economic Development:

  • More than $31 billion to address the state’s transportation needs, including $3.2 billion under Proposition 1 and the full $5 billion transfer to the State Highway Fund under Proposition 7;
  • $1 million and 9 new FTEs at the Department of Motor Vehicles to continue customer service capability improvements; and
  • A rider to maximize adult literacy performance in Texas and initiate a review of the Adult Literacy Program at the Texas Workforce Commission.

Article VIII, Regulatory:

  • $1 million and 8 FTEs for a dedicated Anti-human Trafficking Unit at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation;
  • $690,000 to improve operational, investigative, and customer service capabilities at the Texas Medical Board; and
  • $332,000 to increase utility security oversight at the Public Utility Commission.

(Summary is from Senator Jane Nelson, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.)

Status: Sent to the governor.

HB 440 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) and Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) requires political subdivisions to spend the proceeds of local general obligation bonds only for the specific purpose for which the bonds were authorized, or to retire the bonds, unless the authorized purposes were accomplished or abandoned and the voters approve the new purpose (for political subdivisions other than school districts) or approved by the school district’s board of trustees in a separate vote in a public meeting (for school districts). A sample ballot for a local general obligation bond election must be posted on a taxing unit’s website at least 21 days before the election. It prohibits a taxing unit from issuing general obligation bonds to purchase, improve, or construct improvements or to purchase personal property if the weighted average maturity of the bonds exceeds 120 percent of the reasonably expected weighted average economic life of the improvements and personal property financed with the issue of bonds.

Status: Sent to the governor.

HB 477 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) and Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) requires ballot language for issuance of local debt obligations to include:

  • a general description of the purpose for which the debt obligations are to be authorized;
  • the total principal amount of the debt obligations to be authorized; and
  • that taxes sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the debt obligations will be imposed.

It requires political subdivisions with at least 250 registered voters to prepare a voter information document for each proposition to be voted on and to post that document in the same manner as a debt obligation election order. The document must include:

  • the ballot language;
  • the principal of the debt obligations to be authorized;
  • the estimated interest for the debt obligations to be authorized;
  • the estimated combined principal and interest required to pay on time and in full the debt obligations to be authorized;
  • the principal of all outstanding debt obligations of the political subdivision;
  • the estimated remaining interest on all outstanding debt obligations of the political subdivision;
  • the estimated combined principal and interest required to pay on time and in full all outstanding debt obligations of the political subdivision;
  • the estimated maximum annual increase in the amount of taxes that would be imposed on a residence homestead in the political subdivision with an appraised value of $100,000 to repay the debt obligations to be authorized; and
  • any other information that the political subdivision considers relevant or necessary to explain the information required.

Status: Sent to the governor.

HB 2706 by Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) and Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) updates statutes regarding authorized investments for governmental entities. It allows investment in commercial paper if the commercial paper has a started maturity of 365 (instead of 270) days or fewer from the date of issuance. An investment officer of a local government may invest bond proceeds or pledged revenue only in accordance with statutory provisions governing the debt issuance or the agreement and the local government’s investment policy regarding debt issuance. It requires the Texas Education Agency to conduct a study (and report to the legislature by June 1, 2020) regarding the investment and management of funds by school districts and charters. It requires school districts and charters to provide information regarding:

  • the district’s or school’s investments, including asset allocations, fees, and risks; and
  • the district’s or school’s cash flow, fund balances, and other revenue sources.

Status: Sent to the governor.

HB 3001 by Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) and Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) requires the comptroller’s database on state agency and special purpose districts to include financial information. The information can have a link to the district’s website or a clear statement describing the location of the separately posted information instead of reproducing the information in the database.

Status: Sent to the governor.

HB 3317 by John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) and Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) dedicates and rededicates revenue for use in certifying the budget.

Status: Sent to the governor.

HB 3598 by Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) and Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) provides that personal property is presumed abandoned if, for longer than three years, the location of the owner of the property (instead of the existence and location of the owner) is unknown to the holder of the property. It clarifies the reporting and records retention requirements for holders of unclaimed property. The comptroller is authorized to advertise or otherwise promote the unclaimed property program in any available media to provide effective and efficient notice to reported owners. The attorney general is required to assist the comptroller in enforcing statutory provisions relating to unclaimed property at the comptroller’s request.

Status: Sent to the governor.

SB 30 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and Dade Phelan (R-Nederland) prescribes ballot language for a proposition seeking voter approval for the issuance of bonds.

School District Bonds – It requires school district bonds for the following purposes to be stated in a separate proposition:

  1. the construction, acquisition, or equipment of a stadium with seating capacity for more than 1,000 spectators;
  2. the construction, acquisition or equipment of a natatorium;
  3. the construction, acquisition, or equipment of another recreational facility other than a gymnasium, playground, or play area;
  4. the construction, acquisition, or equipment of a performing arts center;
  5. the construction, acquisition, or equipment of housing for teachers as determined by the district to be necessary to have a sufficient number of teachers for the district; and
  6. an acquisition or update of technology equipment, other than equipment used for school security purposes or technology infrastructure integral to the construction of a facility.

Each separate ballot proposition must state the principal amount of the bonds to be issued that constitutes the cost for construction of that portion of the building or complex attributable to the building or to the traditional classroom facilities.

Bonds For Political Subdivisions – Political subdivisions means a municipality, county, school district, and special taxing district. It requires the ballot for a measure seeking voter approval of the issuance of debt obligations by a political subdivision to specifically state:

  • plain language description of the single specific purposes for which the debt obligations are to be authorized;
  • the total principal amount of the debt obligations to be authorized; and
  • that taxes sufficient to pay the principal of the interest on the debt obligations will be imposed.

It requires every single specific purpose for which debt obligations requiring voter approval are to be issued must be printed on the ballot as a separate proposition.

Status: Signed by the governor on June 7, 2019, and takes effect on September 1, 2019.

SB 68 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) requires the Legislative Budget Board to perform a strategic fiscal review for each state agency concurrently with Sunset Advisory Commission review of the agency. The report must contain:

  • a description of the discrete activities the state agency is charged with performing and a justification for each activity by reference to a legal authority, an evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the state agency’s policies, management, fiscal affairs, and operations in relation to each activity;
  • for each activity identified, a quantitative estimate of any adverse effects that reasonably may be expected to result if the activity were discontinued, together with a description of the methods by which the adverse effects were estimated, and other analyses related to quantity and quality of service;
  • a ranking of the relative importance of the activities; and
  • recommendations to the legislature regarding whether funding of each activity should continue and, if so, at what level.

Status: Signed by the governor on June 7, 2019, and took immediate effect.

SB 69 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) eliminates the legislative committee that determines the sufficient balance for the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) and requires the comptroller to calculate the sufficient balance as 7 percent of the most recent general revenue-related biennial revenue estimate. It extends the Highway Fund split through 2034 (instead of 2024). It allows the comptroller to invest the ESF in an investment portfolio with at least 25 percent of the ESF balance to be invested in a manner that ensures its liquidity.

Status: Sent to the governor.

SB 241 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and Oscar Longoria (D-Mission) revises the deadlines, contents, recipients, and streamlines state agency reports. It implements recommendations by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission evaluating the usefulness of reports submitted by a state agency to other agencies.

Status: Signed by the governor on June 10, 2019, and takes effect on September 1, 2019.

SB 401 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) established the Joint Oversight Committee on Government Facilities to review deferred maintenance plans and receive implementation updates. The committee is composed of three members of the Senate appointed by the lt. governor and three members of the House appointed by the speaker. The committee is required to provide a written report to the legislature that identifies:

  1. the amount of money expended for deferred maintenance;
  2. planned deferred maintenance projects; and
  3. the status of ongoing and completed deferred maintenance projects.

Status: Signed by the governor on June 4, 2019, and took immediate effect.

SB 500 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) is the supplemental appropriations bill. Specifics include:

General Revenue Decreases of $1.031 billion in 2019:

  • Texas Education Agency (TEA) – Foundation School Fund – $903.3 million
  • General Land Office (GLO) – Rebuild Housing – $48.6 million
  • Texas Public Finance Authority – Debt Service – $35.079 million
  • Texas Facilities Commission – Lease Payments – $22.598 million
  • Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Enforcement – $21.8 million

General Revenue Appropriations Increases of $2.717 billion in 2019:

  • Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) – Medicaid Shortfall – $2 billion
  • TEA – Financial Support for IDEA – $219.6 million
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) – Correctional Managed Care – $190 million
  • Department of Family & Protective Services – Foster Care – $88.586 million
  • HHSC – Children’s Hospital Rate Increase – $50 million
  • HHSC – Mental Health State Hospital Services – $31.7 million
  • TDCJ – Officer Overtime – $30 million
  • Texas State Technical College – Abatement and Demolition Waco Campus – $29.645 million
  • Department of Family & Protective Services – Purchased Client Services – $21.252 million
  • HHSC – Healthy Texas Women – $10.3 million
  • HHSC – State Supported Living Centers – $10.1 million
  • Department of State Health Services – X Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy – $7.9 million
  • Department of Family and Protective Services – Relative Caregiver – $6.834 million
  • Board of Pharmacy – Prescription Monitoring Program Database – $6.1 million
  • Department of Public Safety – Crime Labs – $5.8 million
  • Library & Archives Commission – Facility Renovation – $4.4 million
  • HHSC – Early Childhood Interventions – $1.5 million
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – Litigation – $1.4 million
  • Kilgore College – Group Insurance – $1.24 million
  • Comptroller Judiciary Section – Longevity Pay – $523,295
  • Comptroller Judiciary Section – Visiting Judges – $400,000
  • TEA – Adult High School Diploma and Industry Certification Charter School Pilot Program – $37,657

Federal Fund Appropriations Decreases of $8.48 million in 2019:

  • Department of Family & Protective Services – Relative Caregiver – $8.48 million

Federal Fund Appropriations Increases of $2.155 billion in 2019:

  • HHSC – Medicaid Shortfall – $1.25 billion
  • Department of Family & Protective Services – Daycare – $5 million

Economic Stabilization Fund Appropriations Decreases of $2 million in 2019:

  • HHSC – State Hospital Construction – $2 million

Economic Stabilization Fund Appropriations Increases of $4.97 million in 2019:

  • Texas Water Development Board (WDB) – State Flood Plan Infrastructure projects – $793 million
  • Teacher Retirement System – State Contribution Additional Payment – $589 million
  • TEA – FSP Harvey Costs – $535.2 million
  • HHSC – State Hospital Construction – $445.4 million
  • WDB – Matching Funds for FEMA Public Assistance Grants – $365 million
  • WDB – Matching Funds for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants – $273 million
  • TEA – Post-Harvey Reimbursements to ISD’s – $271.3 million
  • Comptroller – Texas Tomorrow Fund – $211 million
  • GLO – Matching Funds, Army Corp of Engineers Programs – $200 million
  • Soil and Water Conservation Board – Dam Infrastructure Projects – $150 million
  • Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) – Transportation Infrastructure Grants – $125 million
  • HHSC – Harvey Costs – $110 million
  • Governor’s Office – Disaster Grants – $00 million
  • Governor’s Office – Border Surge Operations – $100 million
  • TEA – School Hardening – $100 million
  • Department of Public Safety (DPS) – Harvey Costs – $96.95 million
  • Texas A&M Forest Service – Wildfires – $54.91 million
  • TDCJ – Repair & Rehabilitation of Facilities – $54 million
  • WDB – State Flood Risk Maps – $47 million
  • TDCJ – Harvey Costs – $38.6 million
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Battleship Texas – $35.5 million
  • TDCJ – Surveillance Cameras – $26 million
  • GLO – Harvey Costs – $25.74 million
  • Texas Historical Commission – Courthouse Grants – $25 million
  • TDCJ – Corrections Information Technology System – $24.2 million
  • The University of Houston – Harvey Costs – $20.3 million
  • Department of State Health Services – Trauma Capacity Grants – $17 million
  • Texas Southern University – Thermal Plant & Steam Tunnel Maintenance – $16 million
  • Lone Star College – Harvey Costs – $13.1 million
  • Department of State Health Services – Emergency Generator – $12 million
  • TEA – Post Disaster Recovery – $10.93 million
  • The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute – Harvey Costs – $10.2 million
  • Texas Workforce Commission – Harvey Costs – $8.9 million
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Harvey Costs – $8 million
  • Juvenile Justice Department – Surveillance Cameras – $7.55 million
  • Lamar State College-Port Arthur – Harvey Costs – $6.3 million
  • DPS – Helicopter Replacement – $6.3 million
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Interoperable Radios – $5 million
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Wyler Aerial Tramway Repair – $5 million
  • TxDOT – Edinburg Airport – $5 million
  • The University of Houston Downtown – Harvey Costs – $4 million
  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs – Affordable Rental Housing – $4 million
  • Texas Historical Commission – Deferred Maintenance – $2.89 million
  • Texas A&M Forest Service – Harvey Costs – $2.46 million
  • Texas Historical Commission – Nimitz Museum – $2.15 million
  • Texas Historical Commission – Levi Jordan Plantation – $2 million
  • The University of Houston Victoria – Harvey Costs – $1.7 million
  • Lamar University – Harvey Costs – $1.4 million
  • Lamar Institute of Technology – Harvey Costs – $1.3 million
  • Lamar State College-Orange – Harvey Costs – $406,112
  • University of Houston Clear Lake – Harvey Costs – $83,668

Economic Stabilization Fund Appropriations Increases in 2020-2021 Biennium:

  • TEA – FSP Harvey Costs – $636 million
  • Teacher Retirement System – State Contribution – $524 million

General Revenue Dedicated Account Appropriation Increases of $2 million in 2019:

  • GLO – Abandoned Vessel Removal – $2 million

Status: Signed by the governor on June 6, 2019, and took immediate effect (with a few exceptions).

SB 962 by Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) extends the current split to the Economic Stabilization Fund and the Highway Fund shares of the annual oil and gas production tax transfers from general revenue through 2034 (instead of 2024).

Status: Sent to the governor.