On Wednesday, the
House Appropriations Committee
, the general appropriations bill and
, the supplemental appropriations bill.
They substituted the House version and unanimously voted out a House Committee Substitute version of SB The House version would appropriate:
- $104.3 billion in general revenue funds compared to the Senate's $106.3 billion.
- The House version also uses $2.5 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to cover a shortfall in a pension program for retired teachers ($500 million), continue increased border security spending ordered by state lawmakers in 2015 (about $650 million), and
- finance basic improvements at state-run mental health hospitals (about $240 million).
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. Senator Bettencourt said, "Small businesses are a major driver of our state economy. The cost of assessing and collecting the taxes is greater than revenue received on property - especially when you include a compliance cost. SB 730 will provide Texas' small businesses fiscal relief from paying property taxes on their business personal property. In the 21st century, we can recognize that saving time for small businesses and government is saving taxpayers money all around." It passed unanimously
by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) would require all state contractors and subcontractors to utilize the federal E-Verify system in determining the legal work status of their employees. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 23-8. It received final passage on Tuesday by a vote of 22-9.
by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would overturn the Texas Supreme Court case of Boeing v Paxton by providing that information withheld from disclosure under the public information law because a governmental body demonstrates that release of the information would provide an advantage to a competitor or bidder in a competitive situation would no longer be exempted from disclosure after the governmental body executes or awards the contract to which the bid or proposal relates. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would overturn the Texas Supreme Court case of Greater Houston Partnership v Paxton by expanding the definition of "governmental body" for purposes of public information laws to include an entity that receives funds to perform services traditionally provided by a governmental body. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed by a vote of 28-3.
by Bob Hall (R-Canton) would prohibit unmanned photographic traffic signal enforcement systems. The committee substitute and three floor amendments were adopted and it passed by a vote of 25-6.
by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would base the Constitutional spending limit on population growth and inflation. It passed to third reading by a vote of 20-11. It received final approval on Thursday by the same vote.
by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would prohibit union dues payroll deductions by state and local government employees. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 20-11. It received final approval on Thursday by the same vote.
by Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) would require a political subdivision to report to the comptroller before it accepts or spends federal funds not appropriated by the legislature and would require the comptroller to create a searchable online database for the information.
by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would require the Legislative Budget Board to prepare a report concerning federal money that is provided to the state that includes a method of finance in the general appropriations act and is subject to a coercive federal condition that outlines conditions that prescribe the manner in which the federal money must be spent.
by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would allow a 501(c)(3) organization to retain 50 percent of the state portion of the sales taxes it collects (if it has sales of at least $1 million per year) to provide job training and placement services to persons with a disability or other barrier to employment, including low educational attainment, a criminal record, homelessness, and status as a veteran. In support were representatives of Texas Association of Goodwills, Goodwill Houston, Memorial Assistance Ministries, TIBH Industries, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, Texas Impact, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Texas Association of Business, Texas Apartment Association, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health America of Texas, and United Ways of Texas. There was no opposition. It was left pending.
Total number of bills reported out of House Committees this week: 64
Total number of bills passed by the House this week: 13
Total number of bills reported out of Senate Committees this week: 88
Total number of bills passed by the Senate this week: 43