May 3, 2017
DON'T MISS IT

EARLY VOTING IS HERE! BE AN INFORMED VOTER. 
TODAY, May 2 is your last day to vote early. Election Day is Saturday, May 6. CLICK HERE to find polling locations near you or to view sample ballots. CLICK HERE to watch brief videos for Plano Mayor, Plano City Council, and Collin College Board of Trustees candidates.

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. CLICK HERE for more details.
NOTABLE MEETINGS
   CLICK HERE to view the full list of bills the Plano Chamber is tracking.
SENATE NEWS
The Senate was in session Monday-Thursday of last week.

The Senate reconvened on Monday, May 1 at 1:00 PM. CLICK HERE to view upcoming schedules. 
 
HOUSE NEWS 
The House was in session Monday-Friday of last week. Friday was Speaker's Reunion Day honoring former Speakers and House members. The House passed the 50 Third Reading bills before adjourning for the weekend.

The House reconvened on Monday, May 1 at 2 PM. CLICK HERE to view upcoming schedules.  
SENATE NEWS  
On April 24, the Senate passed 16 bills, including abolishing the Office of Immigration & Refugee Affairs and the Governor's Advisory Committee on Immigration & Refugees (SB 260); requiring a high-speed rail system operated by a private entity to pay government law enforcement officers who may be hired to ensure the safety of the rail lines (SB 975); establishing the Texas State Music Museum and the Texas Music Foundation (SB 1147); and prohibiting a peace officer from issuing a citation for operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility unless the officer attempts to verify financial responsibility through the verification program (SB 1187). Other bills are in the issue categories below.
 
On April 25, the Senate passed 21 bills including exempt refunding bonds and capital appreciation bonds issued for transportation projects from restrictions on other capital appreciation bonds relating to the use of unspent proceeds and the percentage of overall debt (SB 295); increasing the punishment for the offense of abuse of a corpse (SB 524); clarifying statutes relating to trusts (SB 617); authorizing the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission to collect a fee for participation in the Managed Lands Deer Program (SB 722); allowing Texas DMV to accept forms in connection with transfer of a motor vehicle in an electronic format (SB 1062); putting the Harris County Dept. of Education under sunset review (SB 1166); allowing 911 emergency communication districts to obtain criminal history record information of employees, applicants and volunteers (SB 1290); eliminating state licensing for vehicle booting companies and operators (SB 1501); clarifying that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board oversight of career colleges (SB 1781); and urging Congress to consider the removal of trade, financial and travel restrictions relating to Cuba (HCR 33). See the issue categories below for additional bills that passed.
 
On April 26, the Senate passed 66 bills on the Local & Uncontested Calendar and 14 bills from the Intent Calendar including requiring three-point seat belts on all new school buses purchased by a school district (SB 693); giving code enforcement officers the authority to carry an instrument used for deterring the bite of an animal (SB 772); protecting minors who report sexual assault to health care providers, law enforcement personnel, or Title IX coordinators from being prosecuted for underage possession or consumption of alcohol (SB 966); authorizing counties to implement a jail-based restoration of competency program (SB 1183); and exempting vehicles without a dedicated license plate area on the front bumper from the two-license plate requirement (SB 1560). Bills from the Local & Uncontested Calendar and Intent Calendar that passed are in the issue categories below.
 
April 27 was former Lt. Governors and former Senators day with former members being honored. Also on April 27, the Senate passed 25 bills including prohibiting governmental entities from entering into contracts for goods or services with companies that boycott Israel (HB 89); clarifying that frontage lanes do not satisfy the requirement that the number of non-tolled lanes is equal to or greater than the number in existence before the toll was constructed (SB 399); authorizing a community outreach campaign to provide information to and increase awareness of benefits and services available to veterans (SB 591); establishing a "Camo Alert" system for locating missing veterans and member of the military with a mental illness (SB 1622); requiring the Texas women veterans coordinator to work with the Governor's Commission for Women and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to develop an outreach campaign to improve benefits and services to women veterans (SB 1698); and repealing boards, commissions and task forces within the Office of the Governor that are inactive (SB 1731). Other bills are discussed below.

Total number of bills reported out of Senate Committees last week: 183
Total number of bills passed by the Senate last week: 128
Total passed on the Local and Uncontested calendar last week: 52   
HOUSE NEWS
On April 24, the House gave preliminary approval to 16 bills including allowing lottery winners of a prize of $1 million or more to remain anonymous ( HB 59); clarifying duties and responsibilities of the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas ( HB 63) and extending the CPRIT sunset date to August 31, 2022 ( HB 84); providing an employment preference for spouses of totally disabled veterans ( HB 92); requiring Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice to establish veterans service coordinator and veterans reentry program for state-jail defendants who are veterans ( HB 865); and establishing a commercial gulf shrimp unloading license ( HB 1260). Other bills are in issue categories below.
 
On April 25, the House passed Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 24 other bills including establishing an oyster license buyback program (HB 51); allowing compensatory education funds to be used for child care expenses for at-risk students who are parents (HB 223); prohibiting a governmental entity from terminating employment of a peace officer or firefighter based on an inability to perform duties due to injury before the person is certified as having reached maximum medical improvement (HB 473); allowing a retail public utility to require correctional facilities to comply with the utility's water conservation measures (HB 965); extending the out-of-network claim dispute resolution process to health benefit plans administered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (HB 1428); establishing National Museum of the Pacific War fund (HB 1492); establishing requirements for applicants for a journeyman industrial electrician license (HB 1698); allowing brewpubs that self-distribute to sell wine on premises (HB 2097); and designating July 7 as Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day (HB 3042).
 
On April 26, the House passed Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 4 bills. The House was in continuous session from 10 AM Wednesday morning until almost 4 AM on Thursday morning. Most of that time was spent debating SB 4, which would eliminate "sanctuary cities." The House debated 74 amendments (11 were adopted). It passed to Third Reading by a vote of 93-54. On April 27, it received final passage by a vote of 94-53.
  • House Republican CaucusChairman Tan Parker commented on House passage of SB 4 saying, "House Republicans have proven time and time again that we are committed to protecting the rule of law and keeping our communities safe. We will continue to work tirelessly to pass legislation that ensures the safety of Texans, such as Senate Bill 4."
  • Rep. Charlie Geren, House sponsor of SB 4 added, "The purpose of this legislation is to protect Texans from criminals who are here illegally. We are trying to make sure those bad actors are detained until we can determine their status. This bill will not affect law-abiding citizens, only those in trouble with the police. This legislation comes after governmental entities in Texas have adopted 'sanctuary city' policies that purposefully hinder or prohibit local law enforcement cooperation with U.S. Immigration & Customs and prohibit officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status."
  • Mexican American Legislative Caucus Chairman Rafael Anchia said, "It's a shameful day in Texas. Legislators debated for over 14 hours to pass, with little hesitation from the majority, a bill that was broadly opposed by law enforcement and faith leaders, including the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops. If it was the goal of Governor Abbott and GOP legislative leaders to terrorize the Latino community, they have succeeded. This final vote comes on the same day MALC is back in a San Antonio federal court to fight for fair representation in our elections after six different court rulings have found intentional discrimination by the State of Texas. Texas has a long history of marginalizing Latinos and African-Americans, and this vote is no different. Rep. Ana Hernandez detailed intimate memories of her upbringing as an undocumented child. Rep. Wu drew parallels between SB 4 and past anti-immigrant legislation targeting Asians. Rep. Mary Gonzalez attempted to carve out protections for our local law enforcement officers. Our MALC members fought hard for amendments that attempted to protect our local communities and ensure safe havens for victims of domestic violence, immigrants who have served our country, and the Latino community. We will continue to fight. We resist with the thousands of immigrants and advocates from all over the state who mobilized to protest this bill. Although we may have lost the vote, we won in energizing thousands of people who believe in equity, justice, and human decency."
On April 27, the House passed 68 bills on the Local & Consent Calendar and the four Third Reading bills that were debated on April 26. The House gave preliminary approval to 50 bills on Second Reading because several bills from the April 26 calendar were carried over to April 27. Some of the bills that passed include providing additional funding for school districts that annex academically unacceptable districts (HB 3722); continuing the Women's Health Advisory Committee until 2019 (HB 279); clarifying licensing requirements of a journeyman lineman (HB 1284); providing funding to offset property tax exemptions for disabled veterans in cities and counties adjacent to military installations (HB 2356); standardizing definitions of energy savings performance contracts (HB 1571); establishing expedited response procedures for public information requests (HB 2328); providing temporary certification for educators whose spouses are active duty military (HB 1934); prohibiting local motor fuel taxes on compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (SB 1120); and the sunset bill for the Employees Retirement System of Texas (SB 301). Information on bills from the Local & Consent Calendar and significant bills that passed on the regular calendars are discussed in the issue categories below.
 
Total number of bills reported out of House Committees last week: 406  
Total number of bills passed by the House last week: 162
Total passed on the Local and Consent Calendar last week: 68 
BUDGET & FINANCES
APPROPRIATIONS CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
The conference committee on SB 1, the general appropriations bill held its first meeting April 24. 
 
PASSED THE SENATE
  • SB 289 by Van Taylor would require state agencies to prepare a government growth impact statement on its proposed rules. It passed by a vote of 30-1.
  • SB 398 by Lois Kolkhorst would require the State Auditor to compare the cost estimated in a bill's fiscal note prepared by the Legislative Budget Board with the actual cost to the state of the bill. It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 19.
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
On April 24, the Senate Finance Committee took up:
  • SB 764 by Don Huffines would require the comptroller to prepare a report for the governor and legislature prior to each session that estimates the financial costs to the state from the presence of persons who are not lawfully present in the U.S. Sen. Huffines said, "When the federal government fails to protect the border, then the federal government should reimburse the state for its expenditures. With this cost accounting Texas can better explain to the federal government the severity of the consequences of its failure of its responsibilities." It was reported out favorably. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • SB 1030/ SJR 42 by Larry Taylor would grant a property tax exemption for real property that a person owns and leases to an open-enrollment charter school, if the property is used exclusively by the school for educational functions. They were reported favorably. They are on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1. Note: the companions, HB 382/HJR 34 were reported out favorably as substituted from the House Ways & Means Committee on April 25.
  • SB 1047 by Brandon Creighton would provide that the homeowners that qualify to pay property taxes in installment payments if they are over 65 years of age or disabled could pay in four equal installment payments if the first installment is paid before the delinquency date. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • SB 1095 by Larry Taylor would change from 30 days to 90 days the deadline to file a petition for re-determination of a tax deficiency determination made by the comptroller. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • SB 1209 by Carlos Uresti would clarify the definition of wildlife management to include predator control for purposes of qualified open-space land. It was left pending.
  • SB 1426 by Kelly Hancock would require a taxing unit to calculate an adjusted effective tax rate and an adjusted rollback tax rate that includes new property valuations in the calculation and would require those adjusted rates to be included in the public notice of the taxing unit's proposed tax rates. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • SB 1831 by Dawn Buckingham would require the comptroller to annually report to the legislature information for each state agency regarding each program or function the state agency is required by law or authorized to implement for which no appropriation was made for the preceding state fiscal year; and the amount and source of money the state agency spent, if any, to implement the program or function. It was reported out favorably as substituted. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • SB 1848 by Paul Bettencourt would increase the cap on attorney's fees that may be awarded to a prevailing property owner from $15,000 to $27,000 or 20 percent of the amount by which the property owner's liability is reduced on appeal, whichever is greater; and would increase the maximum fee level to $253,000 or the amount produced by applying an annual increase or decrease in the CPI to the cap amount. It was reported favorably and is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • SB 1906 by Paul Bettencourt prohibits a taxing unit from challenging level of appraisal of property by category. It was reported favorably & recommended for Local & Uncontested Calendar. It was on Senate Intent Calendar on April 27, but has not been re-posted.  
  • SB 1979 by Charles Schwertner would require condemning entity in an eminent domain proceeding pay the change in use penalty if the taking of the property results in a change in use from open-spaced land. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1 (first placement).
  • SB 2239 by Paul Bettencourt would make several changes to property tax administration. It was left pending.
The Senate Finance Committee met May 1 to take up:
  • SB 1031 by Larry Taylor would allow a franchise tax deduction for costs associated with federal contracts under Federal Acquisition Regulations by defense companies.
  • SB 1032 by Larry Taylor would provide that the tax on the sale of a boat or motor may not exceed $15,625.
  • SB 1514/SJR 51 by Craig Estes would propose a constitutional amendment providing that eligibility for appraisal as open-space land does not end because the land is being used for oil and gas production, if it continues to qualify otherwise.
  • SB 1745/SJR 55 by Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa would provide that if the chief appraiser adds property or value to the tax roll that in the previous year was erroneously exempted, a tax lien could not be enforced for that year as a result of the addition of the property if at any time after January 1, the property was sold in an arm's length transaction to a person who was not a close relative to the seller.
  • SB 2055 by Royce West would apply the sales tax exemption for repair, remodeling and maintenance services and the machinery, tools, supplies and equipment used to perform them to all aircraft, instead of aircraft used as a certificated carrier, for flight instruction, or for agricultural purposes. Note: the companion, HB 1682, was heard and left pending in the House Ways & Means Committee on April 27.
  • HB 455 by Will Metcalf would allow a property owner to appear by telephone at an appraisal review board hearing if evidence is submitted by affidavit prior to the hearing.
  • HB 777 by Trent Ashby would allow open-space land to continue its designation if the owner is a deployed member of the armed services and intends to use the land for agricultural purposes upon returning to the state.
  • HB 1346 by Angie Chen Button changes from the 10th of the month to the 20th of the month the due date for deposit with the tax collector for items of heavy equipment sold, leased or rented from the dealer's inventory in the preceding month. Note: the companion, SB 711, was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on March 27 and left pending.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
On April 28, the House Appropriations Committee took up:
  • HB 456 by Will Metcalf would require a portion of money allocated for the Economic Stabilization Fund to go toward state debt retirement. It was left pending.
  • HB 636 by Donna Howard would require the comptroller to collaborate with the Legislative Budget Board to produce a report on the range of potential fiscal impacts to the state that could result from a judgment entered against the state in any suit against the state, a state agency, or a state official that is pending. It was left pending.
The House Appropriations Committee will meet on May 4 to take up:
  • HB 2745 by Greg Bonnen would require state agencies to prepare a government growth impact statement on its proposed rules. Note: the companion, SB 289, passed the Senate on April 18 and has not yet been referred to committee in the House.
  • SB 80 by Jane Nelson would eliminate and streamline state agency reports that no longer serve their intended purpose or are redundant of other reporting requirements. Note: the companion, HB 1885, was referred directly to the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Budget Transparency and Reform on March 29.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
PASSED THE SENATE
SB 400 by Lois Kolkhorst would require the comptroller to verify information submitted in Chapter 313 reports using data from Texas Workforce Commission, chief appraiser, or other sources the Comptroller considers reliable. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on Wednesday's Local and Uncontested Calendar.
 
SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
On May 2, the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee will meet to take up SB 1410 by Jose Menendez, which would establish the Small Business Capital Access Pilot Program funded through up to 20% of the balance of the Capital Access Fund to expand access to capital for small businesses. Note: the companion, HB 4195, was heard and left pending in the House Economic & Small Business Development Committee on April 27.

HOUSE ECONOMIC & SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
On April 25, the House Economic & Small Business Development Committee took up:

  • HB 3361 by Angie Chen Button would require the Economic Incentive Oversight Board to evaluate the Type A and Type B development corporation programs; to develop a performance matrix to facilitate evaluation of programs; and develop a schedule to regularly review the programs and make recommendations for improvement. It was left pending.
  • HB 3927 by Matt Schaefer would require economic development corporations to annually report to the comptroller information on any bonds issued by the corporation. It was left pending.
  • HB 4195 by Eric Johnson would establish Small Business Capital Access Pilot Program to provide capital access loans to small businesses giving emphasis to disadvantaged individuals, minorities, persons who reside in rural areas, veterans, and women funded by up to 20% of the Capital Access Fund. It was left pending.
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL TRADE & INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On April 24, the House International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee took up HCR 98 by Cesar Blanco urging the U.S. Congress and the president to reject the imposition of an import tax or border adjustment tax on trade with Mexico. It was left pending.

TAX ISSUES
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • SB 518 by Borris Miles would provide a franchise tax credit of $1,000 per intern for businesses completing an internship program. Sen. Miles said, "Leaders from manufacturing and the oil and gas industries have stated that they are in need of qualified workers to meet growing demand. Many of these jobs do not require a college education but only additional training after high school. These pieces of legislation will assist students in obtaining good-paying jobs after high school." On April 26, the committee substitute and 4 floor amendments were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 19-12. On April 27, it received final passage by a vote of 21-10. Note: the companion, HB 595, was voted favorably as substituted from the House Ways and Means Committee on April 27.
  • SB 1516 by Kelly Hancock would institute state registration and regulation of federally regulated appraisal management companies. It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26. Note: the companion, HB 3261, was voted favorably as substituted from the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures on April 27.
PASSED THE HOUSE
  • HB 28 by Dennis Bonnen would phase out the franchise tax incrementally based on the surplus in general revenue at the end of each biennium. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 98-45. On April 28, it received final passage by a vote of 96-39.
  • HB 513 by Sarah Davis would require (instead of allow) a chief appraiser to reappraise a damaged property located in a disaster area designated by the governor. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 26, it received unanimous final approval. Note: the companion, SB 717, passed the Senate and was referred to the House Ways & Means Committee on April 13.
  • HB 3557 by Jim Murphy would require the parties to an appraisal review board protest to provide a copy of their materials in accordance with a form prescribed by the comptroller. It would require the comptroller to remove an arbitrator who has been determined to have repeated bias or misconduct. It passed on the Local & Consent Calendar on April 27.
HOUSE LICENSING & ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES COMMITTEE
The House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee met on April 24 to take up HB 3261 by Charlie Geren would institute state registration and regulation of federally regulated appraisal management companies. It was initially left pending, but on April 27, it was voted out favorably as substituted. Note: the companion, SB 1516, passed the Senate on April 16.
 
HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE 
On April 26, the House Ways & Means Committee took up:
  • HB 150/HJR 21 by Cecil Bell, Jr. would allow the legislature to include a home donated by a charitable organization in the homestead exemption of a partially disabled veteran. They were voted out favorably.
  • HB 301/HJR 30 by Lyle Larson would prohibit an appraisal district from raising a property's appraisal in the year after a successful appeal of the property value. They were left pending.
  • HB 570 by Angie Chen Button would exempt the homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 15, has passed the Senate and was referred to the House Ways & Means Committee on April 18.
  • HB 1614 by Tan Parker would provide a franchise tax credit for capital investments in an enterprise project. The credit would be 7.5% of the qualified capital investment up to 50% of the businesses franchise tax liability with a 5-year carry-forward. It was left pending.
  • HB 1721 by Greg Bonnen would provide that the tax on the sale of a boat or motor may not exceed $15,625. It was left pending.
  • HB 2182 by Ron Reynolds would exclude from consideration of the 2% local sales tax rate cap related to county assistance districts rights-of-way, and any area in which a county facility is located but does not contain a business with a sales tax permit. It was initially left pending, but on April 27, it was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2524/HJR 88 by Pat Fallon would exempt the homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. They were left pending. Note: the companion, SB 15 has passed the Senate and was referred to the House Ways & Means Committee on April 18. SJR 1 has passed the Senate but has not yet been referred to committee in the House.
  • HB 2591 by Abel Herrero would define property owned by a navigation district as public property and exempt the district and the district's property from state and local taxes and assessments. It was initially left pending, but was voted out favorably on April 27. Note: the companion, SB 1133, passed the Senate on April 26.
  • HB 3002 by Rick Miller would provide a homestead exemption for a disabled veteran based on the homeowner's disability rating. It was initially left pending, but was voted out favorably on April 27.
  • HB 3045 by Tony Dale would allow the city to call an election or 10% of the voters could petition for an election to change the tax rate of a Type B development corporation. It was initially left pending, but was voted out favorably on April 27.
  • HB 3046 by Tony Dale would allow a city to call an election to change the sales tax rate. It was initially left pending, but was voted out favorably on April 27.
  • HB 3168 by Charlie Geren would establish Office of Local Property Tax Ombudsman in the comptroller's office to resolve complaints involving alleged violations of procedural requirements, comptroller rule or rules of procedure by an appraisal review board, appraisal district, chief appraiser or appraisal review board member related to hearing procedures, notices, scheduling of a hearing, evidence presented, issuance of a subpoena, conflicts of interest, ex parte communication or other procedural matter. It was left pending.
  • HB 3201 by Drew Darby would strike obsolete oil production tax exemption language. It was left pending.
  • HB 3446 by Yvonne Davis would prohibit a chief appraiser from requiring identification beyond what current law requires when filing a homestead exemption application unless appraiser has reasonable evidence that the address listed on the identification is not the applicant's homestead. It was left pending.
  • HB 3471 by Yvonne Davis would allow an oil or gas production taxpayer to receive reimbursement for overpaid sales taxes by taking a credit on its sales tax return. It was left pending.
  • HB 3843 by Rodney Anderson would provide a franchise tax or insurance premium tax credit for development of low-income housing. It was left pending.
  • HJR 86 by Angie Chen Button would exempt the homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. It was left pending.
On April 27, the House Ways & Means Committee took up:
  • HB 1682 by Dwayne Bohac would apply the sales tax exemption for repair, remodeling and maintenance services and the machinery, tools, supplies and equipment used to perform them to all aircraft, instead of aircraft used as a certificated carrier, for flight instruction, or for agricultural purposes. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 2055, is set for a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on May 1.
  • HB 2236 by Jim Murphy would change the 8% annual interest rate on deferred taxes to the five-year Constant Maturity Treasury Rate on the year in which the deferral was obtained. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2314 by Jim Murphy would remove interest from the penalty calculation for property converted from agriculture use valuation to developed property. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 629, passed the Senate on March 27, but has not yet been referred to committee in the House.
On May 3, the House Ways & Means Committee will meet to take up:
  • HB 660 by Jason Villalba exempts the sale of Texas state flags from the sales tax.
  • HB 976 by Helen Giddings would include art supplies in the August back-to-school sales tax holiday.
  • HB 1164 by Ryan Guillen would add to the definition of sale for resale the lease or rental of reusable tangible personal property to a caterer if the caterer uses the property in a sale of a taxable item.
  • HB 2106 by John Smithee would add current or former employees of a state judge to the list of people whose residence address in property tax records must be held confidentially and not subject to disclosure. Note: the companion, SB 510, passed the Senate on April 3, and has been referred to the House Ways & Means Committee.
  • HB 2133 by Rodney Anderson would eliminate the requirement that a tract of land that is contiguous to a regular place of religious worship may not be exempted for more than six years under the provision that deals with expansion of the church facility.
  • HB 2621 by Drew Darby would create a new Chapter 93 in the Natural Resources Code to provide tax benefits for enhanced oil recovery reinvestment zones.
  • HB 2868 by Cole Hefner would require each taxing unit whose governing body is entitled to appoint board members on an appraisal district to vote to approve or disapprove of the appraisal district's proposed budget.
  • HB 3138 by Roland Gutierrez would add to the definition on intangible personal property the value of a brand name, a business service, or a business and income derived from the operation of a business other than income from use of the property.
  • HB 3148 by Tomas Uresti would allow monthly installment payments of ad valorem taxes on the residence homesteads of disabled veterans and their surviving spouses.
  • HB 3389 by Mike Schofield would require the district clerk to collect the fees taxed as costs of suit and award the fees to the master in each delinquent tax suit for which a master is appointed.
  • HB 3709 by J.D. Sheffield would allow counties to impose a separate sales tax of 15 cents per ton of taxable solid excavated material.
  • HB 3975 by Trent Ashby would expand the definition of land for purposes of open-space appraisal of timber land to include roads, rights-of-way, buffer areas, fire breaks, property taken through eminent domain, and other real property associated with the production of timber or forest products.
  • HB 3999 by Jason Isaac would establish a procedure for appraisal of property previously owned by a charitable organization and sold as low-income housing.
PUBLIC EDUCATION
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • SB 457 by Donna Campbell would provide charter school funding per student to be calculated based on the guaranteed level of state and local funds per students per cent of tax effort multiplied by the state average interest and sinking fund tax rate imposed by school districts for the current year. The committee substitute and 3 floor amendments were adopted and it passed by a vote of 20-10. Note: the companion was heard and left pending in the House Public Education Committee on March 28.
  • SB 1658 by Larry Taylor would establish procedure to close an open-enrollment charter school whose charter has been revoked, non-renewed, expired, surrendered, abandoned, or otherwise ceased operation. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • 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 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." The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26.
  • SB 2080 by Larry Taylor would require school districts to report the number of children with disabilities residing in a residential facility who receive educational services from the district in the district's Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS). The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously. Note: the companion, HB 69, was voted favorably from the House Public Education Committee on April 25.
  • SB 2131 by Royce West would change requirements for providing post-secondary education counseling for high school students. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1. 
PASSED THE HOUSE 
HB 481 by Ken King would prohibit the Texas Education Agency (TEA) from recovering an over-allocation of state funds if the over-allocation occurred more than 7 years before discovery and it occurred as a result of a statutory change. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 25, it received final passage by a vote of 135-10.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On April 27, the Senate Education Committee took up:
  • SB 1688 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would require the Commissioner of Education to establish the student mental health division within the TEA to develop and administer a plan to identify, leverage, and align existing agency resources to promote the academic success of students with mental illness or students who are at risk of having mental illness, including students who are in special education programs. It was left pending.
  • SB 2051 by Larry Taylor would make several changes to public school performance ratings including allowing a student in a district issued an unacceptable performance rating to receive a public education grant to attend another school in the district; and evaluation of campuses based on 3 instead of 5 domains of indicators of achievement. It was left pending.
  • SB 2084 by Larry Taylor would require the Commissioner of Education to adopt rules to calculate average daily attendance for students participating in a blended learning program in which classroom instruction is supplemented with applied workforce learning opportunities, including participation of students in internships, externships, and apprenticeships. It was left pending.
The Senate Education Committee will meet on May 2 to take up:  
  • SB 1838 by Bryan Hughes would clarify that a municipality must consider an open-enrollment charter school a school district for purposes of zoning, permitting, code compliance and development.
  • SB 2049 by Larry Taylor would require school districts to administer the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment to students in the 11th grade; but would allow Commissioner of Education to authorize a school district to administer the SAT or ACT instead. It would require the Commissioner of Education to consult with Commissioner of Higher Education and Texas Workforce Commissino to determine the level of student performance that is considered satisfactory for the TSI assessment (or alternative assessment). It would establish a computer adaptive testing pilot program and conduct a study to evaluate the program for consideration by the legislature in 2021.
HOUSE PUBLIC EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On April 25, the House Public Education Committee took up :
  • HB 880 by Ken King would allow a school district to assign a teacher certified in English as second language as a bilingual education teacher if the Commissioner of Education has determined that there is a shortage of certified bilingual education teachers for school year and teacher certified for bilingual education is not reasonably available for the district. It was left pending.
  • HB 1042 by Cesar Blanco would require school districts to provide instructional materials to a student in printed book format if student does not have reliable access to technology at the student's home. It was left pending.
  • HB 1180 by Craig Goldman would prohibit school district from providing instruction after the Friday before Memorial Day, unless the district operates year-round system. It was left pending.
  • HB 1333 by Jason Isaac would prohibit teacher performance standards to consider student performance that is based in any part on student performance on assessment instruments. It would also prohibit the TEA from adopting end-of-course assessments for secondary-level courses in reading, mathematics, and science that are not required by federal law. It was left pending.
  • HB 1865 by Matt Krause would set the school start date as the Tuesday after Labor Day and end date as the Friday preceding Memorial Day. It was left pending.
  • HB 2255 by Ken King would require school districts to offer a pre-k program to any child who is at least 3 years of age and would allow pre-k classes to be operated on a half-day or full-day basis. If a school district contracts with private entity to provide the district's pre-k program, the private entity must be accredited by an accreditation system approved by the Commissioner of Education. It would authorize the governor to transfer money from Texas Enterprise Fund to the TEA to be used to finance high quality pre-k programs. It was left pending.
  • HB 2282 by Eric Johnson would require the Commissioner of Education to establish a gold standard pre-k program; and would allow school districts to operate a gold standard pre-k program on a full-day or half-day basis and would provide funding under the Foundation School Program for the program. It was left pending. 
  • HB 3526 by Donna Howard would rename the instructional materials allotment as the technology and instructional materials allotment. It was initially left pending, but on April 27, it was voted out favorably as substituted.
  • HB 3635 by Matt Krause would require the Commissioner of Education to establish objective eligibility and performance standards including academic and financial accountability standards for districts of innovation. It was left pending.
  • SB 22 by Larry Taylor would establish the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. It was left pending. Note: the companion, HB 1237, was also on the agenda at this hearing, but removed in lieu of consideration of SB 22.
On April 27, the House Public Education Committee took up:  
  • HB 1261 by Gina Hinojosa would prohibit an open-enrollment charter school to discriminate in admission policy on the basis of an applicant or student's discipline history. It was left pending.
  • HB 1323 by James Frank would allow home-schooled students to participate in UIL sponsored activities. It was left pending. Note: companion, SB 640, passed the Senate on April 19, but has not yet been referred to committee in the House.
  • HB 1335 by Ron Simmons would establish an education savings account program for special needs and educationally disadvantaged students. It was left pending.
  • HB 1687 by Dwayne Bohac would require school districts to develop a written agreement form for each grade level that states responsibilities of students, parents, and teachers in that grade level; and would require the form to be signed by parents and teachers of each student. It was left pending.
  • HB 2730 by Eddie Lucio, III would allow the Commissioner of Education to create career and technical credentials or certificates that may be earned by a public high school student through career and technology education program; and would require the TEA to conduct a study to identify unmet needs in career and technology education programs particularly in the information technology career cluster. It was left pending.
  • HB 4193 by Ron Simmons would require the Commissioner of Education to establish and administer a credit account program to provide funding for students with disabilities that have an individualized education program to obtain educational support services and other resources that supplement the student's public education. It was left pending.
The House Public Education Committee will meet on May 2 to take up:  
  • HB 588 by Dwayne Bohac would establish a computer science certification grant program to encourage teachers to become certified as computer science teachers and to continue professional development in computer science education. Grants would be made available to entities including institutions of higher education, regional education service centers, independent school districts, partnership of independent school districts or nonprofit entity that offers training for computer science certification for teachers and professional development for currently certified computer science teachers to ensure certified teachers maintain working knowledge of current industry standard tools and resources.
  • HB 615 by Jeff Leach would remove the requirement that a student must pass the 5th or 8th grade math or reading assessments in order to advance to the next grade.
  • HB 1485 by Valoree Swanson would provide that the State Board of Education or a school district, administrator, or principal may not prohibit a teacher from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories included in a course taught in accordance with the curriculum framework developed by the State Board of Education.
  • HB 1553 by J.M. Lozano would authorize a school district that has failed to satisfy performance standards to enter into a memorandum of understanding with an institution of higher education to improve district performance.
  • HB 1826 by Craig Goldman would authorize a student to enroll full-time in the virtual school network if the student has been placed in substitute care or has been prescribed by licensed psychologist or other licensed health care professional to attend school through an alternative setting that provides instruction solely through electronic courses because of the student's medical or psychological condition.
  • HB 1847 by Garnet Coleman would require public and charter schools to provide notice to the parents if the school does not have a full-time nurse assigned to the campus for more than 30 consecutive instructional days during the same school year.
  • HB 2010 by Greg Bonnen would require the TEA to collect and make available to a school district on request information regarding workplace safety training that may be included as part of the district's curriculum; and would allow a school district to develop workplace safety program that provides educators access to the information provided by TEA and encourages them to include the workplace safety training information in the curriculum of appropriate courses provided to students enrolled in grades 7 through 12.
  • HB 2519 by Lynn Stucky would require TEA to study to identify best practices for reducing number of students who drop out of school before entering the 9th grade and directing the students who drop out toward an appropriate educational program. (Companion is SB 1852)
  • HB 2537 by Bobby Guerra would add to the information that must be provided to students in each year of high school to include information on the availability of education and training vouchers and tuition and fee waivers to attend an institution of higher education for students who is or was previously in the conservatorship of Dept. of Family & Protective Services.
  • HB 3231 by Dwayne Bohac would provide that charter schools operated by a public senior college or university would not be assigned a financial accountability rating. Note: the companion, SB 1837, passed the Senate on April 26.
  • HB 3427 by Matt Shaheen would remove provision in the Education Code that allows school district to deny a request to enroll a student in an electronic course if district offers a substantially similar course; and would require the TEA to conduct a study regarding the effectiveness of digital learning and make recommendations on improving digital learning.
  • HB 3730 by Jarvis Johnson would require the TEA to develop and implement a statewide online education and career advising tool to assist children in making informed, meaningful, and attainable post-secondary and career plans. (The companion is SB 1271)
  • HB 3767 by Alma Allen would require school boards to annually certify that they have established required district- and campus-level planning & decision-making committees.
  • HB 3813 by Armando "Mando" Martinez would require the Commissioner of Education to create and administer a pilot program to enable at least 14 high schools in border counties to build infrastructure to connect existing high-speed fiber-optic networks. (The companion is SB 2123)
  • HB 3853 by Garnet Coleman would allow Commissioner of Education to provide additional state aid to school districts to assist the district in employing or contracting for services of behavioral health professionals.
  • HB 4111 by Alma Allen would provide that if a performance rating for an open-enrollment charter school is lower than satisfactory due to a data reporting error in Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), the Commissioner of Education would be required to change the rating accordingly.
  • HB 4140 by Dwayne Bohac would change the instructional materials allotment to the instructional materials and technology allotment. It would prohibit school districts from using money in their instructional materials and technology account until the district has submitted and obtained peer review certification of the district's technology plan. It would require the State Board of Education to limit adoption of instructional materials to provide sufficient resources to purchase technology resources, including digital curriculum. Note: the companion, SB 1481, was reported favorably as substituted from the Senate Education Committee on April 18 and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 4170 by Scott Cosper would expand access to the virtual school network for students in kindergarten, first and second grades (current law applies virtual school network to grades 3-12). Note: the companion, SB 610, is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • SB 826 by Larry Taylor would eliminate sequencing requirements for advanced English and math courses.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
On April 28, the House Appropriations Committee took up HB 2256 by Ken King, which would authorize the governor to transfer money from the Texas Enterprise Fund to the TEA to be used to finance the high quality pre-kindergarten programs. It was left pending.
 
HIGHER EDUCATION
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • SB 810 by Lois Kolkhorst would require course schedules at institutions of higher education to include textbook information that indicates whether the textbook is an open educational resource. It would define open education resource to mean a teaching, learning, or research resource that is in the public domain or has been released under an intellectual property license that permits the free use and repurposing of the resource by any person. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • SB 2048 by Paul Bettencourt would eliminate Texas Opportunity Plan Fund and replace it with student loan auxiliary fund. It passed on Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26.
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • HB 655 by Travis Clardy would require junior college students to file a degree plan by end of the second semester or term in which the student earns a cumulative total of 30 semester credit hours. It passed to Third Reading by a vote of 131-10. On April 26, it received final approval by a vote of 138-8.
  • HB 832 by Travis Clardy would require the Coordinating Board to authorize (rather than establish a pilot project) a dental hygiene baccalaureate degree program at a public junior college that offers a degree program in that field. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It received final passage on April 28 by a vote of 133-1.
  • HB 836 by Travis Clardy would require institutions that participate in student loan program to provide students that receive a loan an estimate of the total amount of education loans previously received by the student, an estimate of the total payoff amount, an estimate of the monthly repayment amount, and an estimate of the percentage of the education loan borrowing limit applicable to the student. The committee substitute was adopted and passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It received final approval on April 28 by a vote of 130-6. Note: the companion SB 887, has passed the Senate and been referred to the House Higher Education Committee.
SENATE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On April 26, the Senate Higher Education Committee took up :
  • SB 537 by Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa would require institutions of higher education to include for each course in its course catalog a description and the amount of any special course fee charged specifically for the course, including an online access fee or lab fee. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • SB 1799 by Royce West would make changes to the student loan default prevention and financial aid literacy pilot program. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • SB 2079 by Larry Taylor would require a student's post-secondary transcript to include the average grade that was awarded to all students in the class immediately to the right of the student's individual grade. It was left pending. 
HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE 
On April 27, the House Higher Education Committee took up:
  • HB 493 by Mary Ann Perez would require Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to annually report to the governor and legislature information related to the College Credit for Heroes program including the number of academic or workforce education semester credit hours awarded under the program and applied toward a degree or certification program at an institution of higher education during the most recent academic year. It was left pending.
  • HB 654 by Travis Clardy would require Coordinating Board to include in formula funding the first 15 additional semester credit hours earned by a student who has re-enrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment covering the 24-month period preceding the first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's enrollment; and successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of course work at the institution before that break in enrollment. It would also allow a student in those circumstances to drop one additional course. It was left pending Note: the companion, SB 1782, is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • HB 796 by Travis Clardy would allow participants in Texas college work-study program to support student interventions at participating eligible institutions focused on increasing completion of degrees or certificates, such as interventions occurring through advising or supplemental instruction. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 2082, was reported favorably from the House Higher Education Committee and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 973 by Kevin Roberts would require the Coordinating Board to authorize a public junior college in Harris County to offer a baccalaureate degree program in the field of applied technology. It was left pending.
  • HB 1007 by Roberto Alonzo would require the Texas Veterans Commission to administer a veterans resource center in at least one institution of higher education in each of the following higher education regions (It was left pending.):
    • High Plains Region,
    • Northwest Texas Region,
    • Metroplex Region,
    • Upper East Texas Region,
    • Southeast Texas Region,
    • Gulf Coast Region,
    • Central Texas Region,
    • South Texas Region,
    • West Texas Region, and
    • Upper Rio Grande Region
  • HB 1192 by Cesar Blanco would expand the College Credit for Heroes program to include public junior colleges and technical institutes and would require the TWC to include them in the program unless they opt out. It was left pending.
  • HB 1212 by Larry Phillips would require the Coordinating Board to each biennium identify between 3 and 5 applied science disciplines for which a baccalaureate degree program may be offered by a public junior college. It was left pending.
  • HB 1563 by Rick Miller would allow Texas State Technical College System to create a technical-vocational course of study, certificate or degree program without approval by the Coordinating Board. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 2032, was removed from the Senate Higher Education Committee agenda on April 29.
  • HB 1828 by Donna Howard would authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to approve of baccalaureate degree programs at Austin Community College that offer a degree program in the fields of applied science, applied technology. It was left pending.
  • HB 2156 by Justin Rodriguez would require the Coordinating Board to maintain a repository for student transcripts from closed institutions that were issued a certificate of authority for a private post-secondary educational institution. It was left pending.
  • HB 3179 by J.M. Lozano would establish Texas Working Off-Campus Reinforcing Knowledge and Skills (WORKS) Internship Program administered by the Coordinating Board to help fund paid internships for college students with eligible employers using money from the federal work-study program. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 1467, is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1.
  • HB 3766 by J.M. Lozano would limit the eligibility for Hazelwood exemption for honorably discharged veterans by requiring a minimum of 4 years of service instead of 180 days past training; would limit benefit to 15 years from the date the veteran was honorably discharged; and would transfer administration of the program from the Texas Veterans Commission to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It was left pending.
  • HB 4092 by Sarah Davis would allow the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to authorize junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs in nursing and applied science and technology with some provisions bracketed to the Lone Star College District. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 2118, was reported favorably as substituted from the Senate Higher Education Committee on April 24.
The House Higher Education Committee will meet on May 3 to take up:  
  • HB 2290 by J.M. Lozano would establish Texas Returning Adult Student Grant Program to provide financial assistance to eligible returning adult students enrolling in baccalaureate degree programs at eligible institutions of higher education.
  • HB 3904 by Leighton Schubert would provide automatic admission to an applicant to an institution of higher education if applicant graduated as valedictorian of their high school.
  • SB 968 by Kirk Watson would require post-secondary educational institutions to provide an option for a student or employee of the institution to electronically report an allegation of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence or stalking committed against or witnessed by student or employee, and must enable student or employee to report alleged offense anonymously.
  • SB 969 by Kirk Watson would provide amnesty to students who commit a student conduct code violation ancillary to a sexual assault incident if they are a victim of that sexual assault or a reporting witness.
SENATE VETERAN AFFAIRS & BORDER SECURITY COMMITTEE
The Senate Veteran Affairs & Border Security Committee will meet on May 3 to take up HB 846 by John Raney, which would prohibit institutions of higher education from imposing additional obligations or burdens regarding payment or registration on Hazelwood students.  
ENERGY
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • SB 1976 by John Whitmire would require the Dept. of Health & Human Services to assist in developing an automatic process to provide for identification of low-income customers to retail electric providers to enable them to offer customer service, discounts, bill payment assistance or other assistance to those customers. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • SB 2100 by Sylvia Garcia would require Texas Railroad Commission to conduct a study of the actual cost of programs associated with its fee structure. It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26. 
SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE 
On April 25, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up SB 1920 by Lois Kolkhorst, which would prohibit a sharing of a corporate logo between a monopoly electric utility and its competitive affiliates in advertising and marketing. It was left pending.

SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
The Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee will meet on May 2 to take up:
  • HB 1619 by Hugh Shine would revise penalties for outdoor burning violations. Note: the companion, SB 1915, was heard in the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee on April 4 and left pending. 
  • HB 1818 by Larry Gonzales, which is the sunset bill for the Texas Railroad Commission. It would add pipeline safety and regulatory fees to the list of revenues to be deposited to the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund account; and would require the Railroad Commission to set permit and registration fees in an amount that are sufficient to support all pipeline safety and regulatory program costs.
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 
The House State Affairs Committee will meet on May 3 to take up:
  • HB 2204 by Kyle Kacal would require political subdivisions that receive financial assistance from Water Development Board to require all contracts for construction of a project to use iron and steel products that are produced in the U.S. unless the iron and steel products that are not produced in the U.S. is incidental or de minimis and the cost of each individual iron or steel product used in the project that is not produced in the U.S. does not exceed 1% of the total cost of the materials incorporated into the project; and the cost of all iron and steel products used in the project that are not produced in the U.S. does not exceed 5% of the total cost of the materials incorporated into the project. It takes out the preference for U.S. manufactured products.
  • HB 3399 by Mark Keough would authorize the Geo-Technology Research Institute to conduct a two-year study on existing and potential programs to improve energy efficiency.
  • HB 3534 by Stan Lambert would require transmission and distribution utilities that operate solely in ERCOT and provide service to fewer than 100,000 meters to provide service to nonprofit places of worship on a kilowatt hour basis. Note: the companion, SB 1510, was reported favorably as substituted from the Senate Business & Commerce Committee and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
ENVIRONMENT
PASSED THE SENATE  
SB 1667 by Kel Seliger would clarify that the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission is an independent entity established by federal law and is not an agency of the State of Texas, but allows funds to flow through the comptroller. It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26.
 
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • HB 31 by Lyle Larson makes several changes to groundwater regulation statutes. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It received unanimous final passage on April 25.
  • HB 180 by Eddie Lucio, III would authorize the state auditor to preform an audit review of groundwater conservation districts. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 26, it received final passage by a vote of 145-2.
  • HB 1625 by Greg Bonnen would allow the Land Commissioner to remove a vessel or structure without providing notice if it creates an imminent and significant threat to life or property or creates a significant navigation hazard. It passed on the Local & Consent Calendar on April 27.
  • HB 1648 by Four Price would authorize a retail public water utility to designate an employee as the water conservation coordinator responsible for implementing water conservation plan. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the Local & Consent Calendar on April 27.
  • 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. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the Local & Consent Calendar on April 27.
  • HB 2321 by Chris Turner would require at least 50% of the money a county receives from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) must be spent on county's LIRAP initiatives; and would allow a county to implement a local initiative project to improve air quality if approved by the county commissioners court. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 116-17. It received final approval on April 28 by a vote of 97-37.
  • HB 2378 by Lyle Larson would extend the term of a permit to transfer water out of a groundwater conservation district on or before its expiration to a term that is shorter than the term of an operating permit for the production of water to be transferred that is in effect at time of the extension. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 28, it received unanimous final passage. Note: the companion, SB 774, is set for a hearing on May 1 in the Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee.
  • HB 2802 by Lyle Larson would remove Sunset Advisory Commission review of river authorities. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 28, it received final approval by a vote of 105-23.
  • HB 2943 by Lyle Larson would clarify that Texas Water Development Board must use money in the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund to provide financial assistance to persons eligible under the federal Water Pollution Control act, including nonpoint source pollution control and abatement and water quality control projects. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It was unanimously approved on final passage on April 28.
  • HB 2948 by Lyle Larson would require the Texas Water Development Board to appoint an inter-regional planning council to improve coordination between regional water planning groups; facilitate dialogue on water management strategies, and share best practices regarding the operation of the regional water planning proves. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 26, it received unanimous final adoption.
  • HB 3090 by John Cyrier would allow peace officers to enforce laws prohibiting outdoor burning of waste and combustible material. It passed on the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • HB 3618 by Tracy King would require river authorities to submit a written summary report on the water quality assessment of the authority's watershed to the TCEQ, Soil & Water Conservation Board, and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the Local & Consent Calendar on April 26.
SENATE AGRICULTURE, WATER, & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On April 24, the Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee took up:
  • SB 696 by Charles Perry would require TCEQ to develop updated water availability models (WAMs) for the Brazos, Guadalupe, San Antonio, and Trinity River basins by Dec. 1, 2020. It was reported out favorably as substituted. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1 (first placement).
  • SB 1587 by Sylvia Garcia would require public water systems to replace lead service lines in public schools, private schools, and child care facilities served by the public water system. It was left pending.
  • SB 2140 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would authorize the Economically Distressed Areas Account to be used to provide financial assistance to political subdivisions for drainage services. It was reported out favorably as substituted.
The Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee met May 1 to take up:
  • SB 774 by Charles Perry would extend the term of a permit to transfer water out of a groundwater conservation district on or before its expiration to a term that is shorter than the term of an operating permit for production of water to be transferred that is in effect at the time of the extension. Note: the companion, HB 2378, passed the House on April 28.
  • SB 1528 by Brandon Creighton would establish a groundwater management area planning group to conduct joint planning and to review the management plans, the accomplishments of the management area, and proposals to adopt new or amend existing desired future conditions. Note: companion, HB 3043, was reported favorably as substituted from the House Natural Resources Committee on April 26.
  • SB 1777 by Sylvia Garcia would make it an offense to violate a rule adopted under the Flood Control & Insurance Act. Note: the companion, HB 2334, is set on the House Calendar for May 3.
  • SB 2026 by Jose Rodriguez would require 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. Note: the companion, HB 1536, was voted favorably as substituted from the House Natural Resources Committee on April 19.
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On April 24, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up SB 1446 by Craig Estes, which would require the notice of a contested case hearing to include a statement of factual matters asserted; and would allow the court to determine that the agency's failure to give property notice does not constitute prejudice if the license holder waived an opportunity to show compliance with all requirements of law for the retention of the license. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 1 (first placement).

HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
On April 26, the House Natural Resources Committee took up:
  • HB 2885 by Lyle Larson would require the TCEQ to grant a water right or an amendment to a permit, certified filing, or certificate of adjudication to an applicant who proposes to divert the applicant's existing return flows from treated brackish groundwater and transfer those flows to another river basin. It was left pending.
  • HB 4230 by Gene Wu would allow the State Water Pollution Control Revolving fund to be used to provide financial assistance to political subdivisions for flood control or mitigation projects. It was left pending.
  • HCR 43 by Yvonne Davis would direct Texas Water Development Board and TCEQ to assist in the creation of a large-scale potable water recycling project, and encourage the use of renewable energy sources in the development of the project. It was left pending.
HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION COMMITTEE
The House Environmental Regulation Committee will meet May 2 to take up:
  • HB 838 by Alma Allen would require TCEQ to consider cumulative effects on the public's health and physical property or expected air contaminant emissions from the facility or proposed facility and from other facilities located within three miles of the facility or proposed facility when issuing a new or renewed air permit.
  • HB 1437 by Gene Wu would allow money in the local initiative projects fund of the Texas LIRAP to be used to reduce litter.
  • HB 2140 by Ryan Guillen would establish Texas Litter & Illegal Dumping Advisory Panel to study on existing best management practices and funding mechanisms for the prevention, mitigation, and abatement of windblown and waterborne litter and illegal dumping.
  • HB 3116 by Alma Allen would require a permit for a solid waste facility to contain certification from the applicant that all residents within one mile of the site received notice outlining specific requirements related to the proposed operations and containing a questionnaire to receive community comments.
  • SB 570 by Jose Rodriguez would require a used or scrap tire generator that stores tires outdoors to store them in a secure and locked manner during non-business hours. It would require transporters of used tires to be registered and maintain financial assurance. Note: the companion, HB 3744, was taken up in the House Environmental Regulation Committee on April 27 and the motion to report it out FAILED.
HEALTH
PASSED THE SENATE
  • SB 1148 by Dawn Buckingham would prohibit managed care plan issuer from differentiating among physicians based solely on their maintenance of certification, and would prohibit the Texas Board of Medical Examiners from requiring maintenance of certification by an applicant for them to be eligible for a license to practice medicine. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • SB 1413 by Charles Schwertner 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. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously. Note: the companion, HB 3218, is set on the House Calendar for May 2.
  • SB 1929 by Lois Kolkhorst would extend the sunset review date for Maternal Mortality & Morbidity Task Force from 2019 to 2023, and update maternal mortality reporting requirements. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • SB 2087 by Kelly Hancock 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. Sen. Hancock said, "This legislation provides flexibility for the state to create a high-risk pool or a reinsurance program, depending on upcoming federal action and guidance. As the Affordable Care Act continues to fall apart, we can't let people with preexisting conditions fall through the cracks." It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26.
PASSED THE HOUSE
  • HB 490 by Rodney Anderson would require a health benefit plan to cover cost of medically necessary hearing aid or cochlear implant and related services and supplies for a covered individual who is 18 years of age or younger. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 25, it received final passage by a vote of 121-21.
  • HB 1978 by J.D. Sheffield would exempt a physician assistant from supervision and delegation requirements while volunteering for a charitable organization or at public or private event, including religious event, sporting event, community event, or health fair. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 26, it received unanimous final approval.
  • HB 2035 by Amando Walle would provide for the continuation of the Maternal Mortality & Morbidity Task Force until 2023. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It received final approval on Friday by a vote of 114-19.
  • HB 2571 by Roland Gutierrez would require the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio to establish and maintain a National Center for Warrior Resiliency, devoted to research and clinical care for combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 27, it passed by a vote of 132-11.
  • HB 2891 by John Smithee would prescribe a form for medical authorization to release protected health information in a health care liability claim. It passed on the Local & Consent Calendar on April 27.
SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE 
The Senate Business & Commerce Committee will meet on May 2 to take up SB 2104 by Carlos Uresti, which would require Dept. of State Health Services to conduct a feasibility study on using the statewide system of health care data collection to create public database of charges billed by health care providers.

SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE 
On April 26, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee took up:
  • SB 1101 by Van Taylor would authorize a physician to prescribe, and a pharmacist to dispense, an epinephrine auto-injector to a daycare facility. It was left pending.
  • SB 1625 by Carlos Uresti would prohibit termination or retaliation against a physician assistant who refuses to engage in an act or omission relating to patient care that would constitute grounds for reporting the physician assistant to the physician assistant board for a violation of rules or regulations. It was left pending.
HOUSE BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COMMITTEE 
On April 24, the House Business & Industry Committee took up HB 4011 by Dustin Burrows, which would prohibit a health care provider from providing a consumer reporting agency with information regarding an amount unpaid by a consumer for non-emergency medical care, without a medical charges disclosure statement signed by the patient. It was initially left pending, but was reported out favorably on April 26.

HOUSE CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE COMMITTEE 
On April 24, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee took up HB 2200 by Gina Hinojosa, which would authorize the medical use of marijuana, and provide an affirmative defense to prosecution for the possession of marijuana for a medical use. It was left pending. 
 
HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE 
On April 25, the House Insurance Committee took up:
  • HB 307 by Dustin Burrows would require a health benefit plan to establish and operate a toll-free telephone number and website for an enrollee to obtain the average amount paid to an in-network provider for a particular health care service or supply in the preceding 12 months in the enrollee's geographic rating area. It was left pending.
  • HB 336 by Nicole Collier would extend the authority of the office of public insurance counsel to compare and evaluate the adequacy of networks offered by managed care plans, and would authorize the office to intervene on behalf of consumers, and to file objections and written complaints against a managed care plan with the Texas Dept. of Insurance. It was left pending.
  • HB 831 by Charles "Doc" Anderseon would require health benefit plan that provides coverage for a minor for reconstructive surgery for craniofacial abnormalities to provide coverage for the treatment of primary and secondary conditions related to or arising from craniofacial abnormalities. It was left pending.
  • HB 1161 by Sarah Davis would require a health benefit plan that provides benefits for a prescription contraceptive drug to allow an enrollee to obtain up to a 12-month supply of the drug at one time. It was left pending.
  • HB 1539 by Senfronia Thompson would prohibit a health benefit plan that provides coverage for stage-four advanced, metastatic cancer from requiring a patient to fail to successfully respond, or to prove a history of failure, of a different drug before the health benefit plan provides coverage for a prescription drug covered by the U.S. FDA. It was left pending.
  • HB 2345 by Paul Workman would require a physician who conducts utilization review on behalf of a utilization review agent, or on the payor's own behalf, to be licensed in Texas. It was left pending.
  • HB 2397 by Sergio Munoz, Jr. would allow an insurer to terminate a contract with a preferred provider if the provider is determined by a final, unappealable judgment to have judgment to have committed fraud. It was left pending.
  • HB 2620 by Sergio Munoz, Jr. would allow a plaintiff who prevails in a private action involving health benefits to obtain the greater of actual damages plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees or $10,000 plus court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, whichever is greater. It was left pending.
  • HB 3755 by Rodney Anderson would establish payment standards for preferred provider benefit plans to reduce balance billing of enrollees for out-of-network health care services. It was left pending.
The House Insurance Committee will meet on May 2 to take up:  
  • HB 717 by Gene Wu would require a health care provider that takes a sample of a person's blood as part of a routine medical screening to submit sample for an HIV diagnostic test, regardless of whether an HIV test is part of a primary diagnosis, unless the person opts out of the HIV test. Any standard health benefit plan would also be required to include coverage for such tests or procedures.
  • HB 2882 by Tom Oliverson would authorize a health benefit plan to make modifications affecting drug coverage that are more favorable to enrollees at any time without notice to the commissioner of insurance. On renewal of a health benefit plan, an issuer would be prohibited from modifying an enrolee's contracted benefit level for any prescription drug that was approved or covered under the plan in the immediately preceding plan year and prescribed during that year for a medical condition or mental illness of the enrollee.
  • HB 3523 by Barbara Gervin-Hawkins would require a health benefit plan to provide coverage for hair prostheses.
  • HB 3560 by Tom Oliverson would require a group health benefit plan to provide coverage, based on medical necessity, for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity.
  • HB 3930 by Rick Miller would clarify requirements for health benefit plan to provide coverage for early childhood intervention services.
HOUSE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE 
The House Public Health Committee will meet May 2 to take up:
  • HB 752 by Morgan Meyer would make a nonprofit health care organization found in violation of prohibition against interference with a physician's professional judgment subject to administrative penalties, including revocation of board certification, and would require any employee, including a physician or chief medical officer, working for a nonprofit health care organization known by the employee to have committed a violation to report that violation to the State Board of Medical Examiners. Note: the companion, SB 833, was voted favorably as substituted from the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on April 26.
  • HB 1201 by Senfronia Thompson would authorize a dentist to delegate the administration of an intraoral block or infiltration anesthesia to a qualified dental hygienist. Note: companion, SB 430, was on the Senate Intent Calendar on April 25 but has not been re-posted.
  • HB 1939 by Garnet Coleman would prohibit over the counter sale of dextromethorphan to minors, and provide civil penalties for violations.
  • HB 2107 by Eddie Lucio, III would authorize the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for use by qualifying patients with a diagnosed debilitating medical condition.
  • HB 2403 by Shawn Thierry would require the Maternal Mortality & Morbidity Task Force within the Dept. of State Health Services (DSHS) to conduct a study evaluating the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in the state's African American population.
  • HCR 57 by Gene Wu would encourage Texans to donate bone marrow and blood and to register as organ donors, and would encourage all counties and cities be encouraged to adopt the same policy as the state with regard to time off for public employees not to exceed 5 working days in a fiscal year to serve as a bone marrow donor or 30 working days in a fiscal year to serve as an organ donor, and not to exceed four times in a fiscal year to donate blood.
  • HCR 64 by Chris Turner would recognize the importance of vaccinations in preventing meningococcal disease and encourage all Texans to learn more about this vital issue.
  • SB 27 by Donna Campbell would abolish provisions authorizing the DSHS to award grants to regional and local organizations for the delivery of mental health programs or services for veterans. The term "volunteer coordinator" would be replaced with "peer services coordinator."
  • SB 74 by Jane Nelson would streamline credential requirements for behavioral health providers.
  • SB 139 by Van Taylor would include following facilities under provisions relating to adverse licensing, listing, or registration decisions made by health & human services agencies:
    • an ambulatory surgical center,
    • a birthing center,
    • an abortion facility,
    • an end-stage renal disease facility,
    • a freestanding emergency medical care facility, and
    • a narcotic drug treatment program.
  • SB 304 by Van Taylor is the sunset bill for the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
  • SB 313 by Charles Schwertner is the sunset bill for the State Board of Dental Examiners.
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 
The House State Affairs Committee will meet on May 3 to take up HB 1113 by John Smithee would prohibit qualified health plan offered through health benefit exchange from providing coverage for an abortion, except due to a medical emergency. A health benefit plan would also only be authorized to provide coverage for an abortion if it is provided separately from other coverage on the plan, the enrollee pays separately for the abortion coverage, and provides a separate signature. Requirements for calculating premiums would be provided. Note: the companion, SB 20, passed the Senate on March 27 but has not yet been referred to committee in the House.  
GENERAL BUSINESS
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • SB 714 by Kel Seliger would require a financial institution to notify a customer of the type of account the customer has selected; and would be able to satisfy that requirement by providing the customer with a copy of the account opening or modification documentation in paper of electronic format. It would also clarify if a type of multiple-party account is not available from the financial institution, the institution is not required to make a disclosure about that type of account. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed by a vote of 30-1. Note: the companion, HB 1752, was heard in the House Investments & Financial Services Committee on April 25 and was left pending.
  • SB 1401 by Donna Campbell would authorize the banking commissioner to regulate the services or activities of a third-party service provider that a state bank or state bank affiliate has contracted for or arranged to be performed on behalf of the bank or affiliate. Third-party service provider would include an entity that provides Internet-related services, including web services, processing electronic bill payments, developing and maintaining mobile applications, system and software development, and maintenance and security monitoring. The committee substitute was adopted and passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26. Note: the companion, HB 2822, was reported favorably from the House Investments & Financial Services Committee as substituted and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar. The Senate committee substitute clarifies the definition of "trust business."
  • SB 1498 by Judith Zaffirini would remove state licensing requirement for temporary common worker employers. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26. Note: the companion, HB 3309, is set for a hearing in the House Business & Industry Committee on May 1.
  • SB 2065 by Kelly Hancock would implement the Texas Dept. of Licensing & Regulation's biennial strategic plan to deregulate or eliminate programs including licensing related to vehicle protection products, temporary common worker employers, for-profit legal service contract companies, barbering and cosmetology, and vehicle booting. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • SB 2127 by Larry Taylor would prohibit a consumer reporting agency from furnishing a consumer report containing information related to collection account with medical industry billing code when consumer had health insurance at the time of event and collection relates to billing for an outstanding balance, after copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance, owed to an emergency care provider or a facility-based provider for an out-of-network benefit claim. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed by a vote of 20-6.
  • SB 2205 by Kelly Hancock would prescribe the circumstances under which automated motor vehicles can be tested in Texas. The committee substitute and four floor amendments were adopted and it passed unanimously. 
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • HB 1859 by Ron Simmons would provide that if a merchant's merchandise is not displayed or offered to consumers primarily for lease under a rental-purchase agreement, merchant would be required to disclose to the consumer before presenting rental-purchase agreement:
    • The cash price of the merchandise;
    • The amount of the periodic payments under the proposed agreement; and
    • The total number and amount of periodic payments necessary to acquire ownership of the merchandise.
    • The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On April 28, it received final passage by a vote of 120-12. Note: the companion, SB 938, was voted favorably as substituted from the Senate Business & Commerce Committee on April 25.
  • HB 2726 by Justin Holland would require the banking commissioner to promptly notify an applicant for a state bank promptly when an application is informationally complete. It would prohibit a safe deposit company from terminating an agreement for the rental of a safe deposit box unless the lessee receives 90 days' notice, or payment is at least 6 months delinquent. It passed on the Local & Consent Calendar. Note: the companion, SB 1400, passed the Senate on April 19, but has not yet been referred to committee in the House.
HOUSE BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COMMITTEE 
On April 24, the House Business & Industry Committee took up HB 3150 by DeWayne Burns, which would allow a merchant to offer a person who is suspected of stealing or attempting to steal property from the merchant an opportunity to complete the merchant's education program instead of reporting the suspected offense to a law enforcement agency. It was initially left pending, but on Thursday, it was voted favorably as substituted. 

HOUSE LICENSING & ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES COMMITTEE 
On April 24, the House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee took up HB 1514 by Jason Isaac, which would clarify that a wine is entitled to an appellation of origin indicating the wine's origin is Texas or geographical subdivision of the state only if 100% of the wine's volume is derived from fermented juice of grapes or other fruit grown in Texas and the wine is fully produced and finished in Texas. It was left pending.

The House Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee met on May 1 to take up:
  • HB 2291 by Matt Rinaldi would allow the holder of a brewer's permit, wine and beer retailer's permit, and package store permit to sell beer wine, ale, and malt liquor through a website and ship to ultimate consumer including ultimate consumers located in a dry area.
  • HB 3315 by Tony Dale would allow holders of a brewer's permit and holder of a temporary wine and beer retailer's permit to hold tasting competition on permit holder's premises.
HOUSE INVESTMENTS & FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE 
On April 25, the House Investments & Financial Services Committee took up:
  • HB 741 by Diego Bernal would prohibit a credit services organization from assisting a consumer with obtaining an extension of consumer credit unless the organization finds, using independently verifiable documentation of income and obligations, that the consumer can reasonably repay the loan and all associated fees and costs. It was left pending.  
  • HB 975 by Helen Giddings would prohibit a credit services organization from filing or threatening to file a criminal complaint against a consumer without having extrinsic evidence sufficient to prove that the consumer has committed an offense under the Penal Code. It was left pending.
  • HB 1134 by Tom Craddick would require credit access businesses to provide contracts and other documents in English or the language in which the contract is negotiated and read in that language to a consumer who cannot read. It makes other requirements on credit access businesses and credit services organizations but would specifically not pre-empt local ordinances regulating credit access businesses. It was left pending.
  • HB 1752 by Jessica Farrar would require a financial institution to notify a customer of the type of account the customer has selected; and would be able to satisfy that requirement by providing the customer with a copy of the account opening or modification documentation in paper or electronic format. It would also clarify if a type of multiple-party account is not available from the financial institution, the institution is not required to make a disclosure about that type of account. It was left pending. Note: the companion, SB 714, passed the Senate on April 26.
  • HB 2008 by Scott Cosper would require a lender who engages in a deferred presentment transaction with a member of the U.S. military to comply with federal and state regulations regarding the transaction. It was initially left pending, but voted out favorably on April 27.
  • HB 3508 by Victoria Neave would prohibit governmental entity from entering into any contract or agreement with a credit access business; business that operates in the same retail space as a credit access business or other credit services organization; or business that is owned by a business entity that owns a credit access business or other credit services organization. It was left pending.
HOUSE URBAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On April 25, the House Urban Affairs Committee took up HB 3324 by Eddie Rodriguez, which would establish the Texas Grocery Access Investment Fund to provide financing to construct, rehabilitate, or expand grocery stores, mobile markets, farm stands, and other eligible projects to increase food access in under-served, low-income, and moderate-income areas. It was left pending.

SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE 
On April 25, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:
  • SB 1835 by Craig Estes would adopt the "distinguishable in the records of the Secretary of State" standard in the filing and administration of business entity name registration process. It was left pending. Note: the companion, HB 2856, was reported favorably as substituted from the House Business & Industry Committee and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 2067 by Kelly Hancock would require an employee of a financial institution to notify the institution if the employee suspects financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult who has an account with the institution. It was left pending. Note: the companion, HB 3921, is set on the House Calendar for May 3.
The Senate Business & Commerce Committee will meet May 2 to take up:
  • SB 2169 by Don Huffines would require the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to treat ale and malt liquor as "beer" for the purposes of licensing, permitting, manufacturing, transporting, storing, marketing, reporting, delivering, wholesaling, retailing, testing, labeling, and taxation.
  • HB 1612 by Ramon Romero would prohibit Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission from offering civil penalty in lieu of suspending permit or license if basis for suspension involves consumption of or the permitting of consumption of controlled substances or drugs.
SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE 
On April 26, Senate Health & Human Services Committee took up SB 1683 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would require food service establishments to display a poster in an area of the establishment accessible primarily to employees with info regarding risk of an allergic reaction, major food allergens, and methods for preventing cross-contamination in food preparation. It was left pending.

HOUSE ECONOMIC & SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE 
On April 27, the House Economic & Small Business Development Committee took up HB 2248 by Bobby Guerra, which would require a state agency to prepare and publish an economic impact statement and regulatory flexibility analysis if agency is made aware that a proposed rule may have an adverse economic effect on small businesses or micro-businesses. Rep. Guerra said, "Small businesses are the backbone of the Texas economy employing two-thirds of all newly created jobs. Duplicative and onerous regulations are the hidden small business tax. This is why it is imperative that the legislature create the best business climate possible to ensure we continue to grow and nurture our Texas economy to prosperity." It was left pending.

TRANSPORTATION 
On April 25, the House Transportation Committee took up SB 312 by Robert Nichols, which is the sunset bill for the Texas Department of Transportation. It was left pending.

WORKFORCE
PASSED THE SENATE
  • SB 276 by Kirk Watson would allow an open-enrollment charter to be awarded to a pilot program provided through a nonprofit entity that provides an adult education program to successfully complete a high school program that can lead to a diploma and career and technology education courses that can lead to industry certification. It deletes the current limitation of no more than 150 individuals on adult education pilot program. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously. Note: the companion, HB 852, was reported favorably as substituted from the House Public Education Committee on April 17. The Senate committee substitute clarifies that the adult education program would be subject to PEIMS and high school graduation requirements and would require the Commissioner of Education to adopt performance frameworks and standards to measure the performance of adult high school programs.
  • SB 2105 by Borris Miles would require the Texas Workforce Commission to quarterly report to the TEA with regional information on career and technical education partnership opportunities with business and industry, and professional development opportunities for teachers and learning opportunities for students through industry mentorships, internships, summer programs, after-school programs, & career-based student leadership opportunities. It passed on the Local & Uncontested Calendar on April 26. Note: companion, HB 374, was reported favorably from the House Economic & Small Business Development Committee on April 24.
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • HB 2994 by Trent Ashby would add contact hours attributable to enrollment of a student in a workforce continuing education course at a public junior college into funding formula. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It received final approval by 130-2 vote on April 28.
HOUSE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE  
On April 24, the House Human Services Committee took up:
  • HB 1608 by Ina Minjarez would require the Dept. of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) to establish a summer internship pilot program providing foster children with the opportunity to develop marketable job skills and obtain professional work experience through a summer internship with a participating business, nonprofit organization, or governmental entity. It was initially left pending, but on April 27, it was voted out favorably.
  • HB 1640 by Hubert Vo  would require the Texas DFPS to collaborate with local workforce development boards, foster care transition centers, community and technical colleges, schools, and any appropriate workforce industry resources to create a program to assist foster care youth and former foster care youth in obtaining a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate and industry certifications necessary for occupations that are in high demand. It was left pending.
SENATE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE 
On April 26, the Senate Higher Education Committee took up SB 1746 by Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, which would require contact hours attributable to enrollment of a student in workforce continuing education course offered by a public junior college to be included in the contract hours used to determine the college's proportionate share of state money. It was left pending.

HOUSE ECONOMIC & SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
On April 27, the House Economic & Small Business Development Committee took up HB 3554 by Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, which would allow nonprofit service providers to apply for job training, post-secondary vocational and technical job training, adult education, employment services, and support services programs directly to the Texas Workforce Commission if the local workforce development board is unresponsive. It was left pending.

SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
The Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee met May 2 to take up:
  • HB 1432 by Hubert Vo would authorize the Texas Workforce Commission to cash a warrant or negotiable instrument with a restricted or conditional endorsement without settling the amount of money due to the commission.
  • HB 1433 by Hubert Vo would suspend the statute of limitations during a pending judicial proceeding involving an unemployment compensation claim.
END-OF SESSION SLOW-DOWN RULES
Rules that institute deadlines prior to the end of the legislative session begin to kick in Monday, May 8, 2017:
  • May 8, 2017 - Last day for House committees to report House Bills and House Joint Resolutions (119th day).
  • May 9, 2017 - Last House Daily Calendar with House Bills and House Joint Resolutions must be distributed by 10:00 PM due to the 36-hour layout rule for calendars (120th day).
  • May 10, 2017 - Last House Local & Consent Calendar with Consent House Bills must be distributed by 9:00 AM due to the 48-hour layout rule for Local & Consent calendars (121st day).
  • May 11, 2017 - Last day (midnight deadline) for the House to consider Second Reading House Bills and House Joint Resolutions on the regular calendar (122nd Day).
  • May 12, 2017 - Last day (midnight deadline) for House to consider consent House Bills on Second and Third Reading and all Third reading House Bills and House Joint Resolutions on the regular calendar (123rd Day).
  • May 17, 2017 - Last House Local & Consent Calendar with local House Bills must be distributed by 9:00 AM due to the 48-hour layout for Local & Consent calendars (128th day).
  • May 19, 2017 - Last day for the House to consider local House Bills on Second and Third Reading. First day the Senate can consider bills and resolutions the first day they are posted on the Intent Calendar (130th Day).
  • May 20, 2017 - Last day for House Committees to report Senate Bills and Senate Joint Resolutions (131st Day).
  • May 21, 2017 - Last House Daily Calendar with Senate Bills and Senate Joint Resolutions must be printed and distributed (10:00 PM deadline) due to the 36-hour layout rule for regular calendars (132nd Day).
  • May 22, 2017 - Last House Local & Consent Calendar with Senate Bills must be distributed by 9:00 AM due to the 48-hour layout rule for Local & Consent calendars (133rd Day).
  • May 23, 2017 - Last day for the House to consider Second Reading Senate Bills and Senate Joint Resolutions on the regular calendar (134th Day).
  • May 24, 2017 - Last day for the House to consider local and consent Senate bills on Second and Third Reading and to consider all Third Reading Senate bills and Senate Joint Resolutions on the regular calendars. Last day for the Senate to consider all bills and joint resolutions on Second or Third Reading (135th Day).
  • May 25, 2017 - All Senate amendments must be distributed in the House before midnight due to the 24-hour layout rule (136th Day).
  • May 26, 2017 - Last day for the House to act on Senate amendments. Senate copies of conference committee reports on tax, general appropriations and reapportionment bills must be printed and distributed before midnight due to the 48-hour lay-out rule (137th Day).
  • May 27, 2017 - In the House, all conference Committee reports must be printed and distributed by midnight due to the 24-hour layout rule. In the Senate, all conference committee reports must be printed and distributed (other than those required to be printed the 137th day) before midnight due to the 24-hour lay-out rule (138th Day).
  • May 28, 2017 - Last day for the House to adopt conference committee reports and to discharge conference committees and adopt Senate amendments. Last day for the Senate to adopt conference committee reports or concur in House amendments (139th Day).
  • May 29, 2017 - Corrections only in the House and Senate. Last day of the session with midnight deadline to adjourn Sine Die (140th Day).
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