Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – On Thursday night last week, the Texas House managed to complete the debate on the state budget well before midnight. In a 12-hour long debate, the members delivered on many issues important to Texans, including:
- Increasing our commitment to Education
- Fully funding Teacher Retirement
- Increasing funding for Healthcare initiatives
- Maintaining our responsibilities for Border Security, and
- Increasing the allotments to programs for alternatives to Abortion
With the House debate on the budget now passed, the House now moves into a fever pitch in the rush to beat the deadline to hear bills on the House Floor. Members will have until midnight on Friday, May 14th, to get their bill passed. Any House bills that do not meet that deadline will have a final chance if they can be amended onto a Senate bill, which may be considered until Tuesday, May 25th.
- $246.8 Billion in Total Spending, This marks an $18 decrease in spending from the previous Budget
- $41 Billion for Texas Schools a nearly $4 Billion increase while providing an additional $1 billion in local Property Pax Relief
- $800 Million for Border Security plus additional funding for specific programs to address the crisis at the Boarder
- $1.2 Billion for Mental Health, Programs for Adults, children and Crisis Services
- $5 Billion for TRS System – to fully fund the increased state contribution to the teacher retirement system
Before the budget debate, the House was busy passing important bills to help Texans. Here’s a quick highlight of some of the good bills you may have missed:
- HB 1788 by Cole Hefner: Promotes school safety by allowing districts to hire retired peace officers to serve as resource officers or additional security.
- HB 2374 by Scott Sanford: Creates an efficiency audit for our foster care system to ensure smart use of state funds to care for our most vulnerable population.
- HB 3257 by Phil King: Creates the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission.
- HB 1490 by Jay Dean: Mandates that hospitals provide up-front cash prices for services on its website, allowing consumers to better make informed health care decisions.
This week features some key debates on camping bans, bail reform, and criminal justice reform. Each of these pieces of legislation support our efforts to protect public safety.
Here’s a look at some of the bills to watch this week:
- HB 1925 by Giovanni Capriglione: Restores camping bans in Texas cities.
- HB 9 by Stephanie Klick: Creates a penalty for protestors blocking a roadway preventing emergency vehicle access.
- HB 20 by Andrew Murr: Creates much-needed bail reform guidelines that are responsible and prioritize public safety.