After a marathon session on Wednesday, House lawmakers unanimously passed the budget , with few major changes to education-related provisions. The bill provides $9 billion in new education funding, with about $3 billion of that for property tax relief.

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee took a big step forward in its budget proposal, recommending an increase in funding for public education to match the House's proposal at $9 billion. Its allocations are different than the House budget and will need to be addressed by a conference committee in the weeks ahead. One key difference relates to teacher pay raises. Click here for the latest on the pay raise proposals, including what action you can take.

Also in the Senate this week, lawmakers passed a bill to increase TRS contributions and provide retirees with a 13th check up to $500. Meanwhile, TCTA testified at a House committee hearing to support a similar bill that increases only the state’s contribution and provides a 13th check up to $2,400.

Three TCTA-initiated bills related to student discipline were heard in a Senate committee this week.

As the session progresses, nearly 100 bills TCTA is monitoring have at least passed out of committee. Click here for highlights of the key bills.

Next week should be another big week in the House, with HB 3 scheduled for floor debate Wednesday. Two bills aimed at curtailing government employee communications about political and policy issues are set for a Monday hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee, and the Senate budget bill should start moving forward as well.