Affairs Committee
Steve Ahlenius
Vice-Chair Govt. Affairs
Eddie Brown
John Darby
Tony Felker
Mary Frazior
Jim Johnson 
Jamee Jolly
Eddie McBride
Wayne Mitchell
Jason Mock
San Marcos
Tony Moline
Cedar Park
Mitch Thames
Bay City


Here is a partial listing of some of the bills that have passed in the Senate this past week. Here are the highlights:
On Tuesday, the Senate passed 24 bills including:
SB 317 the sunset bill for the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners,
SB 451 prohibiting local regulation of short-term rentals,
SB 977 prohibiting state money from going toward construction or maintenance of the SB 979 proposed high speed rail line between Dallas and Houston, requiring any land taken through eminent domain by the railroad project be used for the purpose it was taken for, or be offered back to the original owner for repurchase,
SB 489 requiring school advisory committees to recommend age appropriate curriculum on preventing the use of e-cigarettes,
SB 445 requiring lobby expenditures by a political subdivision to be specifically authorized by the governing body of a subdivision in an open meeting,
SB 1327 allowing local Texas Department of Transportation district engineers to temporarily lower the speed limit on roadways subject to inclement weather, construction activities or other hazardous conditions. Details on other bills that passed the Senate on Tuesday are included in the issue categories below.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed 133 bills on the Local and Uncontested calendar and 23 bills including:
SB 253 requiring state and local funds to divest investments in companies engaged in business in Iran and Sudan,
SB 455 continuing the Employment-First Task Force,
SB 640 allowing home school students to participate in UIL activities,
SB 878 allowing insurers to provide disclosures regarding the insurance premium for a named driver insurance policy in written, oral, or electronic format,
SB 1465 and allowing a state senator or state representative to opt out of serving on the board of directors of a tax increment reinvestment zone).  Some of the bills from the Local and Uncontested Calendar and others from the Intent calendar are summarized below in the issue categories.
On Thursday, the Senate passed 28 bills including:
SB 188 offering protection from civil or criminal penalties to Good Samaritans who break into a car on a hot day to rescue a baby or an animal,
SB 292 establishing a grant program to reduce recidivism, arrest, and incarceration of individuals with mental illness,
SB 319 continuing the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners,
SB 441 allowing surviving spouses of disabled veterans to qualify for a Surviving Spouse of a Veteran License Plate,
SB 1343 amending piracy and unauthorized recording statutes,
SB 1504 allowing victims of human trafficking to petition a court to seal drug and theft convictions they received while being trafficked, and
SB 289 by Van Taylor (R-Plano) would require state agencies to prepare a government growth impact statement on its proposed rules. It passed by a vote of 30-1.
SB 398 by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) would require the State Auditor to compare the cost estimated in a bill's fiscal note prepared by the Legislative Budget Board with the actual cost to the state of the bill. It passed on Wednesday's Local and Uncontested Calendar.
SJR 43 proposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of state funds to pay for the obligations of local public retirement systems.
Here is a partial listing of some of the bills that have passed in the House this past week. Here are some highlights:
On Monday, the House gave final approval to:
HB 1699 , which would prohibit the Department of Public Safety from participating in the driver record monitoring pilot program.
HB 269 They also gave preliminary approval to nine additional bills including establishing a process for victims of human trafficking to have their prostitution convictions set-aside,
HB 491 adding continuous human trafficking involving the sexual exploitation of children or prostitution to the list of offenses that require an individual to register as a sex offender,
HB 1090 imposing graduated penalties for misuse of official information,
HB 1270 making a student's visit to a military recruiter an excused absence,
HB 1526 providing state death benefits to survivors of peace officers employed by private institutions of higher education, and
HB 3451 requiring a study on lethal pesticides for feral hog control.
On Tuesday, the House passed the nine Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to ten other bills. Five of those are ethics reform bills -
HB 1377 revising requirements for identifying stock interests in personal financial statements,
HB 1378 repealing restrictions on activity by general-purpose political committees that have been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court,
HB 1379 requiring out-of-state political committees to report direct campaign expenditures exceeding $100,
HB 1381 allowing electronic notices by the Texas Ethics Commission, and
HB 1384 removing financial restrictions on House speaker campaigns that have been held unconstitutional by a federal court.,
HB 19 which revises and updates laws on human trafficking.  And, they also passed to Third Reading
HB 2029 , which would exempt a commercial weighing or measuring device used exclusively to weigh food sold for immediate consumption from inspection and registration requirements with Texas Department of Agriculture,
HB 2964 which would define the events that begin the three-year period for presumption of abandonment for mutual funds.
On Wednesday, the House passed Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to ten bills.
HB 100 by Chris Paddie (R-Marshall), which institutes state regulation and pre-empts local regulation of transportation network companies, passed to Third Reading by a vote of 110-37 after six floor amendments were adopted (it received final passage on Thursday by a vote of 110-35).
HB 21 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble), a major public school finance reform bill, passed to Third Reading by a vote of 134-16 After several hours of debate and over 40 amendments considered (15 of which were adopted). It received final passage on Thursday by a vote of 132-5. Public school finance reform is a priority for Speaker Joe Straus, and after House passage of HB 21 the Speaker said, "When the Texas Supreme Court ruled our school finance system constitutional - but deeply flawed - we said that we would continue working to improve the system for students and taxpayers. Today we took a significant step in that direction with the passage of HB 21. I want to thank Chairman Huberty, the Committee on Public Education, and the members of the House for taking this step to improve public education in Texas. Texas public schools are doing a good job, and HB 21 will make them even better. This bill puts needed resources into Texas classrooms. It begins to bring long-overdue improvements to our school finance formulas. And it reduces the impact of Robin Hood by keeping more local dollars in local schools. Parents and taxpayers know that our school finance system needs reform. House Bill 21 begins to implement those reforms. If this type of legislation does not become law, property taxes will increase and more school districts will send their local dollars to other parts of the state. We cannot and should not continue to put more and more of the burden on property taxes. Fully reforming our school finance system may take several years and much more work, but now is the right time to start."
On Thursday, the House passed 73 bills on the Local and Consent Calendar and 25 other bills including the ten Third Reading bills that were passed to Third Reading on Wednesday. Some of the bills that passed include:
HB 122 increasing the age of adult criminal responsibility from 17 to 18,
HB 776 removing home addresses before Texas Ethics Commission reports are posted,
HB 1140 changing the categories of formula funding for public transportation funding, and
HB 2504 authorizing the commissioner of an emergency services district to receive the same compensation as directors of water districts.
Appropriations Conference Committee - Senate and House conferees were appointed for the conference committee on SB 1, the general appropriations bill.  Senate conferees are Senators Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), and Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown). House conferees are Representatives John Zerwas (R-Fulshear), Oscar Longoria (D-Mission), Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), Sarah Davis (R-Houston), and Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock).
SB 600 by Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) would repeal Chapter 313 of the Tax Code, the Texas Economic Development Act. In support were representatives of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Texas Public Policy Foundation and City of Corpus Christi. In opposition were representatives of Sweetwater Economic Development Corporation, Texas Association of Manufacturers, The Wind Coalition, Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, Victoria Economic Development Corporation, Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Texas Association of Business, Texas Chemical Council, Texas Economic Development Council, Enbridge Energy, Greater Irving, Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, BP America, Avangrid, CompTIA, Greater San Marcos Partnership, Association of Community Schools, Texas 2050 Group, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Texas Solar Power Association, Cypress Creek Renewables, Pattern Energy, Solar Energy Industries Association, Environmental Defense Fund, TechNet, Public Citizen Texas, Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, Association of Electric Companies of Texas, Texas Oil and Gas Association, Dallas Regional Chamber, Longview Chamber of Commerce, BASF Corporation, Huntsman Corp., Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Sierra Club-Lone Star Chapter, Texas School Coalition, Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Council, ConocoPhillips, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Apex Clean Energy, Greater Houston Partnership, Dow Chemical, Freeport LNG, Lincoln Clean Energy, Metro 8 Chambers of Commerce, and Texas Economic Development Council. It was left pending

As a reminder the next TAB Chamber Only conference call will take place May 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  

See what's happening on our social sites