Although the Texas Legislature’s regular session does not officially start until Tuesday, January 8, 2019, yesterday was the first day legislators could “pre-file” bills. As of today, over 500 bills have been filed in the Texas House and Senate.
In 2017, out of the 10,672 bills filed, only 1,090 were signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. During the recent 2018 election, many campaigns focused on issues involving public school funding, property taxes, and health care. Many legislators also shared concerns involving other issues, including the minimum wage and school safety.
For the upcoming session, legislators have introduced a wide range of bills addressing multiple issues, including:
- HB 290 filed by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D – Houston) – Raising the minimum wage.
- HB 285 filed by Rep. Drew Springer (R – Muenster) – In order to continue receiving food stamps, healthy, single adults must work or participate in job training programs.
- HB 180 filed by Jessica Farrar (D – Houston) – Abolishing the death penalty.
- HB 21 filed by Rep. Terry Canales (D – Edinburg) – Exempting college textbooks from sales taxes for a week in August and January.
- HB 227 filed by Rep. Matt Krause (R – Fort Worth) – Guns made in Texas and staying in Texas should not be subjected to federal law or regulations.
- HB 241 filed by Jessica Farrar (D – Houston) – Extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year after a woman gives birth or miscarries.
- HB 274 filed by Rep. Sarah Davis (R – West University Place) – Creating disaster reinvestment and infrastructure planning revolving fund and the permissible uses of that fund.
- HB 63 filed by Rep. Joe Moody (D – El Paso) – Making it a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, to be caught with less than an ounce of marijuana.
- HB 222 filed by Rep. Matt Krause (R – Fort Worth) – Prohibiting cities from requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.
- SB 79 filed by Sen. Bob Hall (R – Edgewood) – Repealing the requirement for school buses to have three-point seat belts.
- HB 297 filed by Rep. Andrew Murr (R – Junction) – Eliminating certain property taxes for school district maintenance and operations and the provision of public education funding by increasing the rates of certain state taxes.
HJR 24 filed by Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) – Proposing a constitutional amendment requiring the state to pay at least half of the cost of funding public schools.
- SB 66 filed by Sen. Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound) – Reduce, and eventually eliminate the state’s franchise tax.
- HB 22 filed by Ramon Romero Jr. (D – Fort Worth) – Requiring voting machines to print a paper receipt to easily report glitches or problems whenever casting a ballot.
Legislators have until Friday, March 8, 2019 for unrestricted fillings of bills.