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Legislative Update

With three days left in the 83rd legislative session, many bills are still on the move and many others are still being negotiated in conference committees. Bills that remain in limbo include HB 5, the budget bills, SB 2 on charters, the TRS bill, and HB 2836, the bill that addresses testing in grades 3-8.

Making Progress on the Budget
Though a stalemate between the chambers was broken Wednesday night as the House and Senate each approved essential budget bills, a final vote is still needed to finalize the deal. The Senate passed House Bill 1025, which would provide $2 billion in a water fund, if approved by Texas voters, and $200 million to public schools. The House then approved Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 1, which would put the water fund on the ballot in November. However, an amendment added to HB 1025 in the Senate that would link the $200 million for education to the passage of HB 7, a bill that provides assistance for low- income families with their electricity bills, is not sitting well with some members of the House.

Recently Appointed Conference Committees
The House named its conferees for SB 2, the charter expansion bill. They include:

  • Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen)
  • Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown)
  • Patricia Harless (R-Spring)
  • John Otto (R-Dayton)
  • Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio)

They will negotiate with previously announced Senate conferees:

  • Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
  • Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville)
  • Dan Patrick (R-Houston)
  • Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)
  • Royce West (D-Dallas)

TRS Bill Conferees
The House named its conferees on SB 1458, the Teacher Retirement System bill:

  • Alma Allen (D-Houston)
  • Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas)
  • Dan Branch (R-Dallas)
  • Bill Callegari (R-Katy)
  • Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton)

They will work with Senate conferees:

  • Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth)
  • Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock)
  • Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo)
  • Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
  • Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands)
We will provide additional details about the fate of these and other important bills on Tuesday after the session has come to a close.