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Legislative Update

On Monday evening, Governor Abbott presented his State of the State. In true COVID style, it was held virtually instead of on the House floor in a joint Session of the Legislature. Gov. Abbott began by discussing the sweeping education reforms from last Session but fell short of making education finance one of his emergency items. However, he called on the Members of the 87th Legislature to fund education and teach our children civics by stating, "This Session, we must continue to fund education as we promised. Also, if we expect the next generation of Texans to keep Texas the best state in the nation, we must teach them why we are so exceptional. We must educate them on what it means to be an American and what it means to be a Texan. We must bolster civics education in our classrooms and ensure that every child learns the values of freedom, good governance, and patriotism."
Legislative Updates
  • The Senate is holding Finance and Redistricting Hearings - to follow along click here.
  • The House Committees were released today
    • Public Education Committee: CHAIR: Dutton, Harold; VICE-CHAIR: Lozano, J. M; MEMBERS: Allen, Alma; Bernal, Diego; Huberty, Dan; King, Ken of Hemphill; Allison, Steve; Bell, Keith of Kaufman; Buckley, Brad; González, Mary of El Paso; Meza, Terry; Talarico, James; VanDeaver, Gary
    • If you are represented by a legislator on one of the Public Education Committees, please reply to this email or email Lacy Compton and help TAGT build its advocacy database.
State of the State
On Monday evening, Governor Abbott presented his State of the State. In true COVID style, it was held virtually instead of on the House floor in a joint Session of the Legislature. Gov. Abbott began by discussing the sweeping education reforms from last Session but fell short of making education finance one of his emergency items. However, he called on the Members of the 87th Legislature to fund education and teach our children civics by stating, "This Session, we must continue to fund education as we promised. Also, if we expect the next generation of Texans to keep Texas the best state in the nation, we must teach them why we are so exceptional. We must educate them on what it means to be an American and what it means to be a Texan. We must bolster civics education in our classrooms and ensure that every child learns the values of freedom, good governance, and patriotism."

He went on to name the following as his six emergency items:
  • Broadband access for all Texans
  • Election integrity
  • Bail reform
  • Addressing the defunding of police departments
  • Liability protections for businesses
  • Protections for pre-existing medical condition
Why are these items important? When the Governor puts something on this list, it means the Legislature can take them up any time before the 60 day calendar rule. It also means that these bills will go at the top of any House Calendar throughout Session. These bills can oftentimes be controversial and cause bills on the calendar to get tied up. This is important as we get closer to the end of Session.

For the full text and video of the address, please visit this link.
   
Bills to Watch
 
Did you know you can track bills of interest and create your own bill alerts? Click here to learn more.

House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 27
Designating the first full week in April as Gifted and Talented Students Week for a 10-year period beginning in 2021.

HB 1302 (Guillen)
Relating to indicators of achievement under the public school accountability system. Includes addition of pre-AP/IB course completion, credit by exam, identification as gifted and talented, acceleration.

HB 1303 (Guillen)
Relating to an academic distinction designation for high student achievement under the public school accountability system. Includes addition of pre-AP/IB course completion, credit by exam, identification as gifted and talented, acceleration.

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