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PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE
Join the Plano Chamber of Commerce for our monthly Public Policy Committee meeting. This committee discusses legislation and issues that affect the business community. Attended by business professionals, elected officials, and key community representatives, these meetings are open to all members in good standing.
for more details.
- Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee met April 10 to take up SB 1392 and SB 1511.
- House Government Transparency & Operation Committee met April 10 to take up HB 4038.
- House Energy Resources Committee met April 10 to take up HB 1931, HB 2715, HB 2813, and HB 3726.
- House Environmental Regulation Committee will meet April 11 to take up HB 2092, HB 2479, HB 2582, HB 2771, HB 3058, and HB 3175.
- House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Special Water Districts met April 10 to take up HB 3028, HB 3031, HB 3043, and HB 3166.
- House Public Education Committee's Subcommittee on Educator Quality met April 10 to take up HB 1867, HB 2039, HB 2775, HB 2924, HB 2941, HB 3044, HB 3349, HB 3563, and HB 3692.
- House Public Education Committee will meet April 11 to take up HB 168, HB 895, HB 1114, HB 1540, HB 1585, HB 1593, HB 1638, HB 1980, HB 2087, HB 2185, HB 2614, HB 2729, HB 2884, HB 3106, HB 3145, HB 3251, HB 3318, HB 3369, HB 3438, HB 3593, and HB 3795.
to view the full list of bills the Plano Chamber is tracking.
The Senate was in session Monday-Thursday of last week.
The Senate reconvened on Monday, April 10 at 2:00 PM. CLICK HERE to view upcoming schedules.
The House was in session Monday-Thursday of last week. On April 3, they conducted routine business. T
he House reconvened on April 10 at 2 PM.
to view upcoming schedules.
GOVERNOR STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS
On April 7, Gov. Abbott announced David Whitley as the new Deputy Chief of Staff for the Governor's office, replacing Robert Allen, who has been selected as the next President & CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. Whitley currently serves as the Governor's Appointments Director. Gaby Fuentes, who is currently the Deputy Appointments Director, has been named acting Appointments Director. Gov. Abbott said, "Robert has been an invaluable member of my team, and after 14 years of exemplary service in my office and to the State of Texas, I want to thank him for his boundless dedication. In Robert's new role, we will continue to work together to promote Texas' economic climate to attract businesses across the country and abroad, ensuring the Lone Star State remains the top state in which to do business. Moving forward, I'm confident that David and Gaby will continue to play a critical and valued role in their new positions while also ensuring a seamless transition." The staff changes were effective April 1, 2017.
previously served as the Appointments Director for Gov. Abbott. Prior to that, he served as deputy appointments director. He began working for then-Attorney General Abbott in 2004, serving in various roles including Assistant Deputy Attorney General. During law school, he worked in the Texas Senate. He received his finance and law degrees from UT Austin.
previously served as Deputy Appointments Director. She has been a part of the Governor's Appointments Office since 2001. She began her state career at the Texas Historical Commission. She received a BA in Spanish with a minor in journalism from UT and completed the Governor's Executive Development Program at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
TEXAS COMPANIES ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
On April 3, Gov. Abbott hosted a reception at the Governor's Mansion honoring leading companies and CEOs from the state of Texas. Also in attendance at the event were officials from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), including President Tom Farley. Texas is home to 270 companies currently on the NYSE, the most of any other state in the country. Gov. Abbott said, "Tonight's representation of Texas companies on the New York Stock Exchange is a testament to the diversification and strength of our state's economy. Texas is home to the second-highest number of Fortune 500 companies of the 50 states, and I remain committed to claiming the top spot in the near future. As Governor, I will continue to pursue policies that entice business to expand and relocate to Texas to create more jobs for Texans."
On April 5, Gov. Abbott welcomed the new
Boeing Global Services (BGS) headquarters to Texas. Boeing currently employs more than 4,000 employees in the state and has facilities in Houston, San Antonio and the DFW area. The BGS site will be located in Legacy West in Plano and will house BGS leadership as well as support staff and will serve as the central hub for 20,000 employees around the world. Gov. Abbott said, "Texas continues to be a global powerhouse in business expansion and relocation because of our economic policies that encourage industry leaders, like Boeing, to expand their operations here. As governor, I will continue to promote a low-tax and reasonable regulatory environment that removes barriers to entry and provides certainty for businesses. I am proud to welcome Boeing's new Global Services unit to Texas and look forward to working with them further to continue their expansion in the Lone Star State."
On April 3, the Senate passed 48 bills on its first Local & Uncontested Calendar of the session. They also passed 11 bills from the Intent Calendar including:
- SB 248 by Charles Schwertner would establish a process by which a special utility district can legally dissolve. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
- SB 528 by Brian Birdwell would specify that the term for governor-appointed chief administrative law judges expires on May 15 of each even-numbered year. It passed unanimously.
- SB 667 by Judith Zaffirini would require the Office of Court Administration to establish a Guardianship Compliance Program. It passed by a vote of 30-1.
- SB 864 by Charles Perry would require Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to identify any proposed alternative source of water in the notice for a water rights permit. It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
- SB 1096 by Zaffirini would require a peace officer that detains or arrests a person who is a ward notify the court that has jurisdiction over the ward's guardianship of the arrest or detention within one working day. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
- SB 1172 by Charles Perry would prohibit a political subdivision from adopting an order, ordinance, or other measure to regulate agriculture seeds. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
- SJR 27 by Van Taylor would propose a constitutional amendment repealing Section 14, Article IX of the Texas Constitution, which repeals county authority to provide for manual labor poor houses and farms. It passed unanimously.
NOTE: Information on some of the bills that passed in the Senate on April 3 are noted in the issue categories below.
On April 4, the Senate passed 16 bills including:
- SB 19 by Kel Seliger would institute performance-based tuition at Texas public higher education institutions. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed by a vote of 29-2. The floor amendment was by Senator Charles Schwertner and it would limit future tuition increases at public universities to no more than 1% over the rate of inflation. The amendment was adopted by a 20-11 vote.
- SB 42 would be the Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial & Courthouse Security Act of 2017 and would establish local court security committees and require court security training for judges and other court personnel. Senator Zaffirini said, "The implementation of these measures would improve safety for everyone who interacts with the Texas justice system, including judges, courthouse personnel, lawyers, jurors, and citizens. The attack on Judge Korcurek was not only an assault on our judicial system, but also a wake-up call to improve security for all judges and courthouses in our state. Her courage and perseverance in returning to the bench proved that criminals cannot thwart justice by threatening or intimidating Texas judges. What's more, her desire to ensure that others are not attacked and her belief in justice for all inspired her meaningful advocacy for improving court security." The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed by a vote of 26-5.
by Kirk Watson is the sunset bill for Employees Retirement System of Texas. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
by Kirk Watson is the sunset bill for the State Bar of Texas. The committee substitute and two floor amendments were adopted and it passed unanimously.
by Kirk Watson is the sunset bill for the Board of Law Examiners. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
by Kelly Hancock would provide that contract work funded with state money may not prohibit, require, discourage, or encourage a person bidding on the public work contract from entering into or adhering to an agreement with a collective bargaining organization. It passed to Third Reading on April 3 & received final Senate approval on April 4 by 20-11 vote.
by Jose Rodriguez would clarify regulations regarding used or scrap tire generators. It passed to Third Reading on April 3 by a vote of 21-10 after a committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted. It received final Senate approval on April 4 by the same vote.
by Craig Estes would expand allowable uses of freshwater fishing stamp revenue to include construction of and costs associated with new hatcheries. It passed unanimously.
by Joan Huffman would be the Campus Sexual Assault & Violence Elimination Act or "C-SAVE," and it would require both public and private Texas colleges and universities to account for incidents of rape and sexual violence on their campuses. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
by Brian Birdwell would abolish the Council on Competitive Government and transfer its functions to the Comptroller. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
by Robert Nichols would repeal the Transportation Infrastructure Fund and repeal County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones (CETRZs). One floor amendment was adopted and it passed unanimously. (Note: the companion HB 2813 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Energy Resources Committee on April 10, 2017.)
by Charles Perry would enhance penalties to a second-degree felony for sex offenders who assault security or commit other violent offenses against treatment service providers and staff. It passed unanimously.
The Senate also gave preliminary approval to SB 18 by Kel Seliger, which would eliminate the tuition set-aside requirement for institutions of higher education to set aside a portion of tuition payments to be used for tuition assistance for qualified students. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to third reading by a vote of 20-11. On April 5, the vote to pass HB 18 to Third Reading was reconsidered, three additional floor amendments were adopted, and it passed to Third Reading again. SB 18 received final approval on April 6 by a vote of 20-11.
On April 5, the Senate passed 15 bills including:
- SB 39 by Judith Zaffirini makes several changes to guardianship statutes. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.
- SB 91 by Bob Hall would authorize law enforcement agencies and municipal parking enforcement authorities to use an automatic license plate reader; and it would require all images and data produced from an automatic license plate reader to be destroyed within 1 year of the collection unless the image or data is evidence in a criminal investigation of prosecution. It would prohibit law enforcement agencies from entering into an agreement to provide images or any related data produced from the automatic license plate reader for a commercial purpose. The committee substitute and two floor amendments were adopted and it passed unanimously.
- SB 203 by Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa would remove the deadline for the Department of Family & Protective Services to enter into new permanency care assistance agreements. It passed unanimously. (Note: the companion, HB 511, has passed the House.)
- SB 304 by Van Taylor is the sunset bill for the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed unanimously.
- SB 488 by Paul Bettencourt would be the Texas Ballot Integrity Act. It would require clear ballot language that accurately defines the proposition being placed before voters. Senator Bettencourt said, "Voters should not be faced with the prospect of a city simply refusing to follow the law on ballot initiatives and charter challenges, the Texas Ballot Integrity Act will return transparency and accountability to the voting booth to ensure uniform and fair elections." The committee substitute and two floor amendments were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 23-7. On final adoption, it passed by a vote of 24-6.
- SB 737 by Kelly Hancock would require that the proposed budget of a local government that includes revenue from a new fee or an increase in an existing fee to contain a statement that the budget included a fee increase and itemize the fees being increased; and would require the city to develop an e-mail notification service to which people can subscribe to receive information regarding new or increased municipal fees. Two floor amendments were adopted and it passed by a vote of 29-1. One floor amendment requires public hearing before a municipality can adopt a new fee or increase an existing fee. The other floor amendment exempts small municipalities in a county with a population of less than 30,000.
- SB 744 by Lois Kolkhorst would require a municipality that imposes a tree mitigation fee for tree removal that is necessary for development or construction on a person's property must allow that person to apply for a credit for tree planting to offset the amount of the fee. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and passed unanimously.
- SB 1045 by Craig Estes would allow Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to consolidate the notice of intent to obtain a permit with the notice of preliminary decision into one notice. It passed by a vote of 26-4.
- SB 1051 by Kirk Watson would require driver education programs to provide an accommodation for deaf students. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed by a vote of 29-1.
- SB 1251 by Royce West would allow a person who is registering or renewing a motor vehicle registration to option to voluntarily donate to the Ending Homelessness Fund administered by the comptroller to provide grants to counties and municipalities to combat homelessness. It passed by a vote of 25-5.
- SB 1539 by Kirk Watson is the sales tax cleanup bill. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
- SB 1620 by Van Taylor would remove prohibitions on residents raising six or fewer backyard chickens. It would authorize municipalities to create reasonable requirements as long as up to six chickens can be raised. It passed unanimously after several minutes of "pun-filled" debate.
On April 6, the Senate passed seven bills, including:
- SB 460 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would prohibit a political subdivision from issuing general obligation bonds to purchase, improve, or construct improvements or purchase personal property if the projected useful life of improvements or property ends before the maturity date of the bonds. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
- SB 467 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would require the language of ballot propositions to substantially submit the question with definiteness and certainty in identifying the proposition's chief features that the voters are not misled. It passed unanimously.
- SB 929 by Bryan Hughes would require county tax assessor-collectors to complete at least 40 hours of continuing education on assessment and collection of property taxes, including a course related to the computation of effective rollback tax rates within one year of taking office. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1.
- SB 1120 by Judith Zaffirini would add compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas to the list of fuels taxed as motor fuels that cannot be subjected to additional state or local taxes. It passed unanimously.
- SB 1329 by Joan Huffman would establish additional district courts and county courts at law. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
- SB 1004 by Kelly Hancock would prohibit a municipality from entering into an exclusive arrangement with a person for use of public rights-of-way for the construction, operation, marketing, or maintenance of network nodes or node support poles. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed by a vote of 29-1.
Total number of bills reported out of Senate Committees last week: 114
Total number of bills passed by the Senate last week: 97
Total passed on the Local and Uncontested calendar last week: 48
On April 4, the House gave preliminary approval to five bills including:
On April 5, the House gave preliminary approval to 10 bills including:
- HB 10 by Four Price would require treatments for mental health conditions and substance use disorders to be covered by health insurance plans under the same terms and conditions as treatments for physical health conditions. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 130-12. On April 5, it received final passage by a vote of 130-13.
- HB 544 by Charles "Doc" Anderson would allow the rural water assistance fund to be used for water planning. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 5, it passed by a vote of 143-1.
- HB 630 by Donna Howard would require the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure that agency and advisory committee meetings are broadcast or archived on the agency's Internet website. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 5, it received unanimous final approval.
- HB 1619 by Hugh Shine would revise penalties for outdoor burning violations. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. The floor amendment expands enforcement powers from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to local law enforcement. On April 5, it received unanimous final approval.
- HB 284 by Drew Springer would allow residents in assisted living centers to have the right to request seat-belts for their wheelchairs if they have the ability to buckle their own seat-belt. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote, and received unanimous final approval on April 6.
- HB 402 by Dan Huberty would allow low-income vehicle repair assistance, retrofit, and accelerated vehicle retirement program (LIRAP) money to be used for local initiative projects to improve air quality; and would require at least 90% of the revenue derived from fees collected in Harris County to be used on the LIRAP program in Harris County. Four floor amendments were adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. The floor amendments ratcheted the population threshold down to 420,000 making the bill apply to several other counties. It received unanimous final approval on April 6.
- HB 890 by Charlie Geren would require the seller of property located near a military installation to provide notice to a purchaser that the property may be located near a military installation and may be affected by high noise or air installation compatible use zones or other operations. It passed to Third Reading by a vote of 131-11. It received final approval on April 6 by a vote of 133-9.
- HB 1021 by John Smithee would allow county law library funds to be used to establish self-help legal resource centers for litigants representing themselves. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote, and received unanimous final approval on April 6.
- HB 1227 by John Smithee would clarify requirements for individual health benefit plans to make transparent prescription drug coverage formulary information. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote, and received unanimous final approval on April 6.
- HB 1697 by Four Price would require the HHSC to establish a Pediatric Health Electronic Access in Rural Texas Grant Program to award grants to non-urban health care facilities to connect the facilities with pediatric specialists and sub-specialists who provide telemedicine medical services. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 136-6. It received final approval on April 6 by a vote of 140-5.
- HB 1729 by Victoria Neave would establish a grant program for testing of sexual offense evidence for counties and law enforcement agencies to receive grants to pay for accredited crime laboratories. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It received unanimous final approval on April 6.
- HB 1829 by Charlie Geren would require the State Preservation Board to contract with a nonprofit organization to develop and implement a plan to raise funds for preservation, maintenance, and improvement of the Capitol and its grounds. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote and received unanimous final approval on April 6.
On April 6, the House spent over 15 hours debating more 400 proposed amendments (64 of which were adopted) before giving preliminary approval to SB 1 by Jane Nelson and John Zerwas, the general appropriations bill by a vote of 129-18. Then, they suspended the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days and gave it final passage by a vote of 131-16, with the Speaker voting "Aye."
They also took up HB 2 by John Zerwas, the supplemental appropriations bill. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted, and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 145-0. After Constitutional rule suspension the House gave it final approval by a vote of 141-6.
Total number of bills reported out of House Committees last week: 147
Total number of bills passed by the House last week: 17
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
by Jane Nelson would eliminate and
streamline state agency reports
that no longer serve their intended purpose or are redundant of other reporting requirements.
The committee substitute was adopted and passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
- SB 446 by Konni Burton 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 info. It was left pending.
- SB 806 by Brandon Creighton would require the Legislative Budget Board to prepare a report concerning federal money provided to the state that includes method of finance in general appropriations act and is subject to coercive federal condition outlining conditions that prescribe the manner in which federal money must be spent. It was left pending.
- SB 1008/SJR 41 by Kel Seliger would reduce the rate of the oil & gas production tax and suspend transfers into Economic Stabilization Fund when the balance exceeds $5 billion. They were left pending.
SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
On April 4
, the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee took up:
- SB 400 by Lois Kolkhorst would require the comptroller to verify information submitted in Chapter 313 reports using data from the Texas Workforce Commission, the chief appraiser, or other sources the Comptroller considers reliable. It was left pending.
- SB 650 by Paul Bettencourt would prohibit tax increment financing on property unless the area is unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted as defined by the attorney general. It was left pending.
- SB 1765 by Sylvia Garcia would provide that tax increment reinvestment zones established after Sept. 1, 2017 would automatically terminate after 10 years; would clarify that they must be in an area that is unproductive, underdeveloped or blighted; would provide that zones in existence prior to Sept. 1, 2017 would expire on termination date expressed in the ordinance or date on which all project costs, bonds, or other obligations of the zone have been paid in full; and would require municipalities to post prescribed information regarding zones on the municipality's Internet website. It was left pending.
HOUSE GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY & OPERATION COMMITTEE
The House Government Transparency & Operation Committee will meet April 10 to take up HB 4038 by Dwayne Bohac, which would add to the definition of "qualifying job" for purposes of the sales tax exemption for tangible personal property associated with a data center for a new employment position staffed by a third-party employer if a written contract exists between the third-party employer and qualifying owner, operator, or occupant that provides that the employment position is permanently assigned to an associated qualifying data center.
PASSED THE SENATE
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
- SB 579 by Van Taylor would authorize the use of epinephrine auto-injectors on private school campuses and at or in transit to or from off-campus school events. It passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3. (Note: the companion is HB 1583, which was heard in the House Public Education Committee on April 4.)
- SB 826 by Larry Taylor would eliminate sequencing requirements for advanced English and math courses. It passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
On April 4, the
Senate Education Committee
- SB 1318 by Van Taylor would authorize the Commissioner of Education to designate a campus as a mathematics innovation zone where the campus implements an innovative mathematics instructional program that addresses the essential knowledge and skills of the mathematics curriculum. It was left pending.
- SB 1566 by Lois Kolkhorst would authorize school boards to require the school district's chief financial officer to appear at an executive session or testify at a public hearing held by the board; and would prohibit a superintendent from interfering with the compelled appearance or testimony. It was left pending.
- SB 1658 by Larry Taylor would establish a procedure to close an open-enrollment charter school whose charter has been revoked, non-renewed, expired, surrendered, abandoned, or otherwise ceased operation. It was left pending.
- SB 640 by Van Taylor would allow home-schooled students to participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) sponsored activities. It was left pending.
- SB 1153 by Jose Menendez would clarify a parent's right to records relating to assistance provided for learning difficulties, including information collected regarding any intervention strategies used with the child. It was left pending.
- SB 1483 by Larry Taylor would establish Technology Lending Program using up to $25 million from the instructional materials fund to provide grants to school districts to implement a technology lending program to provide students access to equipment necessary to access and use electronic instructional materials. It was left pending.
- SB 1784 by Larry Taylor would allow state-developed open education resources to include content not owned by the state for which preexisting rights may exist if content is in public domain; may be used under a limitation or exception to copyright law; or is licensed to state for use in an open education resource. It would change all statutory references regarding "open-source instructional material" to "open education resources." It was left pending.
- SB 1837 by Bryan Hughes would provide that an open-enrollment charter school operated by a public senior college and university would not be assigned a financial accountability rating. It was left pending.
- SB 1882 by Jose Menendez would authorize school districts to contract with the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school to partner with the charter school to operate a district campus and share teachers, facilities, and other education resources on campus. It was left pending. (Note: the companion bill, HB 3439 was heard in the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday and left pending.)
- SB 2131 by Royce West would change requirements for providing post-secondary education counseling for high school students. It was left pending.
HOUSE PUBLIC EDUCATION COMMITTEE'S SUBCOMMITTEE ON EDUCATOR QUALITY
On April 10, the
House Public Education Committee's Subcommittee on Educator Quality
will meet to take up:
- HB 1867 by Mary Gonzalez would require the local innovation plan of a school district of innovation to include educator certification requirements and federal law requirements regarding assignment of appropriately certified educators for bilingual education and special education.
- HB 2039 by Dan Huberty would require the State Board of Education to establish an early childhood certificate for teachers that receive special training in early childhood education focusing on prekindergarten through grade three.
- HB 2775 by Dade Phelan would require educator preparation program support to allow required formal observation to occur on the candidate's site or through use of electronic transmission or other video-based or technology-based method.
- HB 2924 by Dwayne Bohac would provide that internships under the education preparation program require no more than 5 field supervisor visits and allow at least three of the field supervisor visits be provided by video, Internet or another remote technological method.
- HB 2941 by Harold Dutton would allow school districts to adopt a plan to increase teacher quality and performance including teacher performance appraisals, professional development opportunities, peer mentoring opportunities, career advancement opportunities, and decisions relating to compensation.
- HB 3044 by Dan Huberty would allow the field-based experience required in a teacher preparation program to be obtained up to two years prior to admission in an educator preparation program.
- HB 3349 by Barbara Gervin-Hawkins would require the State Board for Educator Certification to establish an abbreviated educator preparation program for a person seeking certification in trade and industrial workforce training.
- HB 3563 by Linda Koop would conform parental notification requirements regarding teacher qualifications with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- HB 3692 by Joe Deshotel would prohibit teacher performance to be based in any part on student performance on assessment instruments.
HOUSE PUBLIC EDUCATION COMMITTEE
by Dan Huberty would require the Commissioner of Education to establish a program to award grants to school districts and charter schools to that provide innovative services to students with autism. It was left pending.
by Diego Bernal would provide specific ways for special education students to earn an endorsement on the student's transcript. It was left pending.
by Gene Wu would prohibit adoption or implementation of a performance indicator that evaluates the total number of enrolled students of a school district or open-enrollment charter school who receive special education services. It was left pending.
by Jessica Farrar would authorize social workers to provide social work services to students and families in schools. "Social work services" would be defined as services specialized to assist students and families that are designed to alleviate barriers to learning, connect the home, community, and school, promote advocacy, strengthen relationships, and assist with basic and psychosocial needs. It was left pending
by DeWayne Burns would require the TEA to apply to the U.S. Dept. of Education for a waiver of the annual alternate assessment of students with significant cognitive disabilities by January 1, 2018. It was left pending.
by Tom Oliverson would clarify that grades during which spinal screening should be mandatory for school children must be determined based on the most recent nationally accepted and peer-reviewed scientific research. It was left pending.
by Philip Cortez would authorize the use of epinephrine auto-injectors on private school campuses and at or in transit to or from off-campus school events. It was left pendin
g. (Note: this is the companion to SB 579, which passed the Senate on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.)
by Rick Miller would require TEA to designate an agency employee as a dyslexia specialist to provide school districts with support and resources to assist students with dyslexia and their families. It was left pending.
by Kevin Roberts would require the TEA to conduct a study of the impact of the statewide assessment program on students in special education programs. It was left pending.
by Alma Allen would require school districts to assist students in making the transition back to school after being in a disciplinary alternative education program or other alternative program. It was left pending.
by Dennis Bonnen would clarify requirements for screenings of students attending public or private school to be screened to detect vision disorders using photoscreening. It was left pending.
by Linda Koop would authorize school districts to contract with the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school to partner with the charter school to operate district campus and share teachers, facilities, and other education resources on campus. It was left pending. (Note: the companion, SB 1882, was heard in the Senate Education Committee on April 6 and was left pending.)
- HB 168 by Eddie Lucio, III would require Department of Family & Protective Services to develop a voluntary program that recognizes before-school and after-school programs that promote healthy eating and physical activity with bronze, silver and gold recognition.
- HB 895 by Dwayne Bohac would remove the restriction on funding for full-time online educational programs.
- HB 1114 by Cindy Burkett would provide that if the district anticipates providing less than 180 days of instruction for students during a school year, the district would be allowed to reduce the number of teacher in-service days proportionately; however, the district could not reduce an educator's salary.
- HB 1540 by Justin Rodriguez would require high school counselors to provide in his/her information about post-secondary education to students and parents information on the importance of selecting a major or field of study before, or as soon as possible after, enrollment at a post-secondary educational institution and the potential consequences of delaying that decision, particularly if the student intends to transfer between post-secondary educational institutions.
- HB 1585 by Jim Murphy would require school districts to receive student input before adopting a major curriculum initiative.
- HB 1593 by Dwayne Bohac would require the engagement strategies included in a school district's family engagement plan to include programs and interventions that engage a family in supporting a student's learning at home.
- HB 1638 by Ryan Guillen would require the TEA and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to jointly develop statewide goals for dual credit programs, including early college high school programs, career and technical education dual credit programs, and joint high school and college credit programs to provide uniform standards for evaluation the programs.
- HB 1980 by Gary VanDeaver would allow for individual graduation committees for students that transfer to a public school in Texas after the student's junior year of high school and would require the student to receive a high school diploma if the student performs satisfactorily on one or more alternative nationally recognized norm-referenced assessment instruments and completed coursework determined by the committee to be sufficient for the award of a high school diploma.
- HB 2087 by Gary VanDeaver is a student data privacy bill that would prohibit an operator from knowingly:
- Engage in targeted advertising on any website, online service, online application, or mobile application if the target of the advertising is based on any information that the operator has acquired through the use of the operator's website, online service, online application or mobile application for a school purpose.
- Use information, including persistent unique identifiers, created or gathered by the operator's website, online service, online application, or mobile application, to create a profile about a student unless the profile is created for a school purpose; or
- Sell or rent any student's covered information.
- HB 2185 by Matt Krause would require municipalities to consider an open-enrollment charter school a school district for purposes of zoning, permitting, code compliance and development; and it would clarify that an open-enrollment charter school is not a political subdivision or governmental entity.
- HB 2614 by Dan Huberty would allow (instead of require) school districts to administer to students in the 10th grade an established, valid, reliable, and nationally norm-referenced preliminary college preparation assessment instrument for the purpose of measuring a student's progress toward college and career readiness.
- HB 2729 by Eddie Lucio, III would require TEA, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Texas Workforce Commission to jointly develop and post on their respective websites an inventory of industry-recognized credentials and certificates that may be earned by a public high school student through a career and technology education program.
- HB 2884 by Alma Allen would require daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes for six (instead of four) semesters for students in grades 6-8; and would require the TEA to develop and institute policies on the recess period that encourage constructive, age-appropriate outdoor playtime.
- HB 3106 by Wayne Faircloth would provide additional state aid for facility renovation, repair, and replacement for 5 years after an academically unacceptable school district is annexed to another school district.
- HB 3145 by Joe Deshotel would require school districts to review policy recommendations of the local school health advisory council before adopting a recess policy.
- HB 3251 by Ken King would eliminate current language allowing the adjustment for school districts experiencing rapid decline in property values to be reduced if sufficient amount of money is not available to fund all adjustments.
- HB 3318 by Lance Gooden would require innovation school districts to post a copy of the district's local innovation on the district's Internet website.
- HB 3369 by Dan Huberty would require personnel involved in diagnostic and evaluative procedures related to special education are appropriately trained, including training in linguistic and culturally appropriate evaluations, and have appropriate assessment instruments available in languages other than English to the extent possible.
- HB 3438 by Linda Koop would clarify school district bonding authority and the role of the Texas Public Finance Authority.
- HB 3593 by Diego Bernal would integrate cybersecurity and computer coding into the public education curriculum by:
- requiring the State Board of Education (SBOE) to approve courses in cybersecurity for credit for high school graduation;
- allowing a school district to offer a course without obtaining approval from the SBOE if the district partners with a public or private institution of higher education that offers an undergraduate degree program in cybersecurity to develop and provide the course;
- allowing computer coding to be substituted for a foreign language requirement;
- adding cybersecurity and computer coding to the STEM endorsement and definition of a STEM course;
- providing a subsidy to teachers who pass a certificate examination related to cybersecurity; and
- allowing new instructional facility allotment funds to be used to renovate an existing instructional facility to serve as a dedicated cybersecurity computer laboratory.
- HB 3795 by Harold Dutton would include open-enrollment charter school students in the computation of a district's weighted average daily attendance.
PASSED THE SENATE
SB 1091 by Kel Seliger would require dual credit courses to be:
- In the core curriculum of the public institution of higher education providing college credit;
- A career and technical education course; or
- A foreign language course.
It passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
SENATE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On April 5, the
Senate Higher Education Committee
- SB 247 by Judith Zaffirini would authorize use of licensing fees to fund speech-language pathologist and audiologist educational loan repayment program. It was left pending.
- SB 2086 by Royce West would establish regional consortiums to facilitate the transfer of students and course credit within the public higher education system. It was left pending.
- SB 2119 by Kel Seliger would eliminate the Top 10% automatic admissions rule. It was left pending.
- SB 2122 by Royce West would authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop and implement a transfer policy for lower division courses among Texas public institutions of higher education. It was left pending.
HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On April 5, the
House Higher Education Committee
- HB 385 by Jim Murphy would include semester credit hours earned by a student who is enrolled in an accelerated baccalaureate program that uses a competency-based model and year-round flat-rate tuition in formula funding. It was left pending.
- HB 1737 by Carol Alvarado would require institutions of higher education to get approval from Texas Higher Education Coordinating board before purchasing land outside the service region of the institution of higher education. It was left pending.
- HB 2223 by Helen Giddings would require a phased-in, statewide, co-requisite model, where students enroll simultaneously in a developmental education course and gateway course of the same subject matter during the same semester. It was left pending.
- HB 3260 by Angie Chen Button would allow Governor's University Research Initiative to fund grants to commercialize intellectual property developed at public institutions of higher education if one or more private entities are funding portion of the project. It was left pending.
HOUSE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
The House Elections Committee met on April 3 to take up: ENERGY
by Ron Simmons would require all
to be held on the November uniform election date.
It was left pending.
- HB 738 by Matt Shaheen would require political subdivisions to include detailed info on ballot propositions authorizing debt secured by property taxes including the principal amount of the debt, amount of outstanding principal of debt previously issued by the entity, and maximum estimated amount necessary to retire the debt. It was left pending.
- HB 1658 by Dade Phelan would require a political subdivision that has a ballot proposition that increases, changes or reduces a tax rate or authorizes the issuance of bonds to include the amount of the increase or decrease in the tax on a median value residence. It was left pending.
- HB 1910 by Scott Sanford would prohibit school district from including more than 1 project in any proposition submitted to voters to authorize issuance of bonds. It was left pending.
HOUSE ENERGY RESOURCES COMMITTEE
On April 3, the
House Energy Resources Committee
- HB 129 by Tom Craddick would allow a payor of proceeds delivered from the sale of oil or gas production to provide required information to a royalty interest owner in a format other than in writing if the payor and owner agree. It was left pending.
- HB 237 by Rafael Anchia would change the name of the Railroad Commission of Texas to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. It was left pending.
- HB 247 by Rafael Anchia would require the Railroad Commission to post information related to its enforcement activities on its Internet website, including inspection and enforcement activity, violations, and the amount of penalties assessed. It was left pending.
- HB 642/HJR 47 by Larry Phillips would change the name of the Railroad Commission of Texas to the Texas Energy Commission. They were left pending.
- HB 1481 by J.M. Lozano would repeal the authority for the General Land Office to impose a fee for cost recovery for processing an application for a discharge prevention and response certificate. It was left pending.
- HB 1571 by Chris Paddie would require the energy savings performance contracts of local governmental entities to report the estimated amount of avoided expected future operating and maintenance costs. It was left pending.
- HB 2488 by Stan Lambert would define "treatment" as a manufacturing, mechanical, or chemical process other than sizing, shaping, diluting, or sorting for purposes of statutes relating to treatment and recycling for beneficial use of drill cuttings. It was left pending.
- HB 2638 by Larry Gonzales would authorize the Railroad Commission to apply for, hold, and protect a patent. It was left pending.
This week, the House Energy Resources Committee met on April 10 to take up:
- HB 1931 by Shawn Thierry would require major commercial contractors to submit an annual plan to the State Energy Conservation Office specifying efforts taken to increase Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) contract procurement.
- HB 2715 by Drew Darby would require administrative penalties assessed by the Railroad Commission to be deposited in the Oil & Gas Regulation and Cleanup Fund.
- HB 2813 by Drew Darby would repeal the Transportation Infrastructure Fund and repeals County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones (CETRZs). (Note: the companion, SB 1305, passed the Senate on April 4)
- HB 3726 by Tony Dale would eliminate examination and continuing education requirements for holders of a liquefied petroleum gas license.
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On April 5, the House State Affairs Committee took up:
- HB 787 by Tan Parker would establish the Electric Grid Security Advisory Committee to study the Texas electric grid and the computer systems and networks related to it and to share its findings with any state agency it considers important to the security of the electric grid or associated computer systems and networks. It was left pending.
- HB 1460 by Paul Workman would allow a retail customer or group of customers whose total electric usage exceeds 25,000 megawatt hours per year to file request for the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to review Austin Energy rates that apply to that group of customers. If the PUC determines Austin Energy's rates are not just and reasonable or are not consistent with the rates available to customers who have access to the competitive market, the PUC would be required to set rates for those customers or allow those customers to purchase electricity from a retail provider. It was left pending.
- HB 1665 by Rene Oliveira would require the PUC to develop rules to encourage the development of switchable generation on the Texas/Mexico border. It was left pending.
SENATE AGRICULTURE, WATER, & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee
met April 3 to take up:
by Van Taylor would prohibit Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from referring an application issue to the State Office of Administrative Hearings unless the issue is a disputed question of fact or a disputed mixed question of law and fact and relevant and material to a decision on application for a water right. It was left pending.
by Charles Perry would allow attorney's fees to be awarded to the prevailing party in a suit against a groundwater conservation district. It was reported out favorably as substituted.
by Charles Perry would allow an affected person to appeal a groundwater conservation district's adoption of a desired future condition directly to a district court with jurisdiction over any part of the territory of the district. It was left pending.
by Charles Perry would direct the TCEQ to expedite a water rights permit amendment application if the amount of water diverted is equal to or less than amount of desalinated seawater used by the water rights holder and water is not being diverted to another basin. It was reported out favorably as substituted.
by Charles Perry would require the Texas Water Development Board to study water needs and availability in the state and to use the results to produce a comprehensive water resources map. It was reported out favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee met April 10 to take up:
- SB 1392 by Charles Perry would add a definition of "common reservoir" to groundwater conservation district statutes and would require each groundwater owner overlying a common reservoir to be treated fairly.
- SB 1511 by Charles Perry would require the state water planning process to include consideration of implementation of projects included in the preceding state water plan that were given a high priority including an analysis of any impediments to the implementation of the projects.
SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
- SB 1330 by Kel Seliger would clarify the fees collected to fund operations of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission. It was left pending.
- SB 1871 by Judith Zaffirini would create a new offense for theft of petroleum products or oil and gas equipment and prescribes a penalty ladder. It was left pending.
- SB 1915 by Dawn Buckingham would exempt an extraction area from which marble or granite material is extracted for decorative or artistic uses and the average amount of riprap removed per year is less than 1,500 tons from regulation as an aggregate production operation. It was left pending.
- SB 1917 by Dawn Buckingham would exempt an extraction area from which marble or granite material is extracted for decorative or artistic uses and the average amount of riprap removed per year is less than 1,500 tons from regulation as an aggregate production operation. It was left pending. (Note: the companion, HB 2582, is set for a hearing on April 11, 2017 in the House Environmental Regulation Committee)
- SB 2100 by Sylvia Garcia would require the Texas Railroad Commission to conduct a study of the actual cost of programs associated with its fee structure. It was left pending.
HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
On April 5, the
House Natural Resources Committee
- HB 1536 by Jessica Farrar would require the TCEQ to study the installation and use of green stormwater infrastructure; and would define green stormwater infrastructure as infrastructure that reduces and treats stormwater at the source using vegetation, soils and other natural processes. It was left pending.
- HB 1573 by Four Price would require the Water Development Board to establish training standards for certified water loss auditors and would require water loss auditors to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of water utility systems and terminology and any tools available for analyzing audit results. It was left pending.
- HB 1648 by Four Price would authorize a retail public water utility to designate an employee as the water conservation coordinator responsible for implementing the water conservation plan. It was left pending.
- HB 2215 by Four Price would require regional water planning groups to submit to the Texas Water Development Board a regional water plan that is consistent with the desired future conditions most recently adopted for relevant aquifers located in the area that includes opportunities for large-scale desalination facilities for marine seawater or brackish groundwater. It was left pending.
- HB 2334 by Tom Oliverson would make it an offense to violate a rule adopted under the Flood Control & Insurance Act. It was left pending.
- HB 2377 by Lyle Larson would require a groundwater conservation district (GCD) located over any part of a brackish groundwater zone that receives a petition from a person with a legally defined interest in groundwater in the GCD to adopt rules to govern the issuance of permits to withdraw brackish groundwater. It was left pending.
- HB 2802 by Lyle Larson would remove the Sunset Advisory Commission review of river authorities. It was left pending.
- HB 2894 by Eddie Lucio, III would direct the TCEQ to expedite a water rights permit amendment application if the amount of water diverted is equal to or less than the amount of the desalinated seawater used by the water rights holder and the water is not being diverted to another basin. It was left pending.
- HB 3025 by Tracy King would require an abandoned well to be plugged or capped within 30 days (instead of 180 days) after the date the landowner learns of its condition. It was left pending.
- HB 3618 by Tracy King would require river authorities to submit written summary report on the water quality assessment of the authority's watershed to the TCEQ, the Soil and Water Conservation Board and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. It was left pending.
HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE'S SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPECIAL WATER DISTRICTS
- HB 3028 by DeWayne Burns would afford a landowner the right to a fair share of groundwater when the right to drill a well and produce groundwater is regulated.
- HB 3031 by Tracy King would require the TCEQ to identify any proposed alternative source of water in the notice for a water rights permit.
- HB 3043 by Paul Workman would establish a groundwater management area planning group to conduct joint planning and to review management plans, accomplishments of the management area, and proposals to adopt new or amend existing desired future conditions.
- HB 3166 by Eddie Lucio, III would define modeled sustainable groundwater pumping as maximum amount of groundwater that Texas Water Development Board determines may be produced in perpetuity from an aquifer annually using best available science.
HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION COMMITTEE
On April 4, the
House Environmental Regulation Committee
- HB 2517 by Phil Stephenson would prohibit the TCEQ from issuing a permit, registration, or other authorization for land application of grit or grease trap waste. It was left pending.
- HB 2662 by Brooks Landgraf would increase the amount of radioactive waste that compact radioactive waste disposal facilities can dispose; and would grant the Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission the authority to grant exemptions to allow disposal above that limit. It was left pending.
- HB 2958 by Ed Thompson would put a moratorium for the issuance of solid waste facility permits until Sept. 1, 2019 and require TCEQ to conduct a study assessing the safety and regulation of solid waste facilities. It was left pending.
- HB 3090 by John Cyrier would allow peace officers to enforce laws prohibiting outdoor burning of waste and combustible material. It was reported out favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
House Environmental Regulation Committee
will meet April 11 to take up:
- HB 2092 by Geanie Morrison would prohibit the TCEQ from issuing a permit, registration, or other authorization for land application of grit or grease trap waste.
- HB 2479 by Cecil Bell, Jr. would allow the TCEQ to return an incomplete or inaccurate application for a solid waste facility to the applicant for completion or correction. But the TCEQ would be required to deny a permit application that is incomplete or inaccurate if the applicant has had an opportunity to make the correction and would prohibit the TCEQ from approving a subsequent application for a solid waste facility at that site.
- HB 2582 by J. D. Sheffield would exempt an extraction area from which marble or granite material is extracted for decorative or artistic uses and the average amount of riprap removed per year is less than 1,500 tons from regulation as an aggregate production operation. (Note: the companion SB 1917, was heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday and left pending.)
- HB 2771 by Dade Phelan would eliminate the fee related to wastewater treatment permit applications.
- HB 3058 by Jason Isaac would authorize TCEQ's technology implementation grant program to issue grants for installation of systems on upstream and midstream oil & gas infrastructure to reduce flaring emissions by capturing waste heat to generate electricity.
- HB 3175 by Ron Reynolds would authorize TCEQ to collect an annual greenhouse gas emissions fee of $5 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted from an electric generating facility that has a permit from TCEQ and is subject to federal greenhouse gas reporting requirements.
PASSED THE SENATE
- SB 74 by Jane Nelson would streamline credential requirements for behavioral health providers. It passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
- SB 404 by Lois Kolkhorst would prohibit health care practitioners from providing alcoholic beverages to a patient or to a person accompanying the patient in practitioner's office, and impose an administrative penalty for violations. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
- SB 491 by Kirk Watson would allow the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to contract with one or more organizations to operate the statewide preceptorship program in family medicine for students enrolled in Texas medical schools. It passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
- SB 680 by Kelly Hancock would establish guidelines for step therapy protocols required by health benefit plan in connection with prescription drug coverage. The committee substitute and 1 floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously on April 3. (Note: HB 1464 is scheduled to be heard in the House Insurance Committee on April 11, 2017)
- SB 790 by Borris Miles would continue operations of the women's health advisory committee until 2019. It passed unanimously.
- SB 1066 by Charles Schwertner would require an institution of higher education that completes preliminary planning for a new doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree program to provide the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board a specific plan regarding addition of first-year residency positions for the graduate medical education program to be offered in connection with the new degree program. It passed on the Senate Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 3.
HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE
On April 4, the House Insurance Committee took up:
- HB 195 by Diego Bernal would require all health benefit plans and group health benefit plans in the state, including all children health benefit plans, Medicaid and Medicare, worker's compensation, and long-term care plans to ensure that coverage for A diagnostic mammogram is subject to the same dollar limits, deductibles, and coinsurance factors as coverage for a screening mammogram. It was left pending.
- HB 1036 by Senfronia Thompson would include breast tomosynthesis in the definition of low-dose mammography for the purposes of health benefit plan coverage requirements. It was left pending.
- HB 1296 by John Frullo would establish guidelines requiring health benefit plans that provide prescription drug coverage, pharmacies, and health care providers to work together to synchronize the dates of an enrollee's prescription drug coverage and the dates a pharmacy dispenses a covered drug in order to benefit the enrollee. It was left pending.
- HB 1635 by John Smithee would authorize the Commissioner of Insurance to request a state innovation waiver for small employer health benefit plans of actuarial value requirements and related levels of health plan coverage requirements set by the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services. It was left pending.
- HB 1675 by Dan Flynn would establish acceptable methods of payment of health care claims to, and guidelines for refusing payment for, health care providers by health benefit plan issuers. It was left pending.
- HB 2036 by Phil King would establish premium and maintenance tax credits for federal health insurer provider fees paid under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. It was left pending.
- HB 2262 by Lance Gooden would provide requirements for the health benefit plan coverage of accelerated refills for prescription eye drops that treat a chronic eye disease. It was left pending.
- HB 2501 by Larry Phillips would delete entities arranging non-emergency medical transportation under contract with the state or a managed care organization for individuals qualifying for Medicaid or Medicare from the definition of "transportation network company." It was left pending.
- HB 2760 by Greg Bonnen would establish health benefit provider network adequacy and accuracy standards including requirements for documenting reports of provider network information errors, mediation request information, and information on terminations without cause. An administrative penalty would be provided. It was left pending.
- HB 3102 by Greg Bonnen would prohibit a health benefit plan that covers prescription eye drops or other topical medications used to treat an eye disease or condition from requiring that an enrollee receive prior authorization for drops or medications. It was left pending.
- HB 3218 by Larry Phillips would clarify that a health maintenance organization is authorized to contract with an entity that provides a network of providers of health care services and that such a contract is not subject to delegation agreement requirements for proof of minimum solvency and reserve requirements. It was left pending.
- HB 3226 by Larry Phillips would create the Temporary Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool to provide a temporary mechanism for maximizing available federal funding to assist Texans in obtaining access to quality health care at minimum cost to the public. It was left pending.
- HB 3276 by Tom Oliverson would require a hospital or freestanding emergency medical care facility to post a written notice that lists the health benefit plans in which the facility participates in the provider network, or that states the facility is not a participating provider in any health benefit plan provider network. It was left pending.
HOUSE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE
On April 4, the
House Public Health Committee
- HB 11 by Four Price would require boards of trustees of school districts to adopt a policy to promote a safe and supportive school climate on each campus that includes the use of instructional methods and trauma-informed practices for promoting social and emotional wellness of students; and special programs addressing students' mental illness, substance abuse, and behavioral health disorder challenges. It was left pending.
- HB 12 by Four Price would make the Jail-Based Competency Pilot Program a permanent program authorizing a defendant deemed incompetent to stand trial for reason of mental illness or intellectual disability to be released on bail to receive outpatient treatment to regain competency for trial. It was left pending.
- HB 1407 by J. D. Sheffield would establish the emergency medical services assistance program to provide financial and educational assistance to eligible emergency medical services providers. It was left pending.
- HB 1468 by Senfronia Thompson would establish the same sanitation & safety requirements for artificial swimming lagoons that are required for swimming pools. It was left pending.
- HB 2561 by Senfronia Thompson is the sunset bill for Texas State Board of Pharmacy. It was left pending.
- HB 2604 by Jessica Farrar would require the executive commissioner of Health & Human Services, in coordination with the statewide health coordinating council, the office of mental health coordination, and the statewide behavioral health coordinating council, to develop a five-year strategic plan to improve access to postpartum depression screening, referral, treatment, and support services. It was left pending.
- HB 2804 by Four Price would authorize the commissioner of Health & Human Services to extend emergency scheduling of a controlled substance, not more than once, and for a period not to exceed one year, by publishing the extension in the Texas Register. It was left pending.
- HB 2895 by Four Price would require institutions of higher education put conspicuous link on the institution's website home page directing students to mental health resources. It was left pending.
- HB 2950 by Cindy Burkett is sunset bill for Texas Board of Nursing. It was left pending.
- HB 3078 by Senfronia Thompson would transfer regulation of podiatry to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. It was left pending.
SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE
On April 4, the
Senate Business & Commerce Committee
- SB 1406 by Brandon Creighton would authorize the Commissioner of Insurance to request a state innovation waiver for small employer health benefit plans of the actuarial value requirements and related levels of health plan coverage requirements set by U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services. It was initially left pending, but it was voted out favorably on April 6.
- SB 1492 by Judith Zaffirini would repeal provisions requiring Commissioner of Insurance to stabilize long-term care premium rates based on nationally recognized models from 2001. It was initially left pending, but it was voted out favorably on April 6.
- SB 2066 by Kelly Hancock would clarify provisions governing attachment of a hospital lien on cause of action or claim of an injured person who receives hospital services. It was left pending.
- SB 2087 by Kelly Hancock would create Temporary Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool to provide a temporary mechanism for maximizing available federal funding to assist Texans in obtaining access to quality health care at minimum cost to the public. It was left pending.
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On April 5, the
House State Affairs Committee
by Greg Bonnen, which would establish general procedures and requirements for
It was left pending.
SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
Senate Transportation Committee
met April 5 to take up:
- SB 977 by Charles Schwertner would prohibit the legislature from appropriating new funds, or allowing state agencies to utilize existing funds, to pay any costs related to the construction, maintenance, or operation of a private high-speed rail in Texas. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
- SB 979 by Schwertner would prohibit an entity that operates or plans to operate a high-speed rail from using property acquired for purposes other than high-speed rail; and if the high-speed rail authority does not use the property for that specific purpose, the original landowner would have to be given the opportunity to repurchase the land. It was reported out favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local and Uncontested Calendar.
- SB 980 by Schwertner would prohibit any state money from being used for any purpose related to a privately owned high-speed rail, unless the state acquires and maintains a lien in order to secure the repayment of state funds; and would require that the state's lien be superior to all other liens, making Texas a priority creditor. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
- SB 981 by Lois Kolkhorst would require an entity constructing a high-speed rail line in Texas to demonstrate compatibility with more than one type of train technology. It was reported out favorably.
- SB 1179 by Jane Nelson would allow coordinated county transportation authorities to make purchases without using competitive sealed bid proposals if items are available from only one source because of patents, copyrights, secret processes or natural monopolies; for gas, water, and other utility services; or for captive replacement parts or components for equipment. It reported out favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local and Uncontested Calendar.
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