This update on the 82nd session of the Texas Legislature is provided by Linda Young, special assistant to the president for external affairs.
With the deadline for the Session scheduled for Monday, May 30, there is no final answer yet about the budget, but we are much closer. Early Thursday the Budget Conferees voted out the HB 1 report and sent it to duplication for printing. The debate of this document will occur on Saturday, and Senator Ogden is reported to have said that this decision/passage has been the most difficult of his career. The Austin American-Statesman ran a photo and quote in the May 26 edition of Ogden with this quote: “We’ll run down to the last minute and hopefully agree and move on.” Ogden has also warned that this current “fix” will result in severe problems with school finance and Medicaid within two years — before the next biennium is complete. Click the link below to find a six page summary of funding.
As the Session winds down, there is still speculation that at the last minute some technicality could derail the fragile puzzle, and a Special Session will be required. Saturday should be the final day when we know that.
Two pieces of legislation that have been on our radar are worth noting: the bill to transfer Adult Education from the Texas Education Agency to THECB, which seemed to have steam and certainly support, died when it was left pending in Senate Education. Second, the bill that changes elections matters may have fairly noticeable impact on our budgeting and staffing for elections, as counties are not required to handle those even year elections (May, impacting Trustee elections, which will now include four counties of voters).
We will continue to monitor these last hours, and report what legislation moves on to the Governor for signing.
LEGISLATION OF INTEREST:
HB SB 1811 by Duncan
Relating to certain state fiscal matters; providing penalties. Senate & House conference committee still have not reached a resolution.
SB 1581 by Ogden
Relating to state fiscal matters, and certain administrative and business matters related to public and higher education. The bill died on a point of order in the House.
HB 275 by Pitts | Giddings | Otto | Riddle | Aycock
Relating to making an appropriation of money from the economic stabilization fund for expenditure during the current state fiscal biennium both Senate & House have adopted the conference committee report.
HB 4 by Pitts | Aycock | Darby | Zerwas | Otto
Relating to making supplemental appropriations and giving direction and adjustment authority regarding appropriations. Passed as amended in the Senate on 5/25/11. Will be sent back to the House to see if they will concur with the changes.
SB 31 by Seliger
Relating to the composition of the districts for the election of members of the Texas Senate was sent to the Governor on 5/24/11 but it is described as very likely to end up in the courts.
HB 9 by Branch | Pitts | Taylor, Larry | Patrick, Diane | Villarreal
Relating to student success-based funding for and reporting regarding public institutions of higher education. Passed in the Senate on 5/24/11 as amended will be sent back to the House to see if they concur with the changes.
HB 1206 by Guillen
Relating to training for members of governing boards of public junior college districts. Passed in the Senate on 5/25/11 as amended will be sent back to the House to see if they concur with the changes.
HB 992 by Castro
Relating to excess undergraduate credit hours at public institutions of higher education (what we have referred to as the 6-drop Rule in past Sessions). This changes current law that only allows a student to drop only 6 classes in the entirety of their Higher Education in the current version the classes that a student drops in a community college would not be counted when they transfer to a 4 year college. Passed in the Senate on 5/24/11 as amended will be sent back to the House to see if they concur with the changes.
HB 3461 by Margo
Relating to transferring adult education and literacy programs to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from the Texas Education Agency. Was left pending in the Senate Higher Education on 5/20/11 and has now run out of time for further action, so the transfer will not occur.
SB 100 by Van de Putte
Relating to the adoption of certain voting procedures and to certain elections, including procedures necessary to implement the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, deadlines for declaration of candidacy and dates for certain elections, and to terms of certain elected officials. This bill will impact county elections offices being able to run ACC elections in years that there is a primary. This bill passed in the House with several amendments; one changes the filing deadline for the Primary to the second Monday in December and another one changes the Primary runoff to the 4th Tuesday in May. The bill will be sent back to the Senate to see if they concur.
SB 1619 by Duncan
Relating to participation of public high school students in college credit programs has passed in both the Senate and the House.
HB 1244 by Castro
Relating to developmental education courses and the assessment of student readiness under the Texas Success Initiative for public institutions of higher education Passed in the Senate on 5/24/11 as amended will be sent back to the House to see if they concur with the changes.
Final days of Session:
May 26, 137th day: last day for Senate amendments to be distributed
May 27, 138th day: last day for House to consider Senate amendments. Before midnight Senate copies of Conference Committee Reports on tax, general appropriations and reapportionment bill must be printed and distributed to all members.
May 28, 139th day: All house copies of conference committee reports must be distributed. Before midnight Senate copies of Conference Committee Reports other than tax, general appropriations and reapportionment must be printed and distributed to all members.
May 29th, 139th day: last day for House to adopt Conference Committee reports; last day for Senate to concur in House amendments or adopt Conference Committee reports.
May 30, 140th day: Corrections only, last day of session, Sine Die
posted in: Legislative Updates