Legislative Update on the Regular Session
There are less than three weeks remaining in the Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. Mark your calendars for May 29. Your Chamber’s Business Advocacy Council has been advocating for you and your business all Session long, and we’re not slowing down.
Here is a look at only a few of the top bills which we have been tracking and our stance on each. Status is as of May 10th.
- HB 5 – This bill passed in the House on May 5, recreating the economic development tools that give large, new businesses some temporary school tax relief. It has now been referred to the Business & Commerce Committee in the Senate for consideration. FOR
- HB 1755 – Creates the Lone Star Workforce of the Future Fund. Passed House 121-27 and is on the intent calendar of the Senate for May 11. FOR
- SB 1615 – A hearing on this bill was conducted May 10 in the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee. It is pending further action. The bill deals with strategies to increase the availability of childcare and prekindergarten programs. FOR
- HB 1465 / HB 432 – These bills relate to the location where certain sales are consummated for purposes of local sales and use taxes. They were referred to the House Ways and Means Committee earlier in the Session. AGAINST
- HB 2473 / SB 2115 – The bill would upgrade technology used by the statewide 2-1-1 Texas information and referral system. Passed the House on April 24 by a 118-27 vote. Currently it is in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee awaiting a hearing. FOR
- HB 3418 – This bill deals with implementation by the Texas Department of Transportation of a vehicle mileage user fee pilot program and a task force to assist in developing and evaluating the program. Passed House on May 9 by a 96-46 vote. Referred to Senate Transportation Committee. TRACKING
- HB 1605 / SB 2565 – This comprehensive bill relates to instructional material and technology, the adoption of essential knowledge and skills for certain public school foundation curriculum subjects, and the extension of additional state aid to school districts for the provision of certain instructional materials. HB 1605 Passed the House 139-6 on May 3, and passed unanimously on May 9 by the Senate Education Committee. SB 2565 – Passed the Senate on April 26. Referred to House Public Education Committee. FOR
- HB 8 – The Texas House passed this bill which fuels community colleges with $650 million in additional funding to better align what is being taught with workforce needs. This community college finance reform places greater emphasis on outcomes and passed the House with one vote shy of unanimous support. It passed the house on April 12 by a vote of 146-1. On May 9, the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education reported it favorably. FOR
- SJR 75 –This bill is proposing a constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state. It passed the Senate on April 3 and the House Natural Resources Committee reported it favorably on May 5. FOR
- SB 147 – The Senate Bill relates to the purchase of or acquisition of title to real property by certain aliens or foreign entities. The legislation passed the Senate, 19-12, on April 26, and is referred to the House State Affairs Committee. FOR
- SB 422 – to the authority of certain military service members to engage in a business or occupation in this state. Passed the Senate and sent to Calendars Committee in the House. FOR
COALITION LETTERS & OTHER ACTION
Below is a comprehensive list of coalition letters the Chamber has signed on to both for state and federal issues.
- Texas 2036
- Aim Higher Texas Policy Coalition
- Texas Opportunities Coalition
- Texas Employer Coalition TAB affiliated
- FTC Non-Complete (US Chamber)
- Coalitions for Education Excellence
- Legal Immigration and Border Reforms This Year
- TAB Chamber Advocacy Committee
- GoRail – Rail Safety Act
- Inclusion of the Nuclear Research and Innovation Project Rider (House, Article XI) in the State Budget for the NEXT Lab support.
- Establishment of a permanent A&M Forest Service basing location in Abilene, Texas, creating a first year economic impact of $34.7 million to the local economy.
LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS
Saturday, May 6 marked election day for the Big Country. Click here to view all of the candidates who won the seat they were vying for and congrats to all who stepped up and were willing to serve their Big Country.