A few items of note on the first day of bill filing

Well, folks, the break is over – time to turn our eyes back to the pink dome, and get ready for the 83rd Legislative Session.  Bill pre-filing began today, which means incumbent legislators are getting their top priorities in the hopper for consideration.  This isn’t a comprehensive list, just a few things of note (good and bad) that will be worth watching.  To view the whole list so far, click here.  For today, I’m not going to offer detailed opinions on most of these, but on some of these I’m adding some context/notes.

Texas House

House Bill 63 by Craddick – A bill creating a statewide ban on texting while driving.  (Revived from last session)

House Bill 65 by Guillen – A bill changing some of the administration of standardized testing in K-12.

House Bill 69 by Lucio III – A bill creating a statewide ban on text-based communication while driving (includes email and instant messaging as well as texting).

House Bill 72 by Fletcher – A bill increasing the penalty for failure to render aid in a motor vehicle accident resulting in death to a second degree felony.  (The jail term for a 2nd degree felony is 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000 – source Texas Penal Code)

House Bill 87 by Callegari – A bill removing the burden of state regulation on some occupations.  (also, House Bill 86, dealing with Sunset Advisory Commission criteria for regulatory agencies)

House Bill 88 by Callegari – A bill limiting the growth rate of state spending to the rate of population plus inflation.

House Bill 90 by Thompson (Senfronia) – A bill creating civil penalties for forced prostitution.

House Bill 95 by White – A bill exempting school districts from certain unfunded state mandates.

House Bill 109 by Raymond – A bill allowing for local option elections to legalize or prohibit certain kinds of gambling. (Also filed – HJR 27 proposing state constitutional amendment for same thing; see also Senate Bill 55 by Zaffarini)

Texas Senate

Senate Bill 11 by Nelson, et.al. – A bill requiring drug testing of state welfare recipients.

Senate Bill 62 by Nelson – A bill revising the bacterial meningitis vaccination mandate for college students.

Senate Bill 95 by Nichols – A bill creating an automatic local election for certain increases in the property tax rate. (also see SJR 9, a constitutional amendment to that effect)

Senate Bill 97 by Patrick – A bill restricting the distribution and sale of abortion-inducing drugs.

Senate Bill 99 by Patrick – A bill to restrict lobbying by former legislators.

Senate Bill 100 by Patrick – A bill to increase the margins tax exemption from $1 million to $5 million.

Senate Bill 113 by Estes – A bill to repeal the margins tax.  Written about here.

Senate Joint Resolution 6 by Ellis – A bill proposing a constitutional amendment to create the Texas Gaming Commission and expand legalized gambling in Texas.

5 thoughts on “A few items of note on the first day of bill filing

  1. HBs 101 and 102 by Kolkhorst are worth noting, mainly due to the fact that a school in San Antonio is actually engaged in this sort of monitoring, now.

  2. And then there’s Sen. Rodney Ellis’ SB-80, which would add election day to the list of state holidays. Which means more days off for public employees, who already enjoy more time off than their private sector counterparts.

    And, since the majority of public employees tend to vote Democrat, this is also a tactic to ensure that as many Democrats have the day off to vote (or work as election officials) as possible.

    Hopefully this one is shot down quickly by the Senate Republicans.

    • With two weeks of early voting for every statewide election, and a mandate on state employers that time must be given to an employee to go vote, a holiday for election day hardly seems necessary. Ellis’ legislation is a distraction from real election issues – like voter fraud.

      • Ironically enough, Sen. Ellis’ next three pre-filed bills (SB 81, SB 82, and SB 83) all have to do with making voter fraud not only more likely, but easier to commit (election-day voter registration at the polls, with no need for valid picture Identification).

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