Monday, November 14th was the first day that Texas state legislators could file bills for the upcoming 85th legislative session which will begin January 10th in Austin. There was a frenzy of activity as over 500 bills were filed. With many bills that had been filed in previous sessions such as the statewide ban on texting and an exemption from the provisions of the law that established daylight saving time making the list, there will be many new subjects up for discussion in the coming months.
Representative Eddie Lucio III has filed a bill to regulate rainwater harvesting equipment installers and Representative Harold Dutton is calling for the abolishment of the death penalty. There are several bills relating to electronic voter registration and first time conviction penalties for those with small amounts of marijuana. Several bills have been filled regulating abortion facilities and both the House and the Senate have members who have filed bills relating to free, full-day prekindergarten. Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock and Representative Will Metcalf of Conroe have both filed bills relating to sanctuary cities. Red light camera legislation has been filed in both the House and the Senate also.
In addition to the beginning of the filing of bills, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick also released his top 10 priorities for the session.
They are as follows:
- A Balanced Budget
- Property Tax Reform
- School Choice
- Sanctuary Cities
- Photo Voter ID
- Women’s Privacy Act (which relates to privacy and safety in public restrooms)
- Inappropriate teacher-student relationships
- Fetal tissue/partial-birth abortion
- A Tighter spending cap
- Hailstorm lawsuit reform
House Speaker Joe Straus spoke about his top priorities last week while addressing the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. These priorities include reforming school funding which would include ending Robing Hood and foster care.
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