86th Legislative Session Update #10

“There are always many choices, many paths to take, one is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.”

Bill Filing Deadline – The deadline for legislators to file bills to be considered by the Texas Senate and House this session was 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8, 2019. The filing deadline does not apply to local bills, concurrent resolutions or simple resolutions. A total of 4,773 HB’s/HJR’s and 2,508 SB’s/SJR’s were filed for a total of 7,281 bills. 2,830 were filed in the last week. That compares to:

2019 bills filed by the deadline – 7,281 (up 627 over 2017)

2017 bills filed by the deadline – 6,654

2015 bills filed by the deadline – 6,107

2013 bills filed by the deadline – 5,665

2011 bills filed by the deadline – 5,672

2009 bills filed by the deadline – 7,136

This past Thursday, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up:

SB 20 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would crack down on illicit massage businesses, enhance investigative and prosecutorial tools, and protect human trafficking victims. (These are the recommendations of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force.) It was voted out favorably as substituted.

SB 923 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would prohibit persons younger than 21 years of age from working at a sexually oriented business, and creates a common nuisance for sexually oriented businesses that allow children younger than 18 on their premises. It was voted out favorably.

SENATE:

The Senate was in session Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week. On Wednesday, they recessed until Thursday for first reading and referral of bills to committees.

This past Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed three bills: SB 319 by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) would authorize the Lubbock County Hospital District to employ and commission peace officers; SB 354 by Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) would allow small counties to receive pre-authorization to disburse funds for salaries and expenses; and SB 500 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), the supplemental budget bill. Senator Nelson said, “The supplemental budget provides funding for some of the Legislature’s key priorities – Hurricane Harvey relief, school safety and healthcare needs. It provides significant resources to improve the state’s flood control infrastructure and helps communities along the Gulf Coast rebuild. Because the budget we passed was essentially flat, SB 500 keeps our current biennial budget well within the constitutional spending limit.”

Lt. Governor’s PrioritiesThis past Monday, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced the bills he has selected as his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. Lt. Governor Patrick said, “Today I am announcing 30 priority bills for the Texas Senate for the 2019 Legislative Session. SB 1, at the top of the list, is a conservative Texas budget that includes $800 million for border security, funding for property tax reform and an across-the-board teacher pay raise. SB 2, property tax reform, is my top policy priority. SB 3, the across-the-board teacher pay raise, has already unanimously passed the Texas Senate.

True school finance reform starts with paying our teachers more. Aside from a parent, nothing has more impact on the future success of a child than a teacher. The remaining bills are not only my priorities, they are also priorities of the majority of the Texas Senate and the conservative majority of Texas. They strengthen our support for life, liberty and Texas values, increase protections for taxpayers, and ensure that our democracy remains strong and our economy will continue to grow and create jobs. I am proud to support this legislation and look forward to working with the senators who have authored these bills to get them passed and signed into law.” The 30 priorities include:

  • SB 1 – State Budget by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)
  • SB 2 – Property Tax Reform by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
  • SB 3 – Across-the-Board Pay Raise for Teachers by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)
  • SB 4 – School Finance Reform by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)
  • SB 5 – Increase the Homestead Exemption by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
  • SB 6 – Disaster Response Act by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
  • SB 7 – Flood Disaster Plan and Matching Fund by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
  • SB 8 – Statewide Flood Plan by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)
  • SB 9 – Enhance Election Security by Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • SB 10 – Student Targeted Mental Health by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)
  • SB 11 – School Safety by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)
  • SB 12 – Retired Teachers’ Security Act by Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
  • SB 13 – Ethics Reform by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
  • SB 14 – Expand Rural Broadband by Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville)
  • SB 15 – Protecting Local Free Markets by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
  • SB 16 – Police College Loan Forgiveness by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
  • SB 17 – Protecting Religious Liberties by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)
  • SB 18 – Protecting Campus Free Speech by Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
  • SB 19 – Protecting Second Amendment Rights by Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • SB 20 – Stop Human Trafficking by Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
  • SB 21 – Raise the Smoking Age to 21 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
  • SB 22 – Defund Abortion Providers by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
  • SB 23 – Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
  • SB 24 – Alternatives to Abortion Information Act by Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville)
  • SB 25 – Higher Education Credit Transfer by Royce West (D-Dallas)
  • SB 26 – Honoring State Parks Commitment by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
  • SB 27 – Stop Government Overreach by Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • SB 28 – Stop Frivolous Government Lawsuits by Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
  • SB 29 – Stop Taxpayer Funded Lobbying by Bob Hall (R-Edgewood)
  • SB 30 – Taxpayers Right to Know and Bond Transparency by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)

Total number of bills reported out of Senate Committees this session: 70

Total number of bills passed by the Senate this week: 3

Total number of bills passed by the Senate this session: 5

HOUSE:
The House was in session this past Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week conducting routine business. On Wednesday, they had a Congratulatory and Memorial Resolutions calendar.

Total number of bills reported out of House Committees this session: 45

Total number of bills passed by the House this session:  0

BUDGET:

This past Monday, the House Appropriations Committee considered budget riders. The committee also met on Tuesday, to consider budget recommendations for Article IX, salary requests, CAPPs, information technology, cybersecurity, legacy modernization, and capital needs.

This past Tuesday, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:

SB 241 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would eliminate and streamline state agency reports that no longer serve their intended purpose or are redundant of other reporting requirements. It was left pending.

Passed the Senate:

SB 500 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is the supplemental budget bill. It would provide $6 billion in state dollars to cover supplemental needs, $4.3 billion of which comes out of the Economic Stabilization Fund. It includes:

  • more than $3 billion for Harvey-related expenses;
  • $2.1 billion to address the Medicaid shortfall;
  • $100 million for school safety, with a Senate floor amendment that gives districts greater flexibility on the type of safety equipment they can buy);
  • $300 million to improve state hospital facilities;
  • $542 million to address pension liabilities for the Teacher Retirement System and provide retired teacher’s a 13th check up to $500;
  • $211 million to pay obligations of the Texas Tomorrow Fund;
  • $160 million to address the Correctional Managed Health Care shortfall; and
  • $100 million to refill the Governor’s Disaster Fund to help rebuild from natural disasters.

The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.

Reported From Committee:

HB 440 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would require a sample ballot for a local general obligation bond election to be posted on a taxing unit’s website at least 21 days before the election; and would add a new Chapter 1253 in the Government Code, “General Obligation Bonds Issued by Political Subdivisions” which would prohibit 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 items purchased. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services Committee.

HB 477 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would require 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 was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services Committee.

This past Tuesday, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:

SB 726 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would limit a bank’s investments to promote community development to a maximum of 25 percent of the bank’s unimpaired capital and surplus without prior authorization of the banking commissioner. It was left pending.

This past Wednesday, the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee took up:

SB 450 by Beverly Powell (D-Fort Worth) would extend from February 1st to April 1st of each year the deadline for economic development corporations to file their reports to the comptroller with information on their economic development activities, expenditures and assets. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.

Reported From Committee:

HB 303 by Dennis Paul (R-Webster) would add municipalities with a population of two million or more to the list of entities eligible to authorize the creation of a spaceport development corporation. It was voted out favorably from the House International Relations & Economic Development Committee.

HB 390 by Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) would allow counties to be designated by the Texas Economic Development Bank as a defense readjustment project if the county has an interlocal agreement with the municipality that has jurisdiction of the territory in which the project or activity will be located. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House International Relations & Economic Development Committee.

This Week:

Wednesday’s House Calendar:

HB 81 by Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) would make public funds expended by a governmental body for a parade, concert, or other entertainment event open to the general public subject to disclosure under the open records laws.

ENERGY:

This past Wednesday, the House State Affairs Committee took up:

HB 853 by Joe Moody (D-El Paso) would allow an electric utility that elects to deploy advanced metering and meter information networks to recover reasonable and necessary costs incurred in deploying advanced metering and meter information networks. It was left pending.

HB 986 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would require an electric utility that elects to deploy advanced metering to recover reasonable and necessary costs incurred in deploying advanced metering and meter information networks. It was left pending.

HB 1128 by Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) would prohibit the General Land Office from renewing or extending a contract to provide retail electric service after September 1, 2022. It was left pending.

HB 1397 by Dade Phelan (R-Nederland) would extend the expiration date for the ratemaking treatment and rate case requirements for non-ERCOT utilities from 2023 to 2031. It was left pending.

HB 1595 by Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) would require an electric utility that elects to deploy advanced metering to recover reasonable and necessary costs incurred in deploying advanced metering and meter information networks. It was left pending.

HB 1767 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would presume that employee compensation and benefits expenses are reasonable and necessary if expenses are consistent with recent market compensation studies when establishing a gas utility rates. It was left pending.

HB 2011 by Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) would exclude gross receipts taxes from the sale of electricity to a public retail customer; and would prohibit the General Land Office from selling power to a public retail customer unless a bid is requested from a customer that is soliciting bids from multiple power providers. It was left pending.

HB 2263 by Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) would allow the Land Commissioner to take royalty in kind for oil and gas leases; and would prohibit taxes on the sale of electricity to a public school district customer. It was left pending.

Also this past Wednesday, the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee took up:

SB 532 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) would require persons engaged in the manufacture of compressed natural gas cylinders or liquefied natural gas containers and systems to register. It was left pending.

SB 533 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) would clarify that a well that is part of an enhanced oil recovery project or that is drilled but not completed and has no record of hydrocarbon production does not qualify for the two-year inactive well exemption from the oil production tax. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, March 18, 2019 (first placement).

SB 925 by Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) would require the calculation for determining whether a well or lease qualifies for the low-producing tax credit be based on the greater of the monthly production reported to the Railroad Commission and the production reported to the comptroller. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.

Reported from Committee:

HB 226 by Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) would reduce the criminal penalty for willfully and knowingly violating the Public Utility Regulatory Act from a third degree felony to a Class A misdemeanor. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee

This Week:

Senate Intent Calendar:

SB 476 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would allow a food service establishment to permit a customer to be accompanied by a dog in an outdoor dining area. (first placement)

The House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee will meet this Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in E2.026 of the capitol extension to take up:

HB 1159 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would prescribe the wording for an acknowledgement of a written instrument on behalf of a limited liability company.

The House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in E2.028 of the capitol Extension to take up:

HB 1998 by Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) would allow the holder of a brewer’s permit to import ale and malt from a nonresident brewer for purposes of manufacturing, mixing, blending, bottling, and selling the product.

HEALTH:

On Tuesday, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee took up:

SB 436 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would expand the Texas Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (TexasAIM) program to curb maternal opioid abuse disorder; and would direct the Department of State Health Services to build on the current program to improve early identification of abuse, bolster intervention efforts and restrict access to opioids for mothers. It was left pending.

SB 670 by Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) would prohibit a Medicaid managed care contractor from denying reimbursement for a covered health care service or procedure delivered by a health care provider with whom the managed care organization contracts to a recipient as a telemedicine or telehealth service solely because the covered service or procedure is not provided through an in-person consultation. It was left pending.

SB 999 by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would create a comprehensive state plan to address care, diagnosis, and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. It was left pending.

This past Wednesday, the House Public Health Committee took up:

HB 18 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would add positive behavior interventions and support into each school district’s improvement plan; increase training and curriculum requirements on mental health issues; and expand school counseling programs for students with mental health conditions. It was left pending.

HB 19 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would require local mental health authorities to employ a non-physician mental health professional to serve as a mental health and substance use resource for school districts; and would require the authority to collaborate with local regional education service centers. It was left pending.

HB 252 by Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) would require health care providers who provide prenatal care to a pregnant woman during gestation or at delivery of an infant to give the mother and father information in both English and Spanish related to the dangers of exposing a newborn, infant, or other child to secondhand smoke and available resources to assist a person who wants to stop smoking. It was left pending.

HB 253 by Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) would require Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to develop a five-year strategic plan to improve access to postpartum depression screening, referral, treatment, and support services to be implemented by the Department of State Health Services. It was left pending.

HB 787 by Sarah Davis (R-Houston) would require the Texas Department of State Health Services establish the Advisory Council on Music Therapy to conduct a study on the need for state recognition of music therapists. It was left pending.

HB 906 by Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) would establish the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services to evaluate mental health services to students, parents or family members or school or school district employees. It was left pending.

HB 1070 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would require additional reporting regarding the number of school district employees receiving mental health first aid training. It was left pending.

HB 1015 by Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco) would require a food service establishment that prepares food items that contain peanut products to post a peanut allergen warning sign conspicuously in the eating area. It was left pending.

HB 1501 by Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass) would establish the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council; and would continue and transfer to regulation of psychologists, and marriage and family therapists to the council. It was left pending.

HB 1404 by Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) is the sunset bill for the Texas Medical Board. It was left pending.

HB 1518 by Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) would prohibit a business establishment from dispensing, distributing, or selling dextromethorphan over the counter to a person under 18 years of age. It was left pending.

HB 1694 by Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) would add cottage food production operations to the definition of “food” allowing them to provide samples of food at a farm or farmers’ market without a permit. It was left pending.

Reported from Committee:

HB 60 by Lina Ortega (D-El Paso) would require institutions of higher education to distribute information to students regarding eligibility requirements and enrollment procedures for women’s health programs. It was voted out favorably from the House Higher Education Committee.

HB 1065 by Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would establish a rural resident physician grant program. It was voted out favorably from the House Higher Education Committee.

This Week:

Senate Intent Calendar:

SB 420 by Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) would remove the requirement that pharmacists check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before refilling a prescription that contains controlled substances. (first placement)

HIGHER EDUCATION:

This past Monday, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up:

SB 18 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would affirm that it is the policy of the state to protect the expressive constitutional rights of individuals by recognizing freedom of speech and assembly as central to the mission of institutions of higher education; would require public institutions of higher education to ensure that common outdoor areas are deemed to be traditional public forums and permit any individual to engage in expressive activities in those areas freely; and would require institutions of higher education to adopt a policy detailing students’ rights and responsibilities regarding expressive activities. It was reported favorably as substituted. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday (first placement).

Also this past Monday, the House International Relations & Economic Development Committee took up:

HB 114 by James White (R-Hillister) would require high school students and their parents to receive information regarding the availability of college credit awarded by institutions of higher education to veterans and military service members for military experience, education, and training obtained during military service (the College Credit for Heroes Program). It was left pending.

On Wednesday, the House Higher Education Committee took up:

HB 103 by Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco) would authorize establishment of a law school in the Valley in Cameron or Hidalgo County. It was left pending.

HB 271 by Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) would prohibit a career school or college from charging a student for a transcript or certificate of completion of training more than the cost of materials used to print, mail, or electronically send official transcripts or certificates. It was left pending.

HB 766 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble) would add disabled fire fighters to the tuition and fee exemption law exempting disabled peace officers and would require instead of allow institutions of higher education to exempt them from tuition and fees. It was left pending.

HB 826 by John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) would establish a college of medicine at the University of Houston. It was left pending.

HB 1592 by John Smithee (R-Amarillo) would extend health care liability insurance for medical services providers at health care facilities affiliated with public institutions of higher education to include physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers who are employed or volunteer. It was left pending.

HB 1735 by Donna Howard (D-Austin) would require institutions of higher education to adopt a policy on sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking applicable to each student and employee of the institution. It was left pending.

Reported from Committee:

HB 1180 by Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) would provide that a recipient of a scholarship under the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program would be allowed to complete a graduate or postgraduate degree program relevant to military service prior to entering into a commitment or contract for military service. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Higher Education Committee.

HUMAN RESOURCES/EMPLOYMENT:

On Tuesday, the House Business and Industry Committee took up:

HB 133 by Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) would prohibit an employer from collecting or receiving any portion of a gratuity paid to or left for a tipped employee, including for the purpose of compensating a credit or debit card issuer for any financial services rendered on account of the gratuity. It was left pending.

HB 640 by Ana Hernandez (D-Houston) would require employers in the food and general retail industries that employ at least 50 employees and have at least 10 other retail establishments in other states to notify each hourly employee of the employee’s scheduled work shift at least two weeks before the shift is scheduled to begin. It was left pending.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:

SB 237 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would add a review of state agency policies related to what personal information of their occupational licensees they are posting to the Internet to state agency sunset review procedures. It was left pending.

Reported From Committee:

HB 48 by Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) would require the Texas Workforce Commission to maintain a publicly accessible website listing all employers in Texas that have been assessed an administrative penalty for failure to pay wages or ordered to pay wages by a final order of the commission or convicted of wage theft. It was voted out favorably from the House International Relations & Economic Development Committee.

Reported from Committee:

HB 98 by Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) would add intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass to the statute prohibiting disclosure of intimate visual material without effective consent. And, would clarify that the defendant knows or has reason to believe the intimate visual material was reasonably expected to remain private. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

PROPERTY:

Last week, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up:

SB 552 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) would require the notice to a property owner of the owner’s rights concerning the examination or survey by an entity with the power of eminent domain to include a statement that:

  • The entity is responsible for damages to the property arising from the survey;
  • The property owner has the right to refuse permission to enter the property to conduct a survey;
  • The property owner has the right to negotiate terms under which the survey may be conducted; and
  • The entity has the right to sue a property owner to obtain a court order authorizing the survey if the property owner refuses.

It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, March 18, 2019 (first placement).

SB 553 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) would require, if an initial offer includes property that the entity is not seeking to acquire by eminent domain, a separate identification of the real property that the entity does not seek to acquire by condemnation and a separate offer for that property. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, March 18, 2019 (first placement).

SB 554 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) would change the definition of “actual progress” in an eminent domain proceeding by requiring three of the specified actions rather than two and by eliminating two actions from the list: the acquisition of a tract or parcel adjacent to the property for the same public use project for which the owner’s land was acquired from the list of actions and the adoption by a governing body of a development plan that indicates the entity will not complete more than one action before the 10th anniversary of the acquisition of the owner’s property. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, March 18, 2019 (first placement).

This past Tuesday, the House Business and Industry Committee took up:

HB 624 by Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) require a landlord who is increasing rent for a residential tenant to provide notice at least seven days before the date the tenant would be required to provide notice to vacate stating the new rent amount and the effective date of the increase. It was left pending.

Last Thursday, the House Urban Affairs Committee took up:

HB 852 by Justin Holland (R-Heath) would prohibit a municipality from considering the value of a dwelling or the cost of constructing or improving a dwelling when setting a building permit or inspection fee. It was left pending.

HB 1136 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would require an entity to disclose any new, amended, or updated appraisal report obtained after making an offer in an eminent domain case and used in determining the entity’s opinion of value within 10 days of receipt of the report. It was left pending.

Reported From Committee:

HB 36 by Lina Ortega (D-El Paso) would provide for expedited court proceedings in a suit related to enforcement of an ordinance related to a dangerously damaged or deteriorated structure. It was voted out favorably from the House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee.

SB 234 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would expand the types of documents a victim may use to break a lease to include a certification letter provided by a family violence center advocate, a licensed health care provider who examined the victim, or a mental health provider who examined the victim. It was reported favorably from the Senate State Affairs Committee and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.

This Week:

Senate Intent Calendar:

SB 421 by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) is a comprehensive eminent domain reform bill. (committee substitute; first placement)

Last Tuesday, the House Public Education Committee took up:

HB 3 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble), a comprehensive school finance reform bill. It was left pending.

This past Wednesday, the House Public Education Committee took up:

HB 233 by Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) would prohibit school districts from having a school start date before Labor Day and require school districts to end the school year between May 15th and Memorial Day, unless the district operates a year-round system. These requirements would also apply to districts of innovation. It was left pending.

HB 340 by Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) would require students in pre-kindergarten through third grade to participate in an unstructured daily recess period of at least 30 minutes that is in addition to any required period of moderate or vigorous physical activity. It was left pending.

HB 684 by Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) would require school nurses and other school district employees to complete an agency-approved online course on managing students with seizures, seizure recognition and related first aid. It was left pending.

HB 692 by James White (R-Hillister) would prohibit a homeless student from being placed in out-of-school suspension. It was left pending.

HB 808 by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) would provide that public schools with at least 1,000 African American males to be evaluated on campus performance based only on the performance of African American males. It was left pending.

HB 880 by Gina Callani (D-Katy) would prohibit a school district’s board of trustees fro making a severance payment to a superintendent in an amount greater than one year’s salary under the superintendent’s terminated contract. It was left pending.

HB 1051 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would make an adult education program provided under a high school diploma and industry certification charter school a permanent program instead of a pilot program and would be expanded to include adult students, regardless of the student’s age. It was left pending.

HB 1093 by Joe Moody (D-El Paso) would prohibit the Commissioner of Education from establishing a shorter period for filing a due process complaint alleging a violation of state or federal special education laws than the maximum timeline allowed under federal law. It was left pending.

HB 1132 by Lina Ortega (D-El Paso) would authorize a school district that holds election of its officers on a date other than the November uniform election date to change the date of its election to the November uniform election date if the date change is made before the end of 2014. It was left pending.

HB 1133 by Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) would change the class size limitation of 22 students per class for kindergarten through fourth grade to a campus-wide average of 22 students in each of those grades. It was left pending.

HB 1276 by Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) would apply to school districts with an enrollment of 5,000 or more students, and would provide that a student in first through sixth grade attending an elementary school could not be assigned for two consecutive school years to a teacher who has less than one year of teaching experience and is not certified. It was left pending.

This Week:

Tuesday’s House Calendar:

HB 92 by Eddie Rodriguez (D- Austin) would allow a campus turnaround plan to operate as a community school that provides strategies and programs to coordinate academic, social, and health services that reduce barriers to learning.

HB 109 by Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco) would apply the statute prohibiting classes on Memorial Day to open-enrollment charter schools.

HB 111 by Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) would require training for school employees to include prevention of sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and other maltreatment of children with significant cognitive disabilities in both educational and non-educational settings. (committee substitute)

HB 330 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would exclude students who have suffered a condition, injury or illness that requires substantial medical care and leaves the student unable to attend school from the dropout and completion rate calculations.

HB 403 by Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) would require training for school superintendents and trustees regarding sexual abuse, human trafficking, and other maltreatment of children.

HB 1244 by Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would require school districts to administer a civics test to a student in the foundation high school program and make it a requirement for high school graduation. The civics test would consist of all of the questions on the civics test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the naturalization process.

This week’s House Calendar:

HB 396 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would prohibit money in the instructional materials and technology fund to be used to pay the expenses associated with intrastate freight and shipping; and would allow funding to be used to pay for inventory of software or systems for storing and accessing instructional materials.

HB 422 by Alma Allen (D-Houston) would require school boards to annually certify to the Texas Education Agency that the board has established the required district- and campus-level planning and decision-making committees.

The House Public Education Committee will meet this Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in E2.036 of the capitol extension to take up:

HB 462 by Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) would require the legislature to set the basic allotment and the guaranteed level of state and local funds per weighted student at the amounts necessary for the state funds portion to comply with the minimum constitutional requirements or greater.

HB 548 by Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) would require school districts and charters to report truancy information through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS).

HB 735 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would allow a school district that has held a successful Tax Ratification Election since 2006 to lower its maintenance and operations tax rate to raise it back up in a subsequent year to the previously approved rate without holding another election.

HB 1160 by Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston) would allow compensatory education allotment funding to be used for a district’s school guidance and counseling program or for counseling or social work services provided by a licensed social worker or licensed professional counselor.

HB 1182 by Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) would require school districts to provide a one-half credit course in personal financial literacy that includes instruction on completing the application for federal student aid (current law requires school districts to offer it as an elective).

HB 1199 by Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) would require the Texas Education Agency to audit and monitor school districts to ensure they are complying with dyslexia screening and testing requirements.

HB 1388 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would add students who successfully complete a coherent sequence of career and technology courses to the evaluation criteria for school districts and campuses.

HB 1453 by Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) would require one of the four teacher members of the State Board of Educator Certification to be a teacher who is certified in special education with classroom experience; and it would prescribe the required educator training on instruction for students with disabilities.

HB 1556 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would require purchases of goods and services by school districts to be through competitive bidding (current law requires competitive bid for services but not for goods); and would eliminate the $25,000 requirement threshold.

HB 1597 by Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) would allow a student whose parent or guardian is an active-duty military member to establish residency in a school district by providing a copy of a military order requiring the parent’s transfer to a military installation in or adjacent to the district’s attendance zone.

HB 1632 by Keith Bell (R-Forney) would add to the definition of students at risk of dropping out (and qualifying them to receive compensatory, intensive and accelerated instructional services) students: with dyslexia or related disorder; that are educationally disadvantage; that have enrolled in two or more schools in the preceding or current year; or that have ten or more absences in a school year.

HB 1639 by Armando “Mando” Martinez (D-Weslaco) would allow school districts to hold election for its officers on the November uniform election date and to transition the terms of office to three- or four-year staggered terms.

HB 1664 by Ken King (R-Canadian) would clarify that school superintendents are not required to report an allegation of misconduct by an educator to the State Board for Educator Certification if the superintendent completes an investigation into the alleged incident and determines that the educator did not engage in the alleged incident of misconduct.

HB 1679 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would authorize student loan repayment assistance for school counselors with at least a master’s degree in counseling, are certified as a school counselor and have completed from one to five consecutive years of employment by a school district located in a federally designated mental health care health professional shortage area or a school that receives federal funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

HB 1773 by Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) would require school districts that utilize a relocatable educational facility to move the district’s administrative offices to the relocatable education facility and convert the administrative office building into classrooms for student instruction.

HB 1823 by Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) would change the heading of Section 46.009 of the Education Code from “Payment of School Facilities Allotments” to “Reduction of School District Property Taxes as Result of School Facility Allotment.”

HB 2116 by James White (R-HIllister) would add students who have been incarcerated or have a parent or guardian who has been incarcerated to the definition of students at risk of dropping out.

HB 2210 by Keith Bell (R-Forney) would exempt students receiving residential services in a state hospital whose parents do not reside in the school district from the district’s accountability ratings.

HB 2424 by Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would require the State Board of Educator Certification to establish a program to issue micro-credentials in fields of study related to an educator’s certification class.

HJR 24 by Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) would propose a constitutional amendment requiring the state to pay at least 50 percent of the cost of maintaining and operating the public school system.

The Senate Education Committee will meet this Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in E1.28 of the capitol extension to take up:

SB 54 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would exempt a student in a regional day school program for the deaf whose parent does not reside in the school district from the district’s accountability rating classification.

SB 213 by Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) would eliminate the sunset date (September 1, 2019) on statutes authorizing the use of individual graduation committees and alternative methods to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

SB 316 by Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) would require the attorney general to defend a teacher in a civil action brought against the teacher if the teacher acted in good faith within the scope of the teacher’s duties.

SB 364 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would require Texas Education Agency to develop model policies on the recess period during the school day that encourages constructive, age-appropriate outdoor playtime that maximizes the effectiveness of outdoor physical activity; and would require school districts to adopt a recess policy based on the model policies. (the companion is HB 455)

SB 372 by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would authorize an open-enrollment charter school to employ security personnel and commission peace officers and to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a law enforcement agency to assign a school resource officer to the school.

SB 435 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would require local school health advisory councils to recommend appropriate grade level curriculum for instruction regarding opioid addiction and abuse and methods for administering an opioid antagonist.

SB 458 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would require training for school superintendents and trustees regarding sexual abuse, human trafficking, and other maltreatment of children. (the companion is HB 403)

SB 522 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would require the individualized education program for a student with a visual impairment to include instruction in braille unless the student’s admission, review, and dismissal committee determines that braille is not an appropriate literacy medium for the student.

SB 933 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would establish a Texas Education Agency Office of the Inspector General to carry out investigations of fraud, waste, and abuse on behalf of the Commissioner of Education.

SB 1230 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would require private schools to report to the State Board for Educator Certification information on educators that have a criminal record; that were terminated and there is evidence that the educator abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor or was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor; or resigned and there is evidence that the educator engaged in similar misconduct.

SB 1256 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would clarify that statutes relating to employing, terminating and reporting the misconduct of public school personnel apply to charter schools and districts of innovation.

TAX:

This past Tuesday, the Senate Property Tax Committee took up:

SB 449 by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would repeal subsection (i) of 42.23 of the Tax Code, “Judicial Review: Scope of Review” which provides that in a court case for a valuation dispute, the court “may give preference to an employee” authorized to perform an appraisal of real estate under the Occupations Code. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.

SB 955 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would remove the authority for a taxing unit to challenge the overall level of appraisal of a category of property. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.

SB 956 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would authorize an appraisal review board to correct an inaccuracy in the appraised value of tangible personal property that is the result of an error or omission in a rendition statement. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested calendar.

SB 1006 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would exempt income-producing tangible personal property from ad valorem taxes if it has a taxable value of less than $2,500 instead of $500. It was reported favorably.

HB 1525 by Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) would require marketplace providers to collect sales and use tax on the sales by third party sellers using the marketplace provider’s platform. It was left pending.

HB 1703 by Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) would institute term limits (three consecutive terms) for appraisal review board members in a county with a population of 550,000 or more. It was left pending.

HB 1704 by Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) would shorten from five years to two years the period for a person who has represented a person in a property tax appeal, served as an officer or employee of an appraisal district, or served as a member of the appraisal review board to sit out before becoming a property tax arbitrator. It was left pending.

HB 1743 by Tracy King (D-Batesville) would reduce the amount of tax imposed when agricultural use valuation is converted to developed property from five to three years and the annual interest rate from seven to five percent. It was left pending.

HB 1745 by Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) would allow a property owner protesting before an appraisal review board (ARB) to file suit against an appraisal district or ARB to compel compliance with a procedural requirement or rule established by the board. It was left pending.

HB 1802 by Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) would increase the deadline from 45 days to 60 days for a property owner to request an appeal of a property appraisal for arbitration. It was left pending.

HB 1937 by Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) would provide a franchise tax and insurance tax credit for investing in a qualified low-income housing development. It was left pending.

HB 1970 by Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) would reduce the five-year rollback penalty for a change in qualified open-space land to two years. It was left pending.

HB 1978 by Cody Harris (R-Palestine) would prohibit the chief appraiser from considering any period during which land is owned by the state in determining whether the land has been diverted to nonagricultural use. It was left pending.

HB 2153 by Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) would allow an out-of-state Internet seller or other “remote seller” to elect to collect a single, statewide local sales tax rate calculated annually by the comptroller, instead of collecting the rate actually imposed by the various taxing jurisdictions (cities and other local entities) at a destination address. It was left pending.

HB 2179 by John Wray (R-Waxahachie) would eliminate “clear and convincing” from the evidence threshold for proving an appraisal review board member engaged in repeated bias and misconduct. It was left pending.

The Senate Finance Committee met on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in E1.036 of the capitol extension to take up:

SB 70 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would allow an out-of-state Internet seller or other “remote seller” to elect to collect a single, statewide local sales tax rate calculated annually by the comptroller, instead of collecting the rate actually imposed by the various taxing jurisdictions (cities and other local entities) at a destination address.

SB 687 by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) would increase from 6 days to 30 days the amount of time that a person who receives public information from the comptroller relating to a taxpayer that the comptroller is auditing from using the information for the direct solicitation of business or employment for pecuniary gain.

SB 890 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would require marketplace providers to collect sales and use tax on the sales by third-party sellers using the marketplace provider’s platform.

SB 1214 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) would expand the sales tax exemption for agricultural-use aircraft to include any other use necessary to operate a business that performs an agriculture service such as crop dusting, predator control, and animal health inspection. (the companion is HB 2666)

SJR 24 by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) would propose a constitutional amendment to automatically appropriate the sales tax on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.

This Week: The House International Relations & Economic Development Committee will meet on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in E2.014 of the capitol extension to take up:

HB 1720 by Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) would require the Texas Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety to jointly conduct a study on the potential benefits of using automated driving systems and connected driving systems in alleviating motor vehicle traffic congestion at ports of entry between Texas and Mexico.

Reported From Committee:

HB 101 by Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) would make it an offense for a person who makes a call or engages in any other conduct using any type of technology that results in the display on another person’s telecommunications device of data that misrepresents the actor’s identity or telephone number with intent to defraud, harass, or cause harm. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

And this past Monday, the House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee took up:

HB 687 by Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) would add rock climbing to the definition of recreation for purposes of a landowner’s liability for injuries incurred during recreational activities. It was left pending.

HB 1737 by Justin Holland (R-Heath) would reduce the statute of repose for a claim against a registered or licensed architect, engineer, interior designer, or landscape architect from 10 to 8 years arising out of a defective or unsafe condition of real property, an improvement to real property, or equipment attached to real property; and would require a person to bring a construction defect claim for personal injury, wrongful death, damage to personal property, contribution, or indemnity within four years after the substantial completion of the project. It was left pending.

This past Thursday, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up:

SB 250 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would provide that a person who enters a motor vehicle to rescue a vulnerable domestic animal from the vehicle is immune from civil liability if the person notifies law enforcement prior to entering the motor vehicle. It was left pending.

The House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee will meet on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in E2.026 of the capitol extension to take up:

HB 439 by Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) would clarify that a civil suit may not be brought against a person that reports suspicious activity of another person to a law enforcement authority if the person acted as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances and with a reasonable belief that the suspicious activity constituted a crime including an act of terrorism.

HB 770 by Sarah Davis (R-Houston) would require the Office of Court Administration to establish and maintain an electronic database containing personal injury or wrongful death settlement agreements for which a minor or incapacitated person is the beneficiary; would require the database to remain confidential and only accessed by the parties to the settlement agreement, each attorney representing a party to the settlement agreement or the guardian, next friend, or guardian ad litem of a party to the settlement agreement.

HB 790 by Sarah Davis (R-Houston) would add limited partnerships, general partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts, real estate investment trusts, joint ventures, joint stock companies, cooperatives associations, banks, insurance companies, credit unions, and savings and loan associations to the list of entities from whom a person can recover reasonable attorney’s fees in civil cases.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION:

This past Tuesday, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:

SB 612 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) is the sunset bill for the State Office of Rick Management. It was left pending.

SB 934 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would change the timetable to appeal a Division of Workers’ Compensation appeals panel decision to district court from 45 days to 60 days. It was left pending.

SB 935 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would require the Division of Workers’ Compensation to establish requirements for processing medical bills and a separate dispute resolution process for services provided to an injured employee by a federal military treatment facility. It was left pending.

This Week: The House Business & Industry Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. or upon adjournment in E2.016 of the capitol extension to take up:

HB 741 by Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas) would include the right to choose a treating doctor in the notice of rights and responsibilities provided to injured workers by the Office of Injured Employee Counsel.

HB 1515 by Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass) is the sunset bill for the State Office of Rick Management.

HB 1665 by Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) would remove the requirement to send to the Division of Workers’ Compensation any subsequent hiring agreement made between a contractor and subcontractor, unless the agreement is requested by the division.

HB 2207 by Hugh Shine (R-Temple) would require the Division of Workers’ Compensation to establish requirements for processing medical bills and a separate dispute resolution process for services provided to an injured employee by a federal military treatment facility.

WORKFORCE:

Last Monday, the House International Relations & Economic Development Committee took up:

HB 680 by Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont) would require the Texas Workforce Commission’s evaluation of local workforce development boards to include the estimated cost incurred by child care providers in the workforce development area; the average price charged by child care providers for child care in each area; and the number of places that are reserved for participants in the child care subsidy program compared to the total number of children served by that provider. It was left pending.