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


Along with our usual updates.  This week there are a couple of additional articles that may be of interest to you.  See below:

The Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee will met this Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in E1.012 of the capitol extension to take up:
SB 600 by Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) would repeal Chapter 313 of the Tax Code, the Texas Economic Development Act.
The House Economic and Small Business Development Committee will meet on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. in E2.010 to take up:
HB 671 by Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) would require 10 percent of the unencumbered balance of the Texas Enterprise Fund to be transferred to the Capital Access Fund at the beginning of each fiscal biennium.
HB 3160 by Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) would allow the Texas Enterprise Fund to be used for commercialization of property derived from research developed through an institution of higher education that is also supported by one or more private entities participating in the project.
HB 3364 by Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) would authorize the governor to use the Texas Enterprise Fund to reimburse a grant recipient for up to 15 percent of of expenses incurred for the purchase of goods or services from a business in Texas.
HB 3740 by Ron Reynolds (D-Richmond) would require information about historically underutilized businesses and the expansion of the small business development center network to be added to the CTE curriculum.
The Senate also gave preliminary approval to two bills:
SB 75 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would require parental consent for a minor to join a union. Senator Nelson said, "This legislation preserves the rights of parents - and protects minors from entering into a financial contract they may not fully understand. SB 75 provides an exemption for emancipated minors. Texas is a right to work state, so minors can still obtain employment under SB 75 because no Texan is required to join a union as a condition of employment. The Supreme Court has ruled that any contract involving a minor is voidable on its face. Under current law, minors must receive parental consent to undergo medical procedures, engage in pawn shop transactions, seek a tattoo or body piercing, obtain a driver's learner or provisional license, or participate in extracurricular activities." It passed to third reading by a vote of 20-11. It received final approval on Tuesday by the same vote.
Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick said, "If minors in Texas can work without parental consent, they should be able to speak up together in a labor union without parental consent. Apparently, the Senate believes minors are mature enough to work in unsafe conditions for low wages without parental permission, but when it comes to improving their working conditions, labor unions are R-rated. What minors need in the workplace are rights, not prohibitions. Unions are and have been the driving force behind laws that prevent exploitation of child labor. We hope that when this bill reaches the Texas House, it will receive rational consideration and no consent."
SB 409 by Don Huffines (R-Dallas) changes the threshold for jurisdiction of justice courts from $10,000 to $20,000. It passed to third reading by a vote of 21-10. It received final approval on Tuesday by a vote of 20-11.
On Wednesday, the House gave preliminary approval to 12 bills including:
HB 9 by Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) is a cybercrime bill that would make it a third degree felony for a person to intentionally interrupt or suspend access to a computer system or computer network without the effective consent of the owner. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to third reading on a voice vote. It received unanimous final passage on Thursday.
On Thursday, the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee took up:
HB 2004 by Charles "Doc" Anderson (R-Waco) would expand the Texas Department of Agriculture's Texas Economic Development Fund to allow it to be used for;
  • Encourage the export of Texas agricultural products or products manufactured in rural Texas; and
  • An economic development program established through an agreement with a federal agency, foreign governmental entity, public university, or state governmental entity to encourage rural economic development.
It was left pending .
HB 3172 by Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) would require the Department of Information Resources to establish a common electronic application and reporting system for economic development incentives. It was left pending.
HB 3294 by Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) would make two NASCAR races eligible for Major Events Reimbursement Program funding, the All-Star race and the championship race. It was left pending.
HB 3360 by Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) would require the Economic Incentive Oversight Board to evaluate the Texas Economic Development Act; to develop a performance matrix to facilitate evaluation of the program; and to develop a schedule to regularly review the program and make recommendations for improvement. It was left pending.
HB 3488 by Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) would authorize a for-profit corporation to elect to become a public benefit corporation. It was left pending.
HB 3772 by Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) would establish the Texas Leverage Fund administered by the Texas Economic Development Bank to be used to make loans to economic development corporations for eligible projects; to pay administrative costs of the fund; and to pay the principal and interest on the bonds. It would authorize the Texas Economic Development Bank to issue bonds secured by local economic development sales and use tax revenue from economic development corporations. It was left pending

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