May 23, 2017
DON'T MISS IT

 
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.

MUNICIPAL RUN-OFF ELECTION
Don't store your Voter Registration card yet! Early Voting for the Run-Off Election for Plano City Council Place 2 and Place 8 starts next Tuesday, May 30. Early Voting will be held from May 30 - June 6 and Election Day is Saturday, June 10. CLICK HERE for a list of Early Voting locations.
END-OF SESSION SLOW-DOWN RULES 
Rules that institute deadlines prior to the end of the legislative session:
  • 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 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 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).
   CLICK HERE to view the full list of bills the Plano Chamber is tracking.
SENATE NEWS
The Senate was in session Monday-Friday and Sunday afternoon of last week.

The Senate reconvened on Monday, May 22 at 11 AM. CLICK HERE to view upcoming schedules. 
 
HOUSE NEWS 
The House was in session Monday-Sunday of last week.

The House reconvened on May 21 at 2 PM. On the Sunday, May 21 calendar, there are 35 Third Reading bills, one item of postponed business, one bill on the Major State Calendar ( SB 317, the sunset bill for the physical therapy agencies), and 32 Second Reading bills on the General State Calendar. The May 22 House Calendars have 41 bills; May 23 Calendars have 3 bills on the Major State Calendar: SB 314 (sunset bill for Texas Optometry Board); SB 224 (sunset bill for the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas); and SB 1929 (maternal mortality and morbidity and postpartum depression); and one Second Reading bill. Additional bills are expected to be added to the May 23 calendar. CLICK HERE to view upcoming schedules. 

STATE NEWS 
SPEAKER LETTER ON AVOIDING A SPECIAL SESSION 
 On Monday, House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asking for his help in passing the budget (SB 1) and adopting a sunset safety net bill (SB 310) in order to avoid a special session. Specifically, the letter said, "We are on track to have another highly productive session. Both chambers have worked diligently to pass the emergency items that Gov. Abbott highlighted earlier this year: Child Protective Services reform, ethics reform, a ban on sanctuary cities, and language calling for a convention of states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The House is taking action on a number of bills you have prioritized, including pro-life legislation and property tax reform, and will continue to do so in the next two weeks... The House wants to finish all of our work in the regular session, and we believe that this goal is well within reach. While I respect and defer to Governor Abbott's right to call a special session on any topic, I believe that such a session will not be necessary if we work together to pass two critical bills:
  • SB 1 - Senate and House conferees have worked together very productively in recent weeks. The conferees have made good progress so far, and I look forward to working with them and with you to put the final touches on a balanced state budget that reflects the priorities of both chambers.
  • SB 310 - As you know, this is the catch-all, or safety net, Sunset bill. If the Senate passes this legislation quickly and sends it to the House, we will work promptly to pass it as well. While time is short, this is the simplest way to make sure that state agencies keep functioning and continue to provide essential services to Texans.
The House is hard at work and has referred most of the Senate bills to committees. We certainly understand that some bills that are passed in one chamber will not have the support to move forward in the other. Still, as the House continues to pass priority Senate bills, I respectfully ask that the Senate also consider acting soon on issues that are priorities of the House, including public education, school accountability and testing reform, child protection, mental health, cybersecurity, and preserving health insurance for retired teachers... I hope that we can continue to address priorities that matter to each chamber while also passing the bills that are most critical to finishing this Legislature's work on May 29."

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK PRESS CONFERENCE 
On May 17, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a press conference saying, "The leadership in the Texas House has taken a different approach on big agenda issues, holding them down to the last few weeks. That puts us on the precipice of a special session... While I agree with the speaker, it would be good to avoid a special session, I do not agree that we can just pass the budget and a sunset bill and call it a day." The Lt. Governor threatened to push for a special session unless the House passes "meaningful" property tax reform, which he said includes setting a lower rollback rate when cities and counties are required to get voter approval of an increased tax rate (SB 2); and the women's privacy bill requiring people to use the bathroom of their birth gender (SB 6) or a similar bill including HB 2899. Lt. Gov. Patrick said, "If we must go to a special session, I will respectfully ask the governor to add both of these bills - plus other legislation he has voiced support for - in that special session call. If the bills don't pass in the special and they're blocked again, I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again." Patrick said he would give the Speaker the public school finance bill that is a priority for Straus IF the House would keep on the Senate amendment on school choice for students with disabilities. Patrick said he would ensure Senate passage of all of Speaker Straus' priority bills including his mental health package and cybersecurity. On the budget, Patrick said he remains adamant about not using Rainy Day Fund money for ongoing expenses, but he is willing to consider it for one-time infrastructure expenses. Other bills the Lt. Governor mentioned as key issues of importance to him include anti-abortion bills, voter ID, and a property tax exemption for first responders killed in the line of duty.  

SPEAKER STRAUS RESPONSE 
On the afternoon of May 17, Speaker Joe Straus issued a statement in response to the Lt. Governor's press conference. Straus said, "I was encouraged by much of what Lt. Gov. Patrick said today. I was especially glad to hear that Governor Patrick wants to start passing bills that are priorities of the House, such as mental health reforms, fixing the broken A-F rating system and cybersecurity. These are not poll-tested priorities, but they can make a very real difference in Texans' lives. I am grateful that the Senate will work with us to address them. Budget negotiations are going well but are far from finished. The Senate has indicated a willingness to use part of the $12 billion Economic Stabilization Fund. In addition, the two sides, along with the Comptroller's office, are working through concerns about the use of Proposition 7 funds to certify the budget. I'm optimistic that we will produce a reasonable and equitable compromise on the budget. I appreciate the work of the Senate conferees and Governor Patrick on these issues. As I said in my letter to Governor Patrick, the House has worked diligently to pass priorities that are important to him. SB 2 has been scheduled for a vote on the floor of the House tomorrow. The House has already acted on a number of issues that are important to the Lieutenant Governor and will continue to do so. I'm glad that the Senate is beginning to extend the same courtesy. Governor Patrick talked about the importance of property tax relief. The Texas House is also concerned about property taxes, which is why we approved HB 21 to address the major cause of rising property-tax bills: local school taxes. As it passed the House, this legislation would begin to reduce our reliance on local property taxes in funding education. Nobody can claim to be serious about property-tax relief while consistently reducing the state's share of education funding. The House made a sincere effort to start fixing our school finance system, but the Senate is trying to derail that effort at the 11th hour. The Senate is demanding that we provide far fewer resources for schools than the House approved and that we begin to subsidize private education - a concept that the members of the House overwhelmingly rejected in early April. The House is also serious about providing extra and targeted assistance for students with disabilities. This is why we put extra money in HB 21 to help students with dyslexia. We also overwhelmingly passed HB 23 to provide grants for schools that work with students who have autism and other disabilities. The Lieutenant Governor has not referred that bill to a Senate committee. Governor Patrick's threat to force a special session unless he gets everything his way is regrettable, and I hope that he reconsiders. The best way to end this session is to reach consensus on as many issues as we can. Nobody is going to get everything they want. But we can come together on many issues and end this session knowing that we have positively addressed priorities that matter to Texas."

UPDATE ON PRIORITY BILLS 
The House had scheduled a vote on SB 2 (property tax reform) on May 19, but it was sent back to the House Ways & Means Committee to correct an error that subjected the bill to a point-of-order that would have killed the bill on a technicality. The House immediately suspended the rules to allow the Ways & Means Committee to hold a meeting where they again voted out SB 2. On May 20, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dennis Bonnen successfully added the House version of SB 2 (the House version does not include a change in the rollback rate) as an amendment to SB 669. An amendment to add rollback provisions to SB 669 was ruled not germane by the Speaker and therefore not taken up. Also on May 20, Rep. Four Price added an amendment to SB 80 by Jane Nelson extending the sunset date for the Texas Medical Board, Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners, Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors until 2021, thereby eliminating the need for a sunset safety net bill. On the evening of May 21, the House added a version of "bathroom bill" language to SB 2078 by Larry Taylor.
SENATE NEWS  
On May 15, the Senate passed 14 bills including bills requiring large school districts to maintain an electronic database of the school district finances (SB 1605); requiring food service establishments to display a poster with information regarding the risk of an allergic reaction, the major food allergens, and methods for preventing cross-contamination in food preparation (SB 1683); and providing that a wrap loan is void and unenforceable unless it is made with the prior, written consent of all existing lienholders (SB 1994). Additional bills are in the Public Education category below.
 
On May 16, the Senate passed 15 bills including allowing city attorneys to sue for alcohol-related common nuisances (HB 256); allowing the issuance of "Back the Blue" specialty license plates (HB 263); providing death benefits to peace officers employed by private institutions of higher education (HB 1526); requiring court clerks to send notices of convictions involving family violence committed by a member of state military forces to staff judge advocate general (HB 1655); requiring institutions of higher education to ensure that common outdoor areas of an institutions' campus are deemed traditional public forums and allow a person to engage in expressive activities in those areas of the campus (SB 1151); and requiring the TEA to conduct a study to determine school districts and open-enrollment charter schools eligible to provide universal lunch to all students (SB 1696).  
 
On May 17, the Senate passed 20 bills including revising laws on human trafficking (HB 29); instituting state regulation (and preempting local regulation) of transportation network companies (HB 100); allowing emergency responders to use all-terrain vehicles on public roads (HB 920); revising penalties for outdoor burning violations (HB 1619); establishing a grant program for the testing of sexual offense evidence for counties and law enforcement agencies to receive grants to pay for accredited crime laboratories (HB 1729); allowing the possession of a firearm silencer if it is a curio or relic or in compliance with federal law (HB 1819); authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages on certain passenger buses (HB 3101); and prohibiting a property owner's association from adopting a restrictive covenant that prohibits a religious display (SB 1609). Additional bill is in the Tax issue category below.
 
The Senate also gave preliminary approval to one additional bill, HB 25 by Ron Simmons and Kelly Hancock, which eliminates straight-party voting. Senator Hancock said, "Voting is one of the most sacred rights we hold as Americans. While political parties are extremely important to our state, when voters cast their ballots, they are evaluating which individual candidate is best suited for a given job in government service. We vote for people, not parties. HB 25 encourages voters to learn about all the candidates vying for their vote, up and down the ballot. Of course, voters have every right to continue casting their vote for all candidates of one political party, and political party will continue to be identified next to each candidate no the ballot."
 
On May 18, the Senate passed 24 bills from the Intent Calendar including requiring energy savings performance contracts of local governmental entities to report the estimated amount of avoided expected future operating and maintenance costs (HB 1571); authorizing the Texas Optometry Board to issue a military limited volunteer license to practice optometry or therapeutic optometry to a qualified volunteer applicant who will practice only at a clinic that primarily treats indigent patients (HB 2933); and cracking down on potential voter fraud at residential care facilities (SB 2149).  
 
On May 19, the Senate passed 121 bills on the Local & Uncontested Calendar and resolutions urging Congress to direct the Bureau of Land Management to affirm the provisions of the Red River Boundary Compact (HCR 30), recognizing Texas as a Purple Heart State (HCR 56), and encouraging Congress to pass legislation allowing the State of Texas to manage the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery out to 200 nautical miles (HCR 105).
 
The Senate also passed 40 bills from the Senate Intent Calendar including HB 62 by Tom Craddick and Judith Zaffirini, which would be the Alex Brown Memorial Act. It would ban use of wireless communication devices for texting while operating a motor vehicle. The Senate committee substitute would:
  • Expressly permit the use of portable wireless device to access a navigation system and activate a function that plays music;
  • Add an enhanced penalty (a Class A misdemeanor) if it is shown at trial that the defendant caused death or serious bodily injury of another person;
  • Clarify that it would preempt all other local ordinances only regarding texting. Cities would still be allowed to implement ordinances that are stricter than the proposed state law.
On May 19
, the Senate passed 39 other bills including requiring the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice to report on the implementation of healthcare services for pregnant inmates (HB 239); allowing credit unions and banks to have savings promotion raffles (HB 471); authorizing water utilities to establish reduced rates for elderly customers (HB 1083); authorizing a documented member of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas to hunt antlerless white-tailed deer for religious ceremonial purposes (HB 1891); requiring 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 (HB 2008); establishing Texas Institute for Coastal Prairie Research & Education at the University of Houston (HB 2285); adopting the sunset bill for Texas Board of Nursing (HB 2950); transferring regulation of podiatry to Texas Dept. of Licensing & Regulation (HB 3078); and allowing the Texas Dept. of Agriculture to enforce produce safety standards (HB 3227).  
 
On the evening of May 21, the Senate passed 10 bills including school finance reform (HB 21), which passed the Senate 21-10 and establishes a special education voucher program. The Senate also approved legislation allowing private CPS or foster care providers to have protections from current law for "sincerely held religious beliefs."

Bills from the Local & Uncontested Calendar and Intent Calendar that passed throughout the week are in the issue categories below.

Total number of bills reported out of Senate Committees last week: 411
Total number of bills passed by the Senate last week: 244
Total passed on the Local and Uncontested calendar last week: 121
HOUSE NEWS
On May 15, the House passed the two Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 7 bills including establishing the Ship Channel Improvement Revolving Fund to finance qualified projects of navigation districts (SB 28); adopting the sunset bill for the State Bar of Texas (SB 302); adopting a sunset bill for the Board of Law Examiners (SB 303); and establishing a procedure for conducting adjustments under the Small & Rural Incumbent Local Exchange Company Universal Service Plan (SB 586). Other bills are in the Higher Education issue section below.
 
On May 16, the House passed 7 Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 20 Second Reading bills including providing protective vests for police officers (SB 12); adopting the Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial and Courthouse Security Act of 2017, which establishes local court security committees and requires court security training for judges and other court personnel (SB 42); adopting a sunset bill for Texas Dept. of Transportation (SB 312); adopting the sunset bill for State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (SB 319); making the overseas military email ballot program permanent (SB 752); repealing Transportation Infrastructure Fund (SB 1305); revising participation requirements for the Optional Retirement Program as an alternative to the Teacher Retirement System (SB 1954); and creating 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 (SB 2087).  
 
On May 17, the House passed the Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 17 other bills including making changes to local mental health programs for veterans (SB 27); authorizing judges to substitute numbers for names when polling jurors (SB 46); adopting the sunset bill for the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (SB 304); adopting the sunset bill for the State Board of Dental Examiners (SB 313); revising the composition of the State Bar of Texas board of directors (SB 416); outlawing unauthorized recordings on digital storage devices (SB 1343); and requiring the Public Utility Commission to study the Universal Service Fund (SB 1476).  
 
On May 18, the House passed 16 Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 13 bills on Second Reading including requiring the local school health advisory committee to recommend age appropriate curriculum on preventing the use of e-cigarettes (SB 489); expanding the allowable uses of freshwater fishing stamp revenue to include construction of and costs associated with new hatcheries (SB 573); requiring new school buses to have three-point seatbelts (SB 693); protecting minors who report sexual assault to health care providers or law enforcement personnel (SB 966); and requiring driver education programs to provide an accommodation for deaf students (SB 1051). 
 
After adopting the committee substitute and 19 floor amendments, the House gave preliminary approval to SB 11 by Charles Schwertner and James Frank reforming the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 19, it received final passage by a vote of 109-34. Rep. Frank said, "The centerpiece of the bill is the rollout of community-based foster care. We don't have enough high-quality placement opportunities for our kids. A large part of the problem is that coordination and recruitment of foster homes is currently done out of Austin. SB 11 encourages and enables our communities to step up and help provide foster homes by breaking the state into smaller regions managed by local non-profits or government entities. Decisions for these kids should be made by those who are closest to them and have the most contact. That's a fundamental part of this reform effort and will lead to better outcomes for children. I believe both chambers of the Legislature should be proud of the efforts made this session to improve our state's child welfare system. In conjunction with HB 4 and HB 5, these changes will ensure additional foster home capacity, a more flexible and streamlined decision process at the Dept. of Family & Protective Services, and more accountable, more effective management of child welfare services efforts at the local level."
 
On May 19, the House passed 113 bills on the Local & Consent Calendar and resolutions encouraging Texans to donate bone marrow and blood and to register as organ donors (HCR 57), urging Congress to revise funding formulas for Targeted Infrastructure Capability grants to emphasize threat assessment rather than population (HCR 88), expressing support for the creation of the Sam Houston Republic of Texas Presidential Library at Sam Houston State University (HCR 129), designating June 30 as Vaquero Day (HCR 131), and recognizing the Armenian genocide (HR 191). Additional bills from the Local and Consent Calendar are in the issue categories below.
 
Also on May 19, the House passed 13 Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to another 20 bills including prohibiting partial-birth abortions (SB 8); requiring institutions of higher education 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 (SB 968); providing 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 (SB 969); regulating motor vehicle towing, booting, and storage (SB 1501); and adopting the Sandra Bland Act addressing jail diversion and jail safety (SB 1849).  
 
On May 20, the House passed 20 Third Reading bills and gave preliminary approval to 35 bills. During debate on SB 669 by Jane Nelson and John Zerwas, which is a property tax appraisal reform bill, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dennis Bonnen, successfully added as an amendment the House version of SB 2, the property tax reform bill, (House version does not include change in the rollback rate). Also, during debate on SB 80 by Jane Nelson and Four Price, which eliminates unnecessary state agency reporting requirements, Rep. Price added an amendment extending sunset date for Texas Medical Board, Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners, Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors until 2021, thereby eliminating the need for a sunset "safety net" bill.
 
The House also passed bills requiring the Dept. of Family & Protective Services to establish an office of data analytics (SB 497); authorizing a claimant to bring an action against a state agency if the state agency takes a regulatory action against the claimant that is frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation (SB 813); requiring high-speed rail authority to coordinate security efforts with state and local law enforcement, as well as disaster response agencies (SB 975); prohibiting state funds from paying any costs related to construction, maintenance, or operation of private high- speed rail in Texas (SB 977); clarifying municipal regulation authority regarding manufactured home communities (SB 1248); authorizing psychological counseling for grand jurors who are exposed to graphic material during an investigation (SB 1264); and prescribing the circumstances under which automated motor vehicles can be tested in Texas (SB 2205).

Other bills are in the issue categories below.
 
Total number of bills reported out of House Committees last week: 356 
Total number of bills passed by the House last week: 190
Total passed on the Local and Consent Calendar last week: 113
BUDGET & FINANCES
PASSED THE SENATE
HB 3537 by Charlie Geren, which would clarify that interest earned on federal funds subject to the Federal Wildlife Restoration Act in the deferred maintenance fund account are subject to the same use restrictions as other funds in the account. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
 
PASSED THE HOUSE
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 passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It will be on the May 21 House Calendar for final adoption.

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
On May 18, the Senate Finance Committee took up:
  • HB 2 by John Zerwas is the supplemental appropriations bill for the 2016-17 budget cycle. Chairman Jane Nelson said, "This legislation protects the most vulnerable among us - our children. It balances the ledger for our current budget and puts Texas in a strong position to meet the challenges ahead." It appropriates roughly $1 billion GR for FY 16-17, including:
    • $160 million to address needs at Child Protective Services, primarily to fund critical needs resources approved over the interim;
    • $794 million to address the Medicaid shortfall;
    • $4.5 million for needs in the Early Childhood Intervention program;
    • $7.4 million for Texas Forest Service reimbursement for aiding in the response to natural disasters, such as fires and flooding;
    • $80 million to pay current obligations related to the Constitutional requirement to provide Correctional Managed Healthcare;
    • New restrictions that prevent the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission from expending appropriated funds on travel outside the state; and
    • $80 million in savings from lease payment and bond debt service reductions at the Facilities Commission, Texas Public Finance Authority, and TxDOT. 
    • It was reported favorably.
  • HB 3765 by Oscar Longoria is a payment of claims and judgments against the state bill. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. 
  • HB 3849 by John Zerwas is the funds consolidation bill that dedicates and rededicates state funds and accounts. It was reported favorably as substituted.
On May 19, the Senate Finance Committee took up HB 855 by Giovanni Capriglione, which would require the portion of the Rainy Day Fund that must be invested under the "prudent person" rule to be the amount that exceeds 30% of the fund's cap as defined under the Texas Constitution. The vote in committee failed.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
On May 15, the House Appropriations Committee took up SB 132 by Brandon Creighton, which would allow state agencies to retain 1/2 (instead of 1/4) of the amount of general revenue saved under the Savings Incentive Program and would remove the 1% cap on the amount subject to retention. It was reported favorably.
 
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
On May 18, the Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee took up:
  • HB 3294 by Tan Parker would make two NASCAR races eligible for Major Events Reimbursement Program funding - the All-Star race and the championship race. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 19 (First Placement).
  • HB 3360 by Angie Chen Button would require the Economic Incentive Oversight Board to evaluate the Texas Economic Development Act; to develop a performance matrix to facilitate evaluation of the program; and to develop a schedule to regularly review program and make recommendations for improvement. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
SENATE AGRICULTURE, WATER, & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On May 18, the Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee took up HB 2004 by Charles "Doc" Anderson, which would expand the Texas Dept. of Agriculture's Texas Economic Development Fund. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Sunday, May 21 (First Placement).

HOUSE ECONOMIC & SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
On May 17, the House Economic & Small Business Development Committee took up SB 400 by Lois Kolkhorst, which would require the comptroller to verify information submitted in Chapter 313 reports using data from the Texas Workforce Commission, the chief appraiser, or other sources the Comptroller considers reliable. It was left pending.  
 
TAX ISSUES
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • HB 626 by Paul Workman extends the permissible period in which a late homestead exemption application can be filed to two years. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 804 by Tony Dale would clarify that a property owner is required to send a copy of the notice of appraised value to a lessee who is contractually obligated to reimburse the property owner for taxes imposed on the property. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • HB 1101 by Joe Pickett would prohibit the chief appraiser from requiring a 100% disabled veteran from filing a new application for a property tax exemption if the person has previously qualified for the exemption. It passed unanimously.
  • HB 2126 by Angie Chen Button would clarify that qualifying for the retail rate, eligibility is not affected by whether the business sells telephone prepaid calling cards. It passed unanimously.
  • HB 2228 by Jim Murphy would set June 1 as date for chief appraiser to accept, approve, or deny a request for a Freeport exemption. It would move up rendition requirements for the Freeport exemption to April 1. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2277 by Drew Darby is a comptroller technical bill regarding high-cost natural gas production tax. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2475 by Sarah Davis would add Broadway productions at owned or leased facilities to the list of business structures exempted from the sales tax on amusement services. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2989 by Dennis Bonnen would establish that when a correction is made to the property tax roll that decreases tax liability made after the owner has paid the tax, the taxing unit must make a refund to the property owner who paid tax. It passed unanimously.
  • HB 3232 by Drew Darby would provide an exception to the 5% penalty for delinquent payment of oil and gas severance taxes if the delinquency results from the filing of an amended report. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • 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. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 4002 by Dennis Bonnen it would clarify that the word production for purposes of the cost of goods sold deduction would mean construction, manufacture, development, mining, extraction, improvement, creation, raising, or growth. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 4038 by Dwayne Bohac would add to the definition of "qualifying job" for purposes of the sales tax exemption for tangible personal property associated with a data center a new employment position staffed by a third-party employer if a written contract exists between the third-party employer and a qualifying owner, operator or occupant that provides that the employment position is permanently assigned to an associated qualifying data center. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 4054 by Jim Murphy would exempt baked goods from the sales tax. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • SB 510 by Judith Zaffirini 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. It passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1539 by Kirk Watson is the sales tax cleanup bill. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 2242 by Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa would authorize a property owner if multiple like taxing units have imposed property taxes on same property, to file suit in the Supreme Court of Texas to establish the correct geographic boundary between taxing units. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE 
On May 15, the Senate Finance Committee took up HB 2562 by Hugh Shine would exempt National Football League (NFL) championship game tickets from the sales tax. It was left pending.
 
On May 18, the Senate Finance Committee took up:
  • 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 reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • 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 reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3046 by Tony Dale would allow a city to call an election to change the sales tax rate. It was reported favorably.
  • HB 3103 by Drew Darby would establish tax liability in Texas for interstate trucks if the property is used in Texas three or more times on regular routes for three or more completed assignments occur in close succession throughout the year. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3169/HJR 113 by Giovanni Capriglione would propose a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt precious metals held by the Texas Bullion Depository from ad valorem taxes. They were left pending.
  • HB 3992 by Jim Murphy would clarify that a franchise tax exemption for farmers' cooperative societies includes a cooperative whose single member is farmers' cooperative that has at least 500 farmer-frit grower members. It was reported favorably & recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
On May 19, the Senate Finance Committee took up:
  • 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. It was left pending.
  • HB 423 by John Wray would allow a taxpayer that transports ready-mixed concrete to take a cost of goods sold deduction (COGS) for distribution costs. It was left pending.
SENATE ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
On May 18, the Senate Administration Committee took up HB 518 by Drew Darby, which would allow a 501(c)(3) organization to retain 50% of the state portion of the sales taxes it collects (if it has sales of at least $1 million per year) to provide job training and placement services to persons with a disability or other barrier to employment, including low educational attainment, a criminal record, homelessness, and status as a veteran. It was not taken up. 

SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE 
On May 18, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up HB 457 by Justin Holland, which would maintain confidentiality of the home address in ad valorem tax records of a spouse, surviving spouse, or adult child of a peace officer. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
 
SENATE VETERAN AFFAIRS & BORDER SECURITY COMMITTEE 
On May 17, the Senate Veteran Affairs & Border Security Committee took up HB 150/HJR 21 by Cecil Bell, Jr., which would allow the legislature to include a home donated by a charitable organization in the homestead exemption of a partially disabled veteran. They were reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. They were on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21 (First Placement).

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE 
On May 15, House Appropriations Committee took up SB 972 by Judith Zaffirini, which would allow the owner of a building completely destroyed by a casualty to request a reappraisal of the property within 180 days of the casualty; and would require the chief appraiser to conduct the reappraisal as soon as practicable. It was reported favorably.

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE
On May 16, the House Ways & Means Committee took up
  • SB 731 by Paul Bettencourt would raise the ceiling on the value of a property eligible for binding arbitration as an alternative to appealing to district court from $3 million to $5 million. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1006 by Robert Nichols would allow the appraisal of land used by a public or private university for ecological research purposes as qualified open-space land only if the land was appraised that way in 2017. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1047 by Brandon Creighton would provide that homeowners that qualify to pay property taxes in installment payments if they are over 65 years of age or disabled could pay in 4 equal installment payments if the first installment is paid before the delinquency date. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1727 by Brian Birdwell would prescribe ballot language to be used in an election to adopt a sales and use tax rate of an emergency services district. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
On May 18, the House Ways & Means Committee took up:
  • SB 521 by Brandon Creighton would prohibit an appraisal district employee from testifying on the value of real property in an appeal unless the employee is authorized to perform an appraisal as certified or licensed real estate appraiser. It was reported favorably.
  • 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. It was reported favorably.
PUBLIC EDUCATION
PASSED THE SENATE
  • HB 264 by Ana Hernandez would change the expiration date for Public Outreach Materials to Promote Curriculum Change Awareness provisions from September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2020. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 654 by Travis Clardy would require the 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 passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 728 by Bobby Guerra would allow students to substitute an advanced computer science course for the third math or science credit if Commissioner of Education certifies that it meets rigorous standards. It passed unanimously.
  • HB 789 by Morgan Meyer would allow a school district (bracketed to Highland Park ISD) to set a minimum required score for each section of an examination for acceleration or credit. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 1076 by Tom Oliverson would clarify that the grades during which spinal screening should be mandatory for school children must be determined based on the most recent nationally accepted and peer-reviewed scientific research. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 1291 by Charlie Geren would require the State Board of Education and school districts to ensure that the public school curriculum emphasizes an understanding of the principles underlying the U.S. form of government, including a study of the Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Federalist Papers. The committee substitute and 3 floor amendments were adopted and it passed to Third Reading by a vote of 23-8. It received final passage by a vote of 21-10.
  • HB 1469 by Ernie Bailes would allow a teacher at an open-enrollment charter school to be exempt from the baccalaureate degree requirement if the person is employed as a teacher for a non-core academic career and technical education course if the person has demonstrated subject matter expertise related to the subject taught and has received at least 20 hours of classroom management training. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2130 by Kevin Roberts would require the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to conduct a study of the impact of the statewide assessment program on students in the special education program. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2413 by Cindy Burkett would include in the definition of "student information" for career school and college students identifying information regarding a student that is in possession of the Texas Workforce Commission, a career school or college or other school, educational institution, or business entity from which the commission receives or regarding which the commission reviews information through its administration or enforcement duties. Committee substitute was adopted and passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3157 by Dennis Bonnen would clarify the requirements for screenings of students attending public or private school to be screened to detect vision disorders using photo-screening. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3563 by Linda Koop would conform parental notification requirements regarding teacher qualifications with the Every Student Succeeds Act. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 4056 by Toni Rose would require the list of recommended best practice-based programs provided by the Dept. of State Health Services for schools to be research-based practices and include recommendations in the areas of physical or emotional trauma intervention; social and emotional learning; positive school climate; and positive behavior supports. Committee substitute was adopted and passed on May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • SB 610 by Don Huffines would expand access to the virtual school network for students in grades K-2 (current law applies the virtual school network to grades 3-12). The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed by a vote of 22-8.
  • SB 825 by Larry Taylor would allow (instead of require) school districts to administer to students in the 10th grade an established, valid, reliable, and nationally norm-referenced preliminary college preparation assessment instrument for the purpose of measuring a student's progress toward college and career readiness. It passed by a vote of 28-2.
  • SB 1173 by Charles Perry would eliminate the fourth domain for evaluating elementary and middle school campuses. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • SB 1353 by Larry Taylor would provide additional state aid for facility renovation, repair, and replacement for five years after an academically unacceptable school district is annexed to another school district. It passed unanimously.
  • SB 1561 by Van Taylor would require the State Board of Education to study the length of the school day and academic year for grades K-12 that would be necessary to allow for the completion of the required curriculum. The committee amendment was adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • SB 1786 by Bob Hall would provide that an open-enrollment charter school is a political subdivision and the officers and members of the governing body of the open-enrollment charter school are considered to be officials of the political subdivision and employees of the charter school considered to be public employees. It passed by a vote of 20-11.
  • SB 1963 by Brandon Creighton would require educator preparation program support to allow required formal observation to occur on candidate's site or through use of electronic transmission or other video-based or technology-based method. It passed by a vote of 25-6.
PASSED THE HOUSE  
  • SB 22 by Larry Taylor would establish the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. It passed to Third Reading by a vote of 137-1. On May 20, it received final approval by a vote of 135-1.
  • SB 725 by Borris Miles would allow a school district to donate food to a nonprofit organization to be distributed at the campus. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 20, one additional floor amendment was adopted and it passed unanimously on final passage.
  • SB 826 by Larry Taylor would eliminate sequencing requirements for advanced English and math courses. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 17, it received unanimous final adoption.
  • SB 1152 by Jose Menendez would require school districts to excuse a student to pursue enlistment in a branch of the U.S. armed services or the Texas National Guard. It passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1153 by Jose Menendez would clarify a parent's right to records relating to assistance provided for learning difficulties, including information collected regarding any intervention strategies used with the child. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 19, it received unanimous final passage.
  • SB 1837 by Bryan Hughes would provide that an open-enrollment charter school operated by a public senior college and university would not be assigned a financial accountability rating. It passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
SENATE AGRICULTURE, WATER, & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 
On May 15, the  Senate Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs Committee took up HB 367 by Diego Bernal, which would allow campuses to donate surplus leftover food from breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner meals served on-campus to a nonprofit organization. It was reported favorably as substituted. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21. 

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On May 16, the Senate Education Committee took up:
  • HB 136 by Cecil Bell, Jr. would add CTE and workforce to mission of public education. It was reported favorably. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21 (First Placement).
  • HB 515 by Gary VanDeaver would eliminate state-required assessments and end-of-course exams that are not required by federal law. It was left pending.
  • HB 1500 by Helen Giddings would add the percentage of students who earn an associate degree in the indicators of achievement under the public school accountability system. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
  • HB 1553 by J.M. Lozano would authorize school district that failed to satisfy performance standards to enter into a memorandum of understanding with an institution of higher education to improve district performance. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 1934 by Ina Minjarez would require expedited temporary certification for an educator from out of state who is the spouse of an active duty military service member. It was reported favorably as substituted. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21 (First Placement).
  • HB 2087 by Gary VanDeaver is a student data privacy bill that would prohibit an operator from knowingly:
    • Engage in targeted advertising on any website, online service, online application, or mobile application if the target of the advertising is based on any information that the operator has acquired through the use of the operator's website, online service, online application or mobile application for a school purpose.
    • Use information, including persistent unique identifiers, created or gathered by the operator's website, online service, online application, or mobile application, to create a profile about a student unless the profile is created for a school purpose; or
    • Sell or rent any student's covered information.
    • It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21 (first placement).
  • HB 2263 by Lance Gooden would remove the requirement that the campus intervention team for a campus assigned an unacceptable performance rating continue to work with the campus until it satisfies standards for a two-year period. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
  • HB 3593 by Diego Bernal would integrate cybersecurity and computer coding into the public education curriculum. It was voted out favorably as amended.
  • HB 4064 by Dwayne Bohac would require educator certification programs to include instruction in digital learning and include a digital literacy evaluation; and would require educator and principal continuing education requirements to include instruction regarding digital learning, digital teaching and integrating technology into the classroom. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
On May 18, the Senate Education Committee took up:
  • HB 22 by Dan Huberty is a public school accountability reform bill. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
  • HB 61 by Ryan Guillen would require the accountability system to take into account the percentage of students formerly receiving special education services who achieved satisfactory academic performance on assessment instruments administered in grades 3-8 . It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 441 by Armando "Mando" Martinez would prohibit school districts from holding classes on Memorial Day. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 755 by Tan Parker would allow tax-exempt organizations to provide payments made in connection with real property transfers for education activities through property located within the school's assigned attendance zone (instead of property that is adjacent to the encumbered property or within 1,000 yards of the encumbered property. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 1081 by Diana Arevalo would define "instructional facility" for purposes of the new instructional facility allotment. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
  • HB 1593 by Dwayne Bohac would require the engagement strategies included in a school district's family engagement plan to include programs and interventions that engage a family in supporting a student's learning at home. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 1669 by Tracy King would provide that if the Commissioner of Education determines that an appeal brought by a parent or student against a school district is frivolous, commissioner could order the parent or student to pay the district's reasonable attorney's fees. It was left pending.
  • HB 1886 by Rick Miller would require TEA to designate an agency employee as a dyslexia specialist to provide school districts with support and resources to assist students with dyslexia and their families. It was voted out favorably.
  • 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 a 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 7-12. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2039 by Dan Huberty would require the State Board of Education to establish an early childhood certificate for teachers that receive special training in early childhood education focusing on pre-K through grade 3. It was voted out favorably.
  • 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 the Dept. of Family & Protective Services. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2614 by Dan Huberty would allow (instead of require) school districts to administer to students in the 10th grade an established, valid, reliable, and nationally norm-referenced preliminary college preparation assessment instrument for the purpose of measuring a student's progress toward college and career readiness. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2623 by Alma Allen would require school districts to assist students in making the transition back to school after being in a disciplinary alternative education program or other alternative program. It was left pending.
  • HB 2729 by Eddie Lucio, III would require the TEA, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Texas Workforce Commission to jointly develop and post on their respective Internet websites an inventory of industry-recognized credentials and certificates that may be earned by a public high school student through a career and technology education program. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2782 by Terry Wilson would provide that the school district performance rating method used is not implemented in a manner that provides for a specific designated distribution of ratings to districts and campuses under which a percentage of districts or campuses receive an "A" rating or an "F" rating. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 3075 by Dan Huberty would exclude students detained at a county pre-adjudication or post-adjudication juvenile detention facility from the computation of dropout and completion rates for public school accountability ratings. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 3706 by Eddie Lucio, III would add options for alternative education programs designed to address workforce development needs for at risk students. It was voted out favorably.
On May 19, the Senate Education Committee took up HB 2937 by Terry Canales, which would require the TEA to implement a pilot program under which a licensed hospital can offer dual credit courses to high school students. It was voted out favorably as substituted.  
 
HOUSE PUBLIC EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On May 16, the House Public Education Committee took up :
  • SB 463 by Kel Seliger would remove the sunset date on individual graduate committees. It was reported favorably as substituted. It is set on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 490 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would require charter schools to report through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) information on the availability of school counselors at each campus. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1005 by Donna Campbell would require the Commissioner of Education to establish satisfactory performance levels for the SAT and ACT that are equivalent in rigor to qualify a student to receive a high school diploma in lieu of other required assessments required for high school graduation. It was reported favorably as substituted. It is on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 1398 by Eddie Lucio, Jr. would clarify provisions related to the use of video cameras in special education classrooms. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1481 by Larry Taylor would change instructional materials allotment to the instructional materials and technology allotment. And, 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. It was reported favorably as substituted.
  • SB 1483 by Larry Taylor would establish Technology Lending Program using up to $25 million from the instructional materials fund to provide grants to school districts to implement a technology lending program to provide students access to equipment necessary to access and use electronic instructional materials. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1484 by Larry Taylor would require the Commissioner of Education to develop a web portal to assist school districts in selecting instructional materials including general information such as price, computer system requirements, and other relevant specifications. The portal would also be required to include a repository of open educational resources and other electronic instructional materials that school districts may access at no cost, including state-developed open-source instructional materials. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1566 by Lois Kolkhorst would authorize school boards to require school district's chief financial officer to appear at an executive session or testify at a public hearing held by the board; and would prohibit superintendent from interfering with compelled appearance or testimony. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1658 by Larry Taylor would establish a procedure to close an open-enrollment charter school whose charter has been revoked, non-renewed, expired, surrendered, abandoned, or otherwise ceased operation. It was reported favorably.
  • 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 the content is in the public domain; may be used under a limitation or exception to copyright law; or is licensed to the state for use in an open education resource. It would change all statutory references regarding "open-source instructional material" to "open education resources." It was reported favorably and was set on the House Calendar for May 21.
  • SB 1839 by Bryan Hughes would require the TEA to provide educator preparation programs with Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) data that enables the program to assess the impact of the program and revise the program as needed to improve the design and effectiveness of the program. It would allow certification for an educator that performs satisfactorily on an examination that is similar to and at least as rigorous and the prescribed certification exam. It was reported favorably as substituted and was set on the House Calendar for May 21.
  • SB 1854 by Carlos Uresti would require campus-level committees to review every six months the paperwork requirements imposed on classroom teachers and recommend to the board of trustees paperwork responsibilities that can be transferred to non-instructional staff. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1883 by Donna Campbell would establish a procedure for the open-enrollment charter application selection and appeal process and the process for challenging an academic performance rating. Vote failed in committee.
  • SB 1886 by Paul Bettencourt would establish the Office of Inspector General at the TEA to investigate, prevent, and detect criminal misconduct and wrongdoing and of fraud, waste and abuse in the administration of public education by school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, regional education service centers, and other local education agencies. Vote failed in committee.
  • SB 2131 by Royce West would change requirements for providing postsecondary education counseling for high school students. It was reported favorably as substituted. It was set on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 2144 by Larry Taylor would establish the Texas Commission on Public School Finance to develop and make recommendations for improvements to the current public school finance system or for new methods of financing public schools. It was reported favorably and was set on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 2188 by Larry Taylor would clarify that a student who is at least 18 years of age who has met graduation credit requirements and is in an off home campus instructional arrangement is considered a full-time equivalent of the student receives 20 hours of contact a week for purposes of the average daily attendance calculation. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
On May 18, the House Public Education Committee took up:  
  • SB 801 by Kel Seliger would require each instructional material on the instructional material list be suitable for the subject and grade level for which instructional material was submitted. It would also require supplemental instructional material to be suitable for the subject and grade level. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1278 by Larry Taylor would provide that internships under the education preparation program require no more than 5 field supervisor visits and allow at least three of the field supervisor visits be provided by video, the Internet or another remote technological method. Vote failed in committee.
  • SB 1659 by Larry Taylor would require Commissioner of Education to establish competitive grant program to assist school districts and open-enrollment charter schools in implementing high-quality educational programs; and would authorize Commissioner of Education to accept gifts, grants, donations or other contributions on behalf of public school system. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
On May 19, the House Public Education Committee took 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. Vote failed in committee.
  • 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 in internships, externships, and apprenticeships. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Consent Calendar.
HIGHER EDUCATION
PASSED THE SENATE 
  • HB 66 by Ryan Guillen would provide that if a student appointed to receive a Texas Armed Services Scholarship fails to maintain eligibility, the elected official who appointed the student would be allowed to appoint another student. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed unanimously.
  • HB 655 by Travis Clardy would require junior college students to file a degree plan by the end of the second semester or term in which the student earns a cumulative total of 30 semester credit hours. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 961 by Justin Rodriguez would provide for election of junior college district trustees by a plurality vote. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 1117 by John Wray would expand eligibility for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program to include a student enrolled in an undergraduate Officer commissioning program such as the U.S. Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class (current law requires the student to be enrolled in a Reserve Officers' Training Corps program). It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2223 by Helen Giddings would require a phased-in, statewide, co-requisite model, where students enroll simultaneously in a developmental education course and the gateway course of the same subject matter during the same semester. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2895 by Four Price would require institutions of higher education put a conspicuous link on the institution's website homepage directing students to mental health resources. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • SB 887 by Kel Seliger would require institutions that participate in a student loan program to provide students that receive a loan an estimate of the total amount of education loans previously received by the student, estimate of total payoff amount, and estimate of monthly repayment amount applicable to student. It passed on May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1467 by Royce West would establish the Texas Working Off-Campus Reinforcing Knowledge & Skills (WORKS) Internship Program administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to help fund paid internships for college students with eligible employers using money from the federal work-study program. The committee substitute and one floor amendment were adopted and it was passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 16, it received final passage by a vote of 107-35.
  • SB 1782 by Royce West 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 24-month period preceding first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of 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 student in those circumstances to drop 1 additional course. The committee substitute and 1 floor amendment were adopted and it was passed to Third Reading on voice vote. On May 16, it received final passage by vote of 132-13.
  • SB 1813 by Dawn Buckingham would require the common admission application forms to be used for all students (not just freshman student applicants). The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 2118 by Kel Seliger would allow 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. Three floor amendments were adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 20, it received final passage by a vote of 117-17.
SENATE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On May 15, the Senate Higher Education Committee took up :
  • HB 17 by J.M. Lozano would establish Texas Higher Education Innovation Accelerator to support and accelerate innovation in educational delivery at institutions of higher education and to advance state educational and workforce goals. It was left pending.
  • HB 385 by Jim Murphy would include semester credit hours earned by a student who is enrolled in an accelerated baccalaureate program that uses a competency-based model and year-round flat-rate tuition in formula funding. It was left pending.
  • HB 3808 by Travis Clardy would add licensed marriage and family therapists to the student loan repayment program for mental health professionals. It was reported favorably and was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.
On May 17, the Senate Higher Education Committee took up HCR 102 by J.M.Lozano, which would express legislative support for prioritizing a substantial increase in funding for graduate medical education before considering authorizing the creation and support of additional medical schools. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.

HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
On May 17, the House Higher Education Committee took up:  
  • SB 18 by Kel Seliger would eliminate the tuition set-aside requirement for institutions of higher education to set aside a portion of tuition payments to be used for tuition assistance for qualified students. It was left pending.
  • SB 19 by Kel Seliger would institute a tuition freeze and performance-based tuition at Texas public higher education institutions. It was left pending.
  • SB 249 by Charles Schwertner would require annual report on affordability and access that institutions of higher education submit to their governing board to also be provided to the governor and legislature. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 331 by Royce West would allow the coordinating board to temporarily allow a private or independent college of higher education that no longer holds an accreditation but is actively working toward accreditation to participate in the Tuition Equalization Grant Program. It was reported favorably. It was on the House Calendar for May 21.
  • SB 491 by Kirk Watson would allow the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to contract with one or more organizations to operate statewide preceptorship program in family medicine for students enrolled in Texas medical schools. It was reported favorably.
  • 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. It is on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 719 by Judith Zaffirini would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating board to collect and study data on participation of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities enrolled in a workforce education program, including workforce continuing education program, that is eligible for state-appropriated formula funding, including data regarding retention, graduation, and professional licensing. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 802 by Kel Seliger would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct a study by Nov. 1, 2018 to identify best practices in ensuring that dual credit courses transferred to an institution of higher education for course credit, including courses offered for dual credit, apply toward a degree program at the institution. The study must:
    • Evaluate existing articulation agreements that govern the transfer of course credit between institutions of higher education; and
    • Identify those institutions of higher education that are implementing the best practices identified by the board.
    • It was reported favorably. It is on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 803 by Kel Seliger would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to study the feasibility of requiring each researcher whose research is funded by state or federal money to submit to a state agency an electronic copy of each original research paper by the researcher that is accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. It was reported favorably. It is on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • 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. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1066 by Charles Schwertner would require an institution of higher education that completes preliminary planning for a new doctor of medicine (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree program to provide the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board a specific plan regarding the addition of first-year residency positions for graduate medical education program to be offered in connection with the new degree program. It was reported favorably. It is on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 1091 by Kel Seliger would require dual credit courses to be:
    • In the core curriculum of public institution of higher education providing college credit;
    • A career and technical education course; or
    • A foreign language course.
    • It was reported favorably as substituted.
  • SB 1123 by Judith Zaffirini would clarify conditions for adopted and former foster care students to receive tuition and fee exemptions. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local and Consent Calendar.
  • SB 2048 by Paul Bettencourt would eliminate the Texas Opportunity Plan Fund and replace it with the student loan auxiliary fund. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 2122 by Royce West would authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop and implement a transfer policy for lower division courses among Texas public institutions of higher education. It was left pending.
On May 18, the House Higher Education Committee took up:
  • 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 & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1845 by Donna Campbell would require the Coordinating Board, in consultation with the Workforce Commission, Veterans Commission, and institutions on higher education to develop standardized curricula within degree and certificate programs commonly offered by institutions of higher education toward which qualified veterans or military service members may be awarded appropriate academic credit for experience, education, and training earned during military service; and require transferability between institutions of higher education of course credit for the curricula developed. It was reported favorably.
HEALTH
PASSED THE SENATE  
  • HB 970 by Philip Cortez would require the Dept. of State Health Services (DSHS) to establish a state plan for streptococcus pneumoniae education and prevention. It passed by a vote of 22-9.
  • HB 2007 by Scott Cosper would authorize the Board of Dental Examiners to issue a military limited volunteer license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene to a qualified dentist or hygienist if they only practice at a clinic that primarily treats indigent patients, and if they do not receive compensation for services rendered. It passed on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2425 by Four Price would be the CARE Act and would provide caregiver training and information to Texans taking care of a loved one released from a hospital or rehabilitation facility. It passed by a vote of 28-3.
  • HB 3276 by Tom Oliverson would require a hospital or freestanding emergency medical care facility to post a written notice that lists the health benefit plans in which the facility participates in the provider network, or that states the facility is not a participating provider in any health benefit plan provider network.
    • AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson said, "Patients often rush to the nearest emergency room and unknowingly get treatment not covered by their insurance network. Because many freestanding emergency rooms in Texas do not have contracts with insurance companies, patients who visit these facilities can come home to pricey, out-of-network charges over and above the expected deductibles and copays. These surprise medical bills are sometimes devastating to families. I congratulate Rep. Tom Oliverson and members of the Texas House and Senate on the passage of HB 3276, which is among several significant actions the Legislature is considering this session to help consumers contend with the billing practices of freestanding emergency rooms." It passed by a vote of 27-3.
  • SB 2210 by Kelly Hancock would clarify requirements for updating information provided by health benefit plans through the Internet. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on Friday's Local and Uncontested Calendar.
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • SB 81 by Jane Nelson would clarify that Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Oversight Committee members must file financial disclosures with the Texas Ethics Commission. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 20, it received final passage by a vote of 117-19.
  • SB 790 by Borris Miles would continue operations of women's health advisory committee until 2019. It passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 20, it received final passage by a vote of 83-52.
  • SB 922 by Dawn Buckingham would require the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) to ensure that Medicaid reimbursement is provided to a school district or open-enrollment charter school for telehealth services provided through the school district or charter school by a health professional, even if the health professional is not the patient's primary care physician if the school district or charter school is an authorized health care provider under Medicaid, the parent provides consent, and another health professional is present with the patient. One floor amendment was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 20, it received unanimous final passage.
  • SB 924 by Charles Perry would transfer authority over the informal dispute resolution process for violations of health and safety standards at assisted living facilities from the Department of Aging & Disability Services to the HHSC. It passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1076 by Charles Schwertner would limit the amount that could be charged to an enrollee in a health benefit plan at the point of sale for prescription drugs covered by the plan. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. It will be on the May 21 House Calendar for final adoption.
  • SB 1492 by Judith Zaffirini would repeal provisions requiring commissioner of insurance to stabilize long-term care premium rates based on nationally recognized models from 2001. Committee substitute was adopted and passed on May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1743 by Judith Zaffirini would transfer the Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities from the Dept. of Aging and Disability Services to the University of Texas at Austin. It passed to Third Reading by a vote of 68-59. It will be on the May 21 House Calendar for final adoption.
SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE 
On May 15, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee took up:
  • HB 280 by Donna Howard would create a grant program administered by the nursing resource section to prevent workplace violence against nurses. It was reported favorably. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.
  •  HB 284 by Drew Springer would allow residents in assisted living centers to have the right to request seatbelts for their wheelchairs. It was reported favorably. It was on Senate Intent Calendar for May 21 (first placement).
  • HB 785 by John Raney would require the Dept. of State Health Services to make embryo donation information available online, and would require a physician who performs a procedure involving the creation of a human embryo to inform the patient of the option of embryo donation for unused human embryos. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.
  • HB 1543 by Cindy Burkett would entitle a client to access their records from a license holder or specialty practice pertaining to the testing for, and fitting and dispensing of, hearing instruments. A reasonable processing fee would be authorized. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 1787 by John Wray would clarify that a declaration for mental health treatment could be legally executed after being signed by the principal and acknowledged before a notary public. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.
  • HB 2025 by Yvonne Davis would require a facility that provides care to a person with Alzheimer's disease or dementia to have at least one staff member with relevant training or experience who is able to provide adequate care to persons with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. It was reported favorably as substituted and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3934 by Cecil Bell, Jr. would clarify Dept. of Aging & Disability Services training and continuing education requirements for a surveyor with no previous experience working in a long-term care facility. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar on May 19 (first placement).
On May 17, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee took up:  
  • HB 661 by Tan Parker would make a patient with a severe chronic disease, who with along with a physician has considered all other FDA-approved treatment options and determined that those options are unavailable or unlikely to provide relief for the significant impairment or severe pain associated with the patient's severe chronic disease, eligible to access and use an investigational drug, biological product, or device. It was left pending.
  • HB 1148 by Sarah Davis would require the Dept. of State Health Services (DSHS) to designate 8 administrative hubs to provide administrative functions for each trauma service area regional advisory council. The administrative hubs, in consultation with each regional advisory council, would be required to develop a written 25-year emergency medical services coordination plan. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2962 by Giovanni Capriglione would establish abortion complications reporting requirements for health care practitioners and health care facilities that provide abortions. A Class A Misdemeanor offense and a cause for revocation of a license would be established for violations. It was reported favorably.
  • HB 3296 by Stephanie Klick would decrease, from 10 to 5, the number of persons that must be regularly employed before nursing peer review committees are required to be established for vocational and professional nurses. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3564 by Stephanie Klick would clarify provisions establishing the office of the state long-term care ombudsman. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 3576 by Bobby Guera would clarify provisions requiring the collection and release of information on the Zika virus and other high consequence communicable diseases for statistical and health care purposes. It was reported favorably.
  • HB 3771 by Byron Cook would implement a standard definition of abortion. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE
On May 16, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:
  • HB 490 by Rodney Anderson would require a health benefit plan to cover the cost of a medically necessary hearing aid or cochlear implant and related services and supplies for a covered individual who is 18 years of age or younger. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 931 by Rick Miller would expand to Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty, Chambers, Matagorda, Wharton, Austin and Colorado Counties (current law only applies to Harris County) the ability of electric utilities to enter into agreements to allow public access to premises owned by the utility for recreational use; and would allow the utility to require the person to whom the utility has made agreement to insure utility against defense or other litigation costs by the utility as a result of allowing the recreational use.
  • HB 1166 by Phil Stephenson would expand to Fort Bend County (current law only applies to Harris County) the ability of electric utilities to enter into agreements to allow public access to premises owned by the utility for recreational use.
  • HB 3124 by Lance Gooden would exempt valid cost-comparison information from the prohibition against a health benefit plan issuer ranking or classifying physicians into tiers or otherwise publishing comparative information about physicians. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.
On May 18, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:
  • HB 1036 by Senfronia Thompson would include breast tomosynthesis in the definition of low-dose mammography for the purposes of health benefit plan coverage requirements. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 3218 by Larry Phillips would clarify that a health maintenance organization is authorized to contract with an entity that provides a network of providers of health care services and that such a contract is not subject to delegation agreement requirements for proof of minimum solvency and reserve requirements. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 4007 by John Kuempel would make changes to licensing requirements for midwives and speech-language pathologists and audiologists. It was voted out favorably.
 
SENATE AGRICULTURE, WATER, & RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 
On May 19, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up HB 2886 by Stephanie Klick, which would limit the liability of a healthcare provider who is unable to apply the prophylaxis to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum at childbirth due to the objection of the parents, managing conservator, or guardian of the newborn. It was voted out favorably.

HOUSE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE 
On May 16, the House Public Health Committee took up:
  • SB 267 by Charles Schwertner would authorize the Dept. of State Health Services (DSHS) to issue an emergency order to suspend a hospital's license if there is reasonable cause to believe immediate danger to public health and safety exists. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 316 by Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa would implement a Sunset Advisory Commission recommendation regarding the prescription of controlled substances by veterinarians. It was reported favorably as substituted.
  • SB 584 by Royce West would remove criminal and civil liability from a physician for prescribing, for failing to prescribe, or for outcomes resulting from prescription of an opioid antagonist. The Texas Medical Board would be required to adopt guidelines for the prescription of opioid antagonists. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 674 by Charles Schwertner would create an expedited licensing process for qualified physicians specializing in psychiatry, and authorize an expedited licensing fee. It was reported favorably. It was set on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 679 by Kelly Hancock would authorize a chiropractor to form a health organization corporation in partnership with other licensed practitioners to perform a professional service that falls within the scope of practice of those practitioners. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 919 by Jose Rodriguez would authorize an advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant to sign a death certificate or out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate order. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1101 by Van Taylor would authorize a physician to prescribe, and a pharmacist to dispense, an epinephrine auto-injector to a day-care facility. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1520 by Kelly Hancock would prohibit a physician from charging an excessive fee for copying or providing a copy of a patient's medical record to a subsequent physician of the patient, and would authorize the Texas Medical Board to require a retiring or relocating physician to notify all the patients and provide the patients an opportunity to request copies of medical or billing records. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1592 by Charles Schwertner would increase the amount of the administrative penalty assessed against freestanding emergency medical care facilities operating without a license. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1599 by Borris Miles would require the DSHS to provide maternal mortality reporting and investigation information on its Internet website. It was reported favorably. It was set on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 1633 by Charles Perry would establish telepharmacy remote dispensing site license requirements for eligible locations in medically underserved areas, areas with a medically underserved population, and health professional shortage areas. It was reported favorably.
  • SB 1912 by Judith Zaffirini would clarify court procedures in mental health cases. It was reported favorably. It was set on the House Calendar for May 22.
  • SB 1924 by Charles Schwertner would require CPRIT to develop a detailed plan for the institute to become financially self-sufficient and to continue operations without state funds. It was reported favorably.
  • 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. It was reported favorably. It is on the House Calendar for May 23.
  • SB 2066 by Kelly Hancock would clarify provisions governing the attachment of a hospital lien on a cause of action or claim of an injured person who receives hospital services. It was left pending.
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 
On May 18, the House State Affairs Committee took up HB 995 by John Wray, which would update the law regarding medical powers of attorney. It was reported favorably & recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It was on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.  
GENERAL BUSINESS
PASSED THE SENATE   
  • HB 1859 by Ron Simmons would provide that if a merchant's merchandise is not displayed or offered to consumers primarily for lease under 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 on the May 19 Local & Uncontested Calendar.
  • HB 2097 by Charlie Geren would clarify that a holder of a brewpub license can sell beer, ale, or malt liquor manufactured on the brewpub's premises. It passed by a vote of 28-2. 
  • HB 3488 by Gina Hinojosa would authorize a for-profit corporation to elect to become a
    public benefit corporation. It passed by a vote of 26-5.
PASSED THE HOUSE 
  • SB 560 by Kelly Hancock would transfer enforcement authority for the credit card surcharge prohibition from the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner to the Office of the Attorney General. It passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 714 by Kel Seliger would require a financial institution to notify a customer of 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. It passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1381 by Bryan Hughes would allow a merchant to require an individual using a credit or debit card in a point of sale transaction to provide photo identification verifying the identity of the cardholder. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
  • SB 1401 by Donna Campbell would authorize the banking commissioner to regulate the services or activities of 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 & maintaining mobile applications, system and software development, and maintenance and security monitoring. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed on the May 19 Local & Consent Calendar.
SENATE BUSINESS & COMMERCE COMMITTEE 
On May 16, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:
  • HB 2101 by John Frullo would allow the holder of a wine and beer retailer's permit to be issued a food and beverage certificate if the total receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages for the premises are no more than 50% of the total receipts for the premises. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 2275 by Chris Paddie would authorize a service contract to provide for replacement of a motor vehicle key or key-fob in the event that the key or fob becomes inoperable or is lost or stolen. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for Sunday, May 21.
On May 18, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee took up:
  • HB 1508 by Helen Giddings would require entities that provide an educational program to prepare an individual for issuance of an initial occupational license to notify each applicant to and enrollee in the educational program of the potential ineligibility of an individual who has been convicted of an offense for issuance of an occupational license on completion of the educational program. It was voted out favorably as substituted.
  • HB 3003 by John Kuempel would authorize alcoholic beverage permitees to conduct an experiential dinner on the premises of a retailer for the promotion and marketing of beer. It was voted out favorably.
  • HB 3287 by Craig Goldman would clarify that the production caps on the sale of beer and ale by holders of brewer's permits apply to all premises owned by the license holder or an affiliate or subsidiary. It was reported favorably as substituted.
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
On May 15, the Senate State Affairs Committee took up HB 1217 by Tan Parker, which would require the Secretary of State to adopt standards for electronic notarization. It was reported favorably and recommended for the Local & Uncontested Calendar. It is on the Senate Intent Calendar for May 21.  
 
HOUSE BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COMMITTEE
On May 15, the House Business & Industry Committee took up SB 2127 by Larry Taylor, which would prohibit consumer reporting agency from furnishing consumer report containing information related to a collection account with a medical industry billing code when consumer had health insurance at the time of the event and the 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. It was left pending.
 
HOUSE INVESTMENTS & FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE 
On May 18, the House Investments & Financial Services Committee took up SB 1994 by Judith Zaffirini, which would provide that a wrap loan is void and unenforceable unless it is made with the prior, written consent of all existing lienholders and is closed at a title company's office; and would create a fiduciary obligation and constructive trust for all payments a new owner makes to a wrap lender, ensuring these payments are used for their intended purpose. It was reported favorably.  

TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
PASSED THE HOUSE 
SB 1004 by Kelly Hancock, which would prohibit a municipality from entering into an exclusive arrangement with a person for use of the public rights-of-way for the construction, operation, marketing, or maintenance of network nodes or node support poles. The committee substitute was adopted and it passed to Third Reading on a voice vote. On May 18, it received final passage by a vote of 140-6.
 
TRANSPORTATION 
HOUSE LAND & RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 
On May 15, the House Land & Resource Management Committee took up SB 979 by Charles Schwertner, which would prohibit an entity that operates or plans to operate a high-speed rail from using property acquired for purposes other than high-speed rail; and If the high-speed rail authority does not use the property for that specific purpose, the original landowner would have to be given the opportunity to repurchase the land. It was left pending.
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