April 1 , 2019
DON'T MISS IT

 
TRACKED BILLS
 CLICK HERE  to view the bills we are tracking this session.

PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE
Join the Plano Chamber of Commerce on the first Wednesday of the month from 7:30-9am for our monthly Public Policy Committee meeting. This committee discusses legislation and issues that affect the business community. Committee meetings are open to all members in good standing. CLICK HERE for more details. 

COLLIN COUNTY DAYS
Collin County Days was held March 26-27, 2019 in Austin, TX. CLICK HERE  to learn more about our trip.

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The Plano Chamber works tirelessly to identify the issues of highest priority to our business community and to act on their behalf.  View the Legislative Priorities  for the 86th Texas Legislative Session for more details.

Official Photo with Governor Abbott
SENATE NEWS

The Senate was in session Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
 
On Monday, the Senate passed six bills including:
  • SB 12 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) shoring up the Teacher Retirement System pension fund. 
  • SB 357 by Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) prescribing the maximum height for outdoor advertising signs. (additional information is in the Transportation section) 
  • SB 497 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) designating a portion of State Highway 71 in Travis County as the Trooper Carlos Ray Warren Memorial Highway.
  • SB 537 by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) allowing the Texas Department of Public Safety to purchase food for employees responding to an emergency.
  • SB 553 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) requiring entities with eminent domain authority to provide notice and information to the land owner prior to condemnation actions. (additional information is in the Property section)
  • SB 688 by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) prescribing the height limitations on vehicles transporting cotton.
About SB 12, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said, "I have repeatedly told our retired teachers that my goal is to keep the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) solvent forever. SB 12, which unanimously passed the Texas Senate today, provides a secure pathway to achieving that goal. SB 12 takes a principled conservative approach to pension reform and will bring actuarial soundness to TRS. Ensuring that Texas doesn't get mired in mounting pension debt, as we see in too many other states, must remain a top priority for Texas. SB 12 will also provide a 13th check for retired teachers in 2020."
 
On Tuesday, the Senate passed 14 bills including:
  • SB 89 by Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) establishing a Texas Border Security and Support Service Ribbon.
  • SB 212 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) requiring reporting of sexual harassment and assault at institutions of higher education. (additional information is in the Higher Education section)
  • SB 366 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) requiring increased reporting by lobbyists.
  • SB 428 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) requiring a study on the feasibility of developing a single intake form for disaster assistance.
  • SB 449 by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) clarifying who can testify to the value of real property in an appraisal appeal. (additional information is in the Tax section)
  • SB 548 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) clarifying the complaint procedures and filing requirements of the Texas Ethics Commission.
  • SB 552 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) notifying property owners of their right to refuse a survey of the property by an entity with eminent domain authority. (additional information is in the Property section)
  • SB 632 by Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) promoting cooperation between local mental health authorities and law enforcement officials.
  • SB 636 by allowing police officers in smaller cities (Katy) to apply for certification to enforce commercial motor vehicle safety standards.
  • SB 667 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) changing the Estates Code to clarify procedures related to persons who are incapacitated.
  • SB 683 by Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) cleaning up statutes related to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy and access to the Prescription Monitoring Program.
  • SB 698 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) extending funding for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's expedited air permitting program.
  • SB 857 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) requiring training for emergency management coordinators in counties of 500,000 or more in population.
  • SB 1413 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) consolidating Texas Workforce Commission reporting requirements. (additional information is in the Workforce section)
 
On Wednesday, the Senate passed 24 bills including:
  • SB 20 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) codifying the 14 recommendations from the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force.
  • SB 72 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) establishing the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council.
  • SB 124 by Royce West (D-Dallas) allowing counties to require electronic bids for competitive bidding.
  • SB 198 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) streamlining toll road collection processes and allowing automatic payment of tolls through a bank account.
  • SB 194 by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) creating the offense of indecent assault (groping) and establishing penalties.
  • SB 306 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) providing the option for law enforcement to take publicly intoxicated individuals to a sobering center.
  • SB 345 by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) Protecting the W.G. Jones State Forest.
  • SB 450 by Beverly Powell (D-Burleson) extending the deadline for economic development corporations to file reports with the comptroller. (additional information is in the Economic Development section)
  • SB 530 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) increasing enforcement authority for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to implement the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. (additional information is in the Environment section)
  • SB 533 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) incentivizing operators to bring inactive wells back into production. (additional information is in the Tax section)
  • SB 559 by Borris Miles (D-Houston) requiring hospitals and birthing centers to release medical records regarding maternal deaths to the Department of State Health Services within 30 days. (additional information is in the Health section)
  • SB 612 by Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) is the sunset fill for the State Office of Risk Management. (additional information is in the Workers' Compensation section)
  • SB 614 by Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) is the sunset bill for the Finance Commission of Texas, Texas Department of Banking, and the Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending.
  • SB 670 by Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) updating regulatory provisions to allow the Health and Human Services Commission to implement telemedicine and telehealth Medicaid services. (additional information is in the Health section)
  • SB 702 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) requiring local political subdivisions to report their lobbying activities.
  • SB 726 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) increasing the cap on community development investments for state banks.
  • SB 923 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) prohibiting minors (under 18 years old) from entering or being employed at a sexually-oriented business.
  • SB 934 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) increasing the time to appeal a workers' compensation decision. (additional information is in the Workers' Compensation section)
  • SB 935 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) requiring the Division of Workers' Compensation to establish requirements for review of medical billing. (additional information is in the Workers' Compensation section)
  • SB 955 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) removing the authority of a taxing unit to challenge a category of property. (additional information is in the Tax section)
  • SB 956 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) allowing inaccuracies in a rendition statement to be corrected. (additional information is in the Tax section)
  • SB 999 by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) directing the Department of State Health Services to develop a state plan on awareness, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
  • SB 1134 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) designating a portion of FM 734 in Austin as the Master Sergeant Jonathan J. Dunbar Memorial Highway.
  • SB 1363 by Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) adding tow trucks into the "move over/slow down" law.
About the passage of SB 20, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said, "I congratulate Senator Joan Huffman and the entire Texas Senate on the unanimous passage of CSSB 20 and for her vigilant commitment to ending human trafficking in Texas. CSSB 20 reaffirms our determination to bring human traffickers to justice and stop the scourge of this horrible crime. This legislation will create safer communities across Texas. There are over 234,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas at any given time. CSSB 20 reforms the way we combat human trafficking and strengthens penalties for offenders." 
 
Total number of bills reported out of Senate Committees this week: 62
Total number of bills passed by the Senate this week: 44
Total number of bills passed by the Senate this session: 72
 
This Week: The Senate will reconvene at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019.
HOUSE NEWS  

The House was in session on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
 
On Monday, the House gave preliminary approval to nine bills including:
  • HB 76 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble) requiring school districts to offer info on EKG's to UIL student-athletes.
  • HB 123 by James White (R-Hillister) allowing foster and homeless youth to receive a personal ID certificate without parental permission.
  • HB 155 by Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) requiring Texas Department of Criminal Justice to notify courts that inmates have served 75 days so they can return to community supervision.
  • HB 165 by Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) providing endorsements for special education students. (additional information is in the Public Education section)
  • HB 337 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) requiring motorboat operators to use emergency engine cutoff switches.
  • HB 364 by Tony Tinderholt (R-Abilene) requiring the Department of Public Safety to maintain a database of defendants subject to alcohol monitoring through ignition interlock devices.
  • HB 659 by James White (R-Hillister) requiring an annual statistical report on Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates who are parents.
  • HB 1218 by Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) requiring even distribution of SNAP benefits throughout the month.
  • HB 1389 by Senfronia Thompson requiring courts to consider primary caretaker status in sentencing.
 
On Tuesday, the House gave final approval to the nine Monday bills, and gave preliminary approval to six bills including:
  • HB 61 by James White (R-Hillister) authorizing escort flag vehicles to use flashing blue and amber lights.
  • HB 382 by Lina Ortega (D-El Paso) allowing utilities in El Paso to establish a low-income assistance program.
  • HB 428 by Matt Shsheen (R-Plano) prohibiting sex offenders in prison from using the Internet to find pen pals.
  • HB 547 by Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) allowing digital images of hunting and fishing licenses as proof of licensure.
  • HB 638 by Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) allowing school districts to issue posthumous high school diplomas.
  • HB 1101 by Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) changing the name of the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf to Southwest College for the Deaf.
 
On Wednesday, the House gave final approval to the six bills taken up on Tuesday. They spent 12 hours in debate and after consideration of 307 amendments gave preliminary approval to:
  • HB 1 by John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) is the general appropriations bill.
  • SB 500 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) is the supplemental appropriations bill.
 
Total number of bills reported out of House Committees this week: 101    
Total number of bills passed by the House this week: 17
Total number of bills passed by the House this session: 34
 
This Week: The House will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019. Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced that the House will be in session Monday through Friday next week. Friday is Speaker's Reunion Day when former House members return to visit the House.
BUDGET

Passed the House:
HB 1 by John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) is the House version of the general appropriations bill. It would authorize total appropriations of $251.1 billion, an increase of 6.5 percent from 2018-2019. General revenue appropriations would total $116.5 billion, an increase of $7.9 billion, or 7.3 percent from 2018-1029. The committee substitute and 123 floor amendments were adopted (with the remaining amendments moved to Article XI) and it passed the House by a vote of 149-0.
SB 500 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) is the supplemental appropriations bill. It would appropriate $9.3 billion in all funds to several state agencies, including $4.3 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund, $2.7 billion in general revenue, and $2.3 billion in federal funds for Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery, the Medicaid shortfall, and state employee and teacher retirement. The committee substitute and two floor amendments were adopted and it passed the House by a vote of 149-0.
 
On Thursday, The Senate Finance Committee took up workgroup recommendations for SB 1, the Senate version of the appropriations bill.
 
This Week:
House Calendar:
HB 440 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would require a sample ballot for a local general obligation bond election to be posted on a taxing unit's website at least 21 days before the election; and would add a new Chapter 1253 in the Government Code, "General Obligation Bonds Issued by Political Subdivisions" which would prohibit a taxing unit from issuing general obligation bonds to purchase, improve, or construct improvements or to purchase personal property if the weighted average maturity of the bonds exceeds 120 percent of the reasonably expected weighted average economic life of the items purchased. It is on the House calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019 (committee substitute).
 
The House State Affairs Committee will meet on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in E2.028 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 632 by Dade Phelan (R-Port Neches) would establish a pilot program for recovery of delinquent obligations owed to state agencies. It would require the attorney general to contract with one or more entities to participate in the pilot program to collect nontax delinquent obligations owed to state agencies.
 
The Senate Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 9:00 a.m. in E1.036 of the capitol extension to take up:
SB 1 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) is the Senate version of the appropriations bill.
SB 69 by Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) would eliminate the legislative committee that determines the sufficient balance for the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) and require the comptroller to calculate the sufficient balance as 7 percent of the most recent general revenue-related biennial revenue estimate. It would also end federal revenues being deposited into the general revenue fund. It would allow the comptroller to invest up to 75 percent of the ESF in an investment portfolio.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Passed the Senate:
SB 450 by Beverly Powell (R-Burleson) would change the due date for the annual reports to the comptroller for Type 4-A and 4-B economic development corporations from February 1 to April 1. It passed the Senate unanimously. There were no amendments. (the companion is HB 1588, which is on Monday's House calendar.)
 
This Week:
House Calendar:
HB 303 by Dennis Paul (R-Webster) would add municipalities with a population of two million or more to the list of entities eligible to authorize the creation of a spaceport development corporation. It is on the House calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019.
HB 1588 by Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) would change the due date for the annual reports to the comptroller for Type 4-A and 4-B economic development corporations from February 1 to April 1. It is on the House calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019. (the companion is SB 450, which passed the Senate this week)
 
The House State Affairs Committee will meet on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in E2.028 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 415 by Bobby Guerra (D-McAllen) It would require a state agency to prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis if the agency is made aware that a proposed rule may have an adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. The statement and analysis would have to be posted in the Texas Register as an amendment to the proposed rule.
ENVIRONMENT

On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee took up:
HB 720 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would allow an aquifer storage and recovery project to involve the use of water derived from multiple sources; and would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to adopt rules providing for an expedited procedure for acting on an application for a water right or an amended water right, the considerations for determining the frequency that the water must be available before appropriated, and the method to apply environmental flow standards for infrequently available water. It would also establish procedure for filing an amendment to a water right. It was left pending.
HB 1052 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would authorize the Texas Water Development Board to use the state participation account to provide financial assistance for the development of a desalination or aquifer storage and recovery facility, including associated intake or distribution facilities, to meet existing or projected future water needs by acquiring a facility or ownership interest in a facility. It was left pending.
 
Also on Tuesday, the House Environmental Regulation Committee took up:
HB 1435 by Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to make site visits before approving a landfill permit application.  It was left pending.
HB 1627 by Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) would remove Victoria from the list of affected counties in the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan.  It was left pending.
HB 2771 by J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) would authorize Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to issue permits for the discharge into water of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent resulting from oil and gas activities.  It was left pending.
HB 2726 by John Kuempel (R-Seguin) would allow an applicant for an air quality permit amendment to begin construction after Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued a draft permit. It was left pending.
 
On Wednesday, the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee took up:
SB 531 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) would extend fee and other revenue sources to the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) fund until all areas of Texas meet air quality standards for ozone. It was left pending.
SB 534 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide notice of a hearing to adopt a proposed rule under the Texas Clean Air Act. It was left pending.
SB 649 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in cooperation with the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office to produce a plan to stimulate the use of recyclable materials as feedstock in manufacturing. It was left pending.
 
Reported From Committee:
HB 26 by Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) would create the Texas Dam Release Alert System to notify potentially affected persons of a dam release. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Natural Resources Committee.
HB 721 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would require the Water Development board to conduct studies of aquifer storage and recovery projects in the state water plan and report the results to regional water planning groups; and to conduct a statewide survey to identify the relative suitability of aquifers for use in aquifer storage and recover projects. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Natural Resources Committee.
HB 726 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would make several changes to the regulation of groundwater. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Natural Resources Committee.
HB 1506 by Mary Ann Perez (D-Pasadena) would allow a water and sewer utility to provide reduced rates to customers who receive medical or supplemental nutrition assistance benefits. It was voted favorably from the House Natural Resources Committee.
HB 1953 by Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) would exempt post-use polymers or recoverable feedstocks processed through pyrolysis or gasification from the definition of a solid waste. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Environmental Regulation Committee.
HB 1983 by Tracy King (D-Batesville) would delete the provision requiring the Texas Water Development Board to meet with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to discus colonias. It was voted favorably from the House Natural Resources Committee. (the companion is SB 1574, which was reported out of the Senate Water and Rural Affairs this week)
HJR 11 by Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) would propose a constitutional amendment allowing the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional general obligation bonds for the Economically Distressed Areas Program of up to $200 million to be used for water supply and sewer and drainage projects in economically distressed areas. It was voted favorably from the House Natural Resources Committee.
SB 1574 by Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) would repeal several sections of the Water Code requiring the Water Development Board to meet and collaborate with other agencies. It was reported favorably from the Senate Water and Rural Affairs Committee and recommended for the Local & Uncontested calendar. (the companion is HB 1983, which was voted out of the House Natural Resources Committee this week)
 
This Week:
House Calendar:
HB 807 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would require the Interregional Planning Council to adopt a new state water plan every five years. It is on the House calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019.
HB 1066 by Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would require a groundwater conservation district to extend a permit for the transfer of groundwater from the district before its expiration date for a term that is not shorter than the term of an operating permit for the production of water to be transferred that is in effect at the time of the extension, with option to renew. It is on the House calendar for Tuesday, April 2, 2019 (committee substitute).
 
Senate Intent Calendar:
SB 1041 by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would change the deadline by which the Texas Water Development Board is required to identify and designate brackish groundwater production zones from 2022 to 2032. It is on the Senate Intent calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019.
 
The House Environmental Regulation Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in E1.010 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 990 by Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) would require the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to submit a report to the governor and the legislature, regarding the environmental effects of the construction of a border wall.
HB 1346 by Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) would give the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) flexibility in administering the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) program in order for more grants to be awarded.
HB 1746 by J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) would extend the fee and other revenue sources to the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) fund until all areas of Texas meet air quality standards for ozone (it is schedule to sunset on August 31, 2019).
HB 3224 by Jose Lozano (R-Kingsville) would establish a defense under the Solid Waste Disposal Act for persons that produce recyclable material.
 
The House Natural Resources Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. or upon adjournment in E2.010 to take up:
HB 137 by Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) would require operators of a dam to notify the local emergency director if the dam is classified as "high" or "significant" according to the federal Hazard Potential Classification System for Dams.
HB 724 by Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize discharge water into a watercourse or stream and divert and reuse the water if the water is treated brackish groundwater or return flows derived from treated brackish groundwater and the person is authorized to discharge the water into the watercourse of stream.
HB 1263 by Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) would allow draining districts to order a property owner to clear or otherwise maintain a canal, drain ditch, or levee located on the owner's private property.
HB 3324 by Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) would require pipeline operators to provide to the Railroad Commission site-specific contingency plans to control discharge of fluids to minimize impacts to groundwater.
HEALTH

Reported from Committee:
HB 10 and HJR 5 by Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) would propose a constitutional amendment establishing the Texas Mental & Behavioral Health Research Institute to be funded with voter-approved bonds. They were voted favorably as substituted from the House Public Health Committee.
HB 18 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would add positive behavior interventions and support into each school district's improvement plan; increase training and curriculum requirements on mental health issues; and expand school counseling programs for students with mental health conditions. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Public Health Committee.
HB 19 by Four Price (R-Amarillo) would require local mental health authorities to employ a non-physician mental health professional to serve as a mental health and substance use resource for school districts; and would require the authority to collaborate with local regional education service centers. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Public Health Committee.
HB 749 by John Zerwas (R-Fulshear) would increase the smoking age to 21. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Public Health Committee.
HIGHER EDUCATION

Passed the Senate:
SB 212 by Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would require an employee of a public and private institution of higher education who witnesses or receives information regarding the occurrence of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking alleged to have been committed by or against a student or an employee of the institution to promptly report the incident to the institution's Title IX coordinator. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed the Senate unanimously.
 
On Wednesday, the Senate Higher Education Committee took up:
SB 25 by Royce West (D-Dallas) would require institutions of higher education to develop a recommended course sequence for each undergraduate certificate or degree program offered by the institution; require universities to identify each lower-division institution of higher education from which the university regularly receives at least 20 percent of its transfer students, and establish an articulation agreement with each of those lower-division institutions that enables a transfer student to receive up to 60 semester credit hours for courses completed at the lower-division institution. It was left pending.
SB 502 by Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) would require institutions of higher education, including medical and dental units, to annually report to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board information on any courses for which a student who transfers to the institution from another institution of higher education is not granted academic transfer credit at the receiving institution. The report must include the course name and type; which institution of higher education provided academic credit for the course; and the reason why the receiving institution did not grant academic credit for the course. It was left pending.
SB 709 by Royce West (D-Dallas) would reallocate the annual constitutional appropriation to institutions of higher education under the Excellence in Higher Education Act beginning with the fiscal year ending August 31, 2021 (an update of the distribution set in 2016). It was left pending.
SB 1017 by Beverly Powell (D-Burleson) would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish an Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education for Persons With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to advise the board on policies and practices to improve postsecondary education opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was left pending.
SB 1378 by Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) would provide that if a proposed medical school's maximum enrollment class size differs from its preliminary plan, the institution must include an increase in the number of first-year residency positions sufficient to accommodate the increased class size. It was left pending.
SB 1757 by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would clarify that the math and science scholars loan repayment program rules may not require a person to complete more than four additional consecutive school years of teaching. It was left pending.
SB 1923 by Royce West (D-Dallas) would make several changes to promote credit transfer by requiring dual credit students to file a degree plan after completing 30 semester credit hours; requiring junior colleges and technical institutes to adopt a field of study curriculum for an academic area in which the college or institute offers courses; and requiring the Coordinating Board to develop a meta-major academic pathway for each broad academic discipline. It was left pending.
SB 2058 by Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) would require an institution of higher education to waive tuition and fees for a transfer student for the number of semester credit hours earned by the student in the core curriculum or a field of study curriculum at a sending institution that does not transfer or transfers only as elective credit. It was left pending.
 
Reported from Committee:
HB 766 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble) would add disabled fire fighters to the tuition and fee exemption law exempting disabled peace officers and would require instead of allow institutions of higher education to exempt them from tuition and fees. It was reported favorably from the House Higher Education Committee.
HB 809 by Shawn Thierry (D-Houston) would expand the duties of the liaison officer for students formerly in foster care at each institution of higher education to also assist students who are homeless. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Higher Education Committee.
HB 1702 by Donna Howard (D-Austin) would require the liaison officer designated by each institution of higher education to interact with students who were formerly in foster care to receive a list of names, updated at least annually, of current and incoming students at the institution who were formerly in foster care; and would require contact information for the liaison officer to be provided to the students and publicized on the institution's Internet website, social media, electronic mail, or other means of communication used by the institution. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Higher Education Committee.
HB 1891 by Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger) would exempt students from the Texas Success Initiative assessment requirement in a content area if the student receives above a score set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on a high school equivalency examination in that content area. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Higher Education Committee.
HB 2140 by Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to adopt procedures to allow a person to complete and submit the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) of a similar application for state student financial assistance by electronic submission through the board's Internet website. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Higher Education Committee.
 
Senate Intent Calendar:
SB 1324 by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would require dual credit students to file a degree plan after completing 15 semester credit hours. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019.
HUMAN RESOURCES/EMPLOYMENT

On Monday, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up:
SB 17 by Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) would prohibit a state agency that issues a license or regulates a business, occupation or profession from adopting a rule, regulation or policy or impose a penalty that limits an applicant's ability to obtain, maintain, or renew a license based on a sincerely held religious belief of the applicant or burdens an applicant's or license holder's free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, or membership in any religious organization. It was reported favorably as substituted. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019 (first placement).
 
This Week: 
The House Business & Industry Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in E2.016 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 4390 by Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) would be the Texas Privacy Protection Act. It would prohibit a business from collecting personally identifying information unless the information is relevant and necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the information was collected and that purpose is disclosed by the business.
HB 4518 by Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) would be the Texas Consumer Privacy Act. It would allow a consumer to request a business that collects the consumer's personal information to disclose the categories and specific items of personal information the business has collected; and would allow a consumer to request that a business delete any personal information the business has collected.
PROCUREMENT

On Tuesday, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:
SB 943 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would make contracting information excepted from public information requirements if the vendor or contractor or potential vendor or contractor to whom the information related demonstrates that disclosure of the information would reveal an individual approach to work organizational structure, staffing, line-item pricing, pricing information that will be used in future solicitation or bid documents, or internal operations and cause competitive harm to the vendor or contractor. It was left pending.
 
This Week:
The Senate State Affairs Committee will meet on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Chamber to take up:
SB 1569 by Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) would prohibit school board members, school employees, or contractors of a school district from distributing a communication that advocates for or against a candidate, measure, political party, political philosophy or matter of public interest including information on a social media platform or an electronic communication.
PUBLIC EDUCATION

Passed the House:
HB 76 by Dan Huberty (R-Katy) would require high school student athletes to receive a physical exam that includes an electrocardiogram before being allowed to participate in a sports activity. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed the House 145-0.
HB 165 by Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) would allow special education students to earn an endorsement on the student's transcript by successfully completing curriculum and endorsement requirements identified by the State Board of Education, with or without modification by the student's admission, review, and dismissal committee. It passed the House 148-0.
HB 638 by Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) would establish procedures for a high school diploma to be issued posthumously to a student that dies while enrolled in the school district. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed the House 148-0.
 
On Tuesday, the House Public Education Committee took up:
HB 17 by Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) is a school safety bill that includes building and facility security standards, multi-hazard emergency operations plans, communication access, safety and security audits, notification plans, and emergency drills. It was left pending.
HB 366 by Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) would require the State Board of Education to adopt the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for curricula to be used by a school district in providing healthy relationships education that is age-appropriate and supported by research that is peer-reviewed, conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods, and recognized as accurate by leading professional organizations. It was left pending.
HB 567 by Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) would require the Commissioner of Education to adjust a school district's wealth per student by deducting the amount of revenue per student costs associated with campus security in the preceding school year. It was left pending.
HB 734 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble) would authorize school board members and school superintendents to carry a concealed handgun at a meeting of the board of trustees of the school district. It was left pending.
HB 973 by Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) would require the Texas School Safety Center to report to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) any school district that fails to require with school safety and security audits, procedures and requirements; and would allow TEA to impose an administrative penalty against the district in an amount up to the annual salary of the superintendent. It was left pending.
HB 974 by Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) would require school districts to conduct a safety and security audit once every two years (instead of three years); and would require (instead of allow) school districts to require a person that enters a campus, other than to attend a school sponsored event that is open to the public, to display the person's driver's license or other form of photo identification, and to cross-check the person with the Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry. It was left pending.
HB 975 by Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) would require the State Board of Education to require a trustee to complete training on school safety on curriculum and materials developed by the board. It was left pending.
HB 976 by Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) would require school district trustees and charter school governing members to complete training on school safety and security provided by the Texas School Safety Center every three years. It was left pending.
HB 1026 by Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) would require the State Board of Education to integrate positive character traits into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum. It was left pending.
HB 1467 by James Talarico (D-Round Rock) would require school districts and charters to maintain a mental health professional to school law enforcement ratio of at least four mental health professionals for each school law enforcement official if the district or school has 5,000 or more students; three to one if the district or school has between 500 and 5,000 students; and two to one if the district or school has less than 500 students. It was left pending.
HB 1623 by Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) would require teachers and other school district employees to be trained to recognize students displaying signs of physical or emotional trauma and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention. It was left pending.
HB 1640 by Armando "Mando" Martinez (D-Weslaco) would establish a life skills counselor pilot program in high schools in the border region to help address emotional and mental health concerns of students. It was left pending.
HB 1754 by Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) would establish a school safety allotment of at least $50 per student in the foundation school program to be used to improve school safety and security including securing school facilities through infrastructure, installation of physical barriers, security equipment or cameras, employing peace officers and school marshals, and safety and security training. It was left pending.
HB 2195 by Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) would require a school districts to include in its multihazard emergency operations plan a policy for responding to an active shooter emergency. It was left pending.
HB 2511 by Alma Allen (D-Houston) would require campus improvement plans to include goals and methods for bullying prevention and dropout deterrence, including providing a research-based teacher development program that provides teachers continuing education in creating a nurturing classroom environment; developing respectful and caring relationships with students; promoting student emotional health by providing strategies to help students feel valued; and providing empathetic teaching techniques that may be used to discipline a student's behavior while showing respect and care for the student. It was left pending.
HB 2653 by Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) would require school districts and charters to adopt policies and procedures in accordance with the guidelines developed by the Texas School Safety Center for establishing a threat assessment team. It was left pending.
HB 2654 by Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) would establish new building standards and safety standards that apply to new instructional facilities constructed after September 1, 2019. It was left pending.
HB 2994 by James Talarico (D-Round Rock) would require the Commissioner of Education to develop training materials to assist educators in developing expertise in working with students with mental health needs. It was left pending.
HB 2997 by James Talarico (D-Round Rock) would require suicide prevention training to all school employees that have student contact, including bus drivers. It was left pending.
HB 3018 by Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) would require school districts to incorporate instruction in digital citizenship into the district's curriculum including instruction on the standards of appropriate, responsible, and healthy online behavior, including the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act on all forms of digital communication. It was left pending.
HB 3235 by Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Dallas) would require teacher staff development to include suicide prevention training at least every two years. It was left pending.
HB 3290 by Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) would require school districts to include a special threat response policy in its multihazard emergency operating plans. It was left pending.
HB 3411 by Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) would require (instead of allow) school districts to develop practices and procedures concerning substance abuse prevention and intervention and suicide prevention that include the return of a student to school following hospitalization or residential treatment for a mental health condition or substance abuse and for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention (activities that promote healing necessary to reduce the risk of suicide by a person affected by the suicide of another). It was left pending.
 
Also on Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee took up:
SB 1001 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would prohibit a homeless student from being placed in out-of-school suspension. It was left pending. (the companion is HB 692, which was reported favorably from the House Public Education Committee this week)
SB 1451 by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would require the Commissioner of Education to ensure that a teacher may not be assigned an area of deficiency in an appraisal solely on the basis of disciplinary referrals made by the teacher.
SB 1679 by Royce West (D-Dallas) would clarify that a child that is eligible for enrollment in a pre-kindergarten class at the age of three remains eligible for enrollment at the age of four. It was left pending.
 
Reported From Committee:
HB 692 by James White (R-Hillister) would prohibit a homeless student from being placed in out-of-school suspension. It was reported favorably from the House Public Education Committee this week. (the companion is SB 1001, which was heard in the Senate Education Committee this week)
HB 1388 by Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) would add students who successfully complete a coherent sequence of career and technology courses to the evaluation criteria for school districts and campuses. It was voted favorably from the House Public Education Committee.
HB 1597 by Stan Lambert (R-Abilene) would allow a student whose parent or guardian is an active-duty military member to establish residency in a school district by providing a copy of a military order requiring the parent's transfer to a military installation in or adjacent to the district's attendance zone. It was voted favorably from the House Public Education Committee.
HB 2424 by Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would require the State Board of Educator Certification to establish a program to issue micro-credentials in fields of study related to an educator's certification class. It was voted favorably from the House Public Education Committee.
SB 213 by Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) would eliminate the sunset date (September 1, 2019) on statutes authorizing the use of individual graduation committees and alternative methods to satisfy high school graduation requirements. It was voted favorably as substituted from the Senate Education Committee.
 
Thid Week:
House Calendar:
HB 678 by Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) would add a course in American Sign Language completed at an elementary school to count for one credit toward an elective course for graduation. It is on the House calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019.
HB 3 by Dan Huberty (R-Humble) is a comprehensive school finance reform bill. It is on the House calendar for Wednesday, April 3, 2019 (committee substitute). Amendments must be filed with the clerk's office by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019.
 
Senate Intent Calendar:
SB 674 by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would require open-enrollment charter schools to be treated the same as school districts for purposes of the exemption provisions related to municipal drainage requirements. It is on the Senate Intent calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019 (first placement).
 
The House Public Education Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in E2.036 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 963 by Cedil Bell, Jr. (R-Magnolia) would allow the $50 bonus for two or more advanced career and technology education courses to apply to advanced technology applications courses.
HB 1468 by James Talarico (D-Round Rock) would establish the Public School Mental Health Task Force to examine the effectiveness of school counseling programs for students in public schools.
HB 1517 by Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) would require schools and charters that do not have a full-time nurse assigned to be present at the school for more than 30 consecutive instructional days during the school year to provide written notice of the absence to the parents of each student enrolled in the school.
HB 2030 by John Turner (D-Dallas) would clarify that three-year-old children that qualify for pre-kindergarten programs remain eligible the following school year.
HB 2184 by Alma Allen (D-Houston) would establish procedures to transition a student from an alternative education program to a regular classroom.
HB 2984 by Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) would require kindergarten through 8th-grade TEKS to include coding, computer programming, computational thinking, and cybersecurity in the technology applications curriculum.
HB 3007 by Chris Turner (D-Burleson) would require Texas Education Agency to provide school districts with a copy of all source data submitted to the agency by an entity other than the district that the agency considered in determining the district's or a campus' accountability rating, prior to the initial release of accountability ratings for a school year.
HB 3217 by Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) would require the State Board of Educator Certification to provide for a minimum amount of field-based experience or internship to be included in the required credit hours needed for teacher certification.
HB 3323 by DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne) would require school districts to post the district's employment policy on the district's Internet website.
HB 3435 by Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D-Rowlett) would designate March 1st as Texas Girls in STEM Day to celebrate and encourage the participation of girls in the fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
HB 3710 by Keith Bell (R-Forney) would require the Texas Education Agency to develop interactive electronic tutorials that provide a comprehensive review for each end-of-course assessment required for graduation.
HB 4310 by Harold Dutton (D-Houston) would require school districts to allow sufficient time for teachers to teach and for students to learn the required curriculum; and would prohibit a school district from penalizing a teacher that does not follow a designated scope and sequence, if the teacher determines that students need additional time or less time to demonstrate proficiency in a specific set of standards.
 
The Senate Education Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in E1.028 to take up:
SB 591 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would take away the "pilot" status of the Adult High School Diploma and Industry Certification Charter School Program, making it a full program; and would allow adult students of all ages to participate.
SB 676 by Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) would allow a student whose parent or guardian is an active-duty military member to establish residency in a school district by providing a copy of a military order requiring the parent's transfer to a military installation in or adjacent to the district's attendance zone.
SB 863 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would require the Texas Education Agency to conduct an ongoing study to examine costs associated with dual credit courses offered a public high schools including data on costs associated with tuition, fees, textbooks, transportation, instructor compensation, assessments, and facilities; and including sources of funding. (the companion is HB 3055)
SB 1276 by Beverly Powell (D-Burleson) would require agreements between school districts and institutions of higher education to provide a dual credit program.
SB 1323 by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would require students who have earned 15 or more semester credit hours through dual credit to complete an application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA).
SB 1731 by Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) would eliminate the internship requirement for teacher certification.
SB 2073 by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would require school districts that reduce the number of instruction days for students to give a corresponding reduction of teacher in-service days.
TAX

Passed the Senate:
SB 449 by Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would repeal subsection (i) of 42.23 of the Tax Code, "Judicial Review: Scope of Review" which provides that in a court case for a valuation dispute, the court "may give preference to an employee" authorized to perform an appraisal of real estate under the Occupations Code. It passed the Senate unanimously. (the companion is HB 2220, which was heard in the House Ways & Means Committee this week)
SB 533 by Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) would clarify that a well that is part of an enhanced oil recovery project or that is drilled but not completed and has no record of hydrocarbon production does not qualify for the two-year inactive well exemption from the oil production tax. It passed the Senate unanimously. (the companion is HB 1558, which was voted out of the House Ways & Means Committee this week)
SB 955 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would remove the authority for a taxing unit to challenge the overall level of appraisal of a category of property. It passed the Senate by a vote of 30-1.
SB 956 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would authorize an appraisal review board to correct an inaccuracy in the appraised value of tangible personal property that is the result of an error or omission in a rendition statement. It passed the Senate unanimously.
 
On Tuesday, the Senate Property Tax Committee took up:
SB 5 and SJR 71 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would propose a constitutional amendment increasing the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $35,000; and would reduce the amount of revenue that would otherwise be deposited in the Economic Stabilization Fund. They were left pending.
SB 58 by Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) would broaden the existing property tax exemption for personal use leased motor vehicles to apply to vehicles for use other than the production of income. It was left pending.
SB 196 and SJR 47 by Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would propose a constitutional amendment broadening the 100 percent homestead property tax exemption for war widows by changing the term "killed in action" to "killed in the line of duty." They were left pending.
SB 717 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) would provide an ad valorem tax exemption for property owned by a charitable organization that provides a meeting place and support services for organizations that provide assistance to alcoholics and their families. It was left pending.
SB 894 by Brandon Creighton (R-Plano) would remove the 7 percent interest from the penalty calculation for property converted from agriculture use valuation to developed property, and would reduce the number of back taxes owed from five to three years. It was left pending.
SB 1005 and SJR 43 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would propose a constitutional amendment extending the Freeport exemption period from 175 days to 365 days. They were left pending.
SB 1013 by Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) would set the maximum penalty for filing a late application for a freeport exemption at 10 percent of the tax that would have been imposed without the exemption. It was left pending.
 
On Wednesday, the House Ways & Means Committee took up:
HB 1089 by Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) would qualify activities involving the rental of industrial uniforms, garments and linen supplies for the "retail" rate under the franchise tax. It was left pending.
HB 1882 by Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) would clarify the status of contiguous tracts of land for purposes of requesting binding arbitration in an appeal of an appraisal review board order. It was left pending.
HB 2160 by Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) would clarify that land qualifies for appraisal as qualified open-space land if the land is currently devoted principally to agricultural use to the degree of intensity generally accepted in the area and was acquired by a person who owns land that qualified as open-space land and is adjacent to the acquired land. It was left pending.
HB 2220 by John Wray (R-Waxahachie) would repeal subsection (i) of 42.23 of the Tax Code, "Judicial Review: Scope of Review" which provides that in a court case for a valuation dispute, the court "may give preference to an employee" authorized to perform an appraisal of real estate under the Occupations Code. It was left pending. (the companion is SB 449, which passed the Senate this week)
HB 3253 by Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) would require the Comptroller to examine circuit breaker programs as a way to expand and protect the homestead interests of low- and moderate-income families. It was left pending.
HB 3954 by Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) would clarify that the bulk transfer system for motor fuels includes a marine vessel and a motor fuel storage facility for motor fuel sales tax purposes. It was left pending.
 
On Thursday, the Senate Property Tax Committee took up:
SB 812 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) would update the reference in federal law in the definition of "disaster recovery program" for purposes of appraisal of property rendered uninhabitable or unusable due to wind or water damage. It was voted out favorably as substituted. (the companion is HB 1842, which was voted out of the House Ways & Means Committee this week)
 
Reported From Committee:
HB 2 by Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) is the House's property tax reform bill. It was voted favorably as substituted from the House Ways & Means Committee.
HB 360 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would extend the date of the Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act (Section 312 of the Tax Code) from September 1, 2019 to September 1, 2029. It was voted favorably from the House Ways & Means Committee.
HB 1558 by Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) would clarify that a well that is part of an enhanced oil recovery project or that is drilled but not completed and has no record of hydrocarbon production does not qualify for the two-year inactive well exemption from the oil production tax. It was voted favorably from the House Ways & Means Committee. (the companion is SB 533, which passed the Senate this week)
HB 1842 by Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) would update the reference in federal law in the definition of "disaster recovery program" for purposes of appraisal of property rendered uninhabitable or unusable due to wind or water damage. It was voted out favorably as substituted from the House Ways and Means Committee. (the companion is SB 812, which was voted out of the Senate Property Tax Committee this week)
HB 2129 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would extend the Texas Economic Development Act (Chapter 313 of the Tax Code) from through 2022 to through 2032. It was voted favorably from the House Ways & Means Committee.
SB 443 by Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) would allow a property owner to continue to receive a homestead exemption if the property is uninhabitable and unusable due to wind and water damage and the property owner is living in a different location while the property is being repaired for up to five years. It was voted favorably as substituted from the Senate Property Tax Committee.
SB 1772 and SJR 57 by Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) would propose a constitutional amendment providing a temporary property tax exemption for property located in a declared disaster area that sustains at least 15 percent damage. They were voted favorably from the Senate Property Tax Committee.
 
This Week:
House Calendar:
HB 1254 by Jim Murphy (R-Houston) would repeal Section 23.42 (a-1) of the Tax Code, which allows land secured by a home equity loan to be designated for agricultural use for ad valorem tax purposes if on January 1, the land has been devoted exclusively to or developed continuously for agriculture for the three years preceding the current year. It is on the House calendar for Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
HB 2179 by John Wray (R-Waxahachie) would eliminate "clear and convincing" from the evidence threshold for proving an appraisal review board member engaged in repeated bias and misconduct. It is on the House calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019.
 
Senate Intent Calendar:
SB 925 by Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) would require the calculation for determining whether a well or lease qualifies for the low-producing tax credit be based on the greater of the monthly production reported to the Railroad Commission and the production reported to the comptroller. It is on the Senate Intent calendar for Monday, April 1, 2019 (first placement).

TRANSPORTATION 

Passed the Senate:
SB 357 by Robert Nichols (R-Nacogdoches) would prohibit highway signs from being higher than 42 ½ feet (instead of 85 feet). The committee substitute was adopted and it passed the Senate unanimously.
 
On Monday, the House Administration Committee took up:
HB 1370 by Cody Harris (R-Palestine) would establish the Joint Interim Committee on High-Speed Rail Development to evaluate the feasibility of creating a statewide high-speed rail initiative through a public-private partnership and work with the Texas Department of Transportation to develop a comprehensive statewide strategy for the development of high-speed rail. It was left pending.
 
On Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee took up:
HB 803 by Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) would require toll project entities to annually report the entity's financial data, toll revenue, operational expenses, and outstanding debt for each toll project on the entity's Internet website. It was left pending.
HB 901 by Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) would prohibit a county tax assessor-collector and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to refuse to register a motor vehicle alleged to have been involved in a violation detected by a photographic traffic signal enforcement system solely because the vehicle owner is delinquent in the payment of a civil penalty imposed because of the alleged violation. It was left pending.
HB 1631 by Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) would prohibit a local authority from implementing or operating a photographic traffic signal enforcement system on a highway or street under the jurisdiction of the authority. It was left pending.
HB 1971 by Ken King (R-Canadian) would impose an additional registration fee for electric and hybrid vehicles ($200 for electric and $100 for hybrid) to be paid to the state highway fund. It was left pending.
HB 2262 by Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) would prohibit the use of traffic surveillance systems except for the purpose of collecting or enforcing tolls. It was left pending.
 
On Wednesday, the Senate Transportation Committee took up:
SB 892 by Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) would prohibit the modification or reprogramming of the exhaust emission system of a diesel-powered motor vehicle if it will increase the motor vehicle's capacity to emit soot, smoke, or other particulate matter. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
 
This Week:
The House Land & Resource Management Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in E2.012 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 1367 by Cody Harris (R-Palestine) would give persons from whom real property was acquired by a private high-speed rail entity, their heirs, successors and assigns first right of refusal to repurchase the property before all other purchasers for the price paid to the owner by the entity if the property is not used by the entity.
 
The House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in E2.028 of the capitol extension to take up:
HB 105 by Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio) would require the Texas Commission on Licensing and Regulation to include in driver training and safety courses information on how to safely operate a motor vehicle near an oversize or overweight vehicle.
 
The Senate Transportation Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in E1.016 of the capitol extension to take up:
SB 549 by Royce West (D-Dallas) would require a person to hold a valid driver's license and be at least 16 years of age to operate a motor-assisted scooter; would only allow the operation of a motor-assisted scooter in a bike land, on a pedestrian walkway or on a roadway without a bicycle lane that has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less; would prohibit the parking of a motor-assisted scooter in a manner that obstructs a roadway, path, or sidewalk; and would allow counties and municipalities to adopt more stringent regulations on motor-assisted scooter.
SB 1076 by Kirk Watson (D-Austin) would acknowledge the unequal taxation of road users under the motor fuels tax by applying an additional registration fee to alternately fueled vehicles that avoid this tax. The rate would be set by formula based on the average tax paid by users of similar vehicle types and discounted 15 to 25 percent as a continued incentive for the purchase of low-emission vehicles.
SB 1216 by Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) would require the owner of an alternatively fueled vehicle to pay additional fees upon registration and renewal based on the number of miles driven and the amount the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles sets for each class of vehicle.
SB 1471 by Beverly Powell (R-Burleson) would add an additional vehicle registration fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.
SB 1512 by Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) would require the state to pay for the relocation of a utility facility if the relocation is required for the improvement of state highways.
SB 2076 by Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) would require the Texas Department of motor vehicles to allow a vehicle registered with the department to be equipped with a digital license plate in lieu of a physical license plate; and would allow the department to contract with a digital license plate provider for the issuance of the digital license plates.
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