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Legislative Update

  • The House enacted a new section of the rules that applies to times when we are in a declared disaster. As of right now, these rules will apply to the 87th Session.
  • Committee testimony will be different this year. Each Committee will include instructions for each of their hearings and committees have the option of allowing public testimony (with a mask) or electronic comments only. The rules approved in the Texas House will allow videoconference testimony only for those invited by a committee chair.
House Rules
  • The House enacted a new section of the rules that applies to times when we are in a declared disaster. As of right now, these rules will apply to the 87th Session.
  • Committee testimony will be different this year. Each Committee will include instructions for each of their hearings and committees have the option of allowing public testimony (with a mask) or electronic comments only. The rules approved in the Texas House will allow videoconference testimony only for those invited by a committee chair.
House Committees
  • The Speaker has asked for committee cards (or requests) by January 22.
Senate Rules
  • The Lt. Governor has enacted COVID rules for the first 60 days. 
  • In order to participate in hearings you must have either received the COVID-19 vaccine or test negative for the virus. The Lt Governor is allowing virtual witnesses for the Redistricting hearings only. 
Senate Committees
  • The Lt. Governor made his appointments to Committees in the Senate. Last session there were 16 committees and in this session, there are 15. New this session are the Local Government and Ports Committees. The Lt. Gov rolled Agriculture into Water and Rural Affairs and cut Intergovernmental Relations and the Property Tax Committees.
The House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, January 26th. 
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The State Budget

Senate Bill 1 was filed in the Senate today. This is the base budget and this document will change many times over the course of the session. In a statement from Senator Nelson, she states, “SB 1, as filed, appropriates $251.2 billion in All Funds and $119.7 billion in General Revenue. This represents 4 percent growth in General Revenue, is well within population and inflation and reflects the 5 percent reductions agencies were asked to make in the current biennium."

Funding for the full Foundation School Program entitlement, reflecting changes made last session to the school finance formula, include:
  • $3.1 billion to fund enrollment growth for public education, based on an estimated 36,000 additional students per year;
  • $1 billion in additional state aid related to property tax compression in the 2022-23 biennium;
  • $5 billion, an increase of $452.8 million, for payroll growth and continued reforms to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) passed last session through SB 12;
  • $897.6 million, an increase of $39.5 million, for statutorily required contributions to TRS-Care to maintain current health insurance premiums and benefits for our retired teachers.
Texas Lege Trivia: 

Did you know? The House and Senate alternate who file the budget every session. This year the budget is a Senate bill. 

Did you know? Any bill that raises a tax must originate in the House. 

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