/UserFiles/files/KARW_Lgislative_Update_(16).docx

 

 

House Passes SB 12

 

This week, I voted to pass Senate Bill 12 to stabilize the Teacher Retirement System and provide a "13th check" for our retirees! I am proud to be a co-author of this bill!

 

 

 

 

KARW LEGISLATIVE UPDATE #15

/UserFiles/files/KARW_Lgislative_Update_(15).docx

 

CHAIRMAN DAN HUBERTY FILES HOUSE BILL 3: THE “TEXAS PLAN” TO TRANSFORM SCHOOL FINANCE

HB 3 invests $9B in student achievement, teacher quality & property tax reform

AUSTIN, Texas – State Representative Dan Huberty (R-Humble), Chairman of the House Public Education Committee, today filed House Bill 3, comprehensive legislation that fundamentally transforms the public school finance system in Texas.

House Bill 3 (also referred to as the “Texas Plan”) invests $9 billion above enrollment growth and current law entitlement toward student achievement, teacher quality and property tax reform. It represents the first major rewrite of the state’s public school finance system undertaken without threat of a court order.

“This is transformative. This is going to make a difference. The steps laid out in House Bill 3 will inject nearly $9 billion into the system, devoting more state revenue than ever before to the education of our 5.4 million public school children in Texas. I am honored to present this legislation and look forward to working with the more than 80 House members who have already signed on to co-author this bill,” Huberty stated.

More than half of the members of the Texas House stood in support of Chairman Huberty as he announced the filing of House Bill 3 in a bipartisan press conference held at the Capitol. House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Rep. Diego Bernal, Rep. Ken King, Rep. Alma Allen, and Rep. Greg Bonnen joined Chairman Huberty in delivering remarks in support of House Bill 3 and outlining additional efforts to improve public education in Texas.

“I applaud Chairman Huberty for filing House Bill 3 and for getting the Texas House one step closer to passing transformational school finance reform. Texas children can no longer wait for action — the time is now,” said Speaker Dennis Bonnen. “Chairman Huberty has worked tirelessly to thoughtfully craft this legislation that is built upon years of research, data and testimony. I applaud his commitment to Texas students and teachers, and know that through House Bill 3, the unprecedented investments we’re making in classrooms will elevate Texas’ education system to be the envy of the world.”

Built upon years of research, data and testimony, House Bill 3:

Invests in Texas students and teachers by adding approximately $9 billion in funding above enrollment growth and current law entitlement over the next two years;

Empowers local school districts to put more money in their classrooms by raising the Basic Allotment from $5,140 to $6,030, an $890 increase per student;

Provides property tax reform by lowering school property tax rates by 4 cents statewide;

Reduces recapture from $7.7 billion to $4.7 billion for the biennium, a $3 billion or 38% reduction;

Establishes an early reading program that funds full-day, high quality Pre-K for low-income students, setting the right foundation for students to be able to read at grade level by third grade;

Substantially raises the minimum teacher salary schedule and allocates an addition $140 million in funding for a teacher quality program, providing districts with the resources for recruiting and retaining teachers in the classroom;

Enhances the yield on the “enrichment” pennies, allowing schools to earn and keep more money for property taxes levied above the standard Tier 1 tax rate;

Creates a professional development grant program to train teachers in blended learning instruction so they can effectively combine e-learning and traditional classroom instruction;

Dedicates more money for dual language immersion education, which has proven to be more effective in producing greater achievement levels for multilingual and native English speaking students;

Equips districts with the resources needed to identify and intervene at the earliest signs of student dyslexia and related disorders;

Establishes an extended year program that allows districts to combat “summer slide” by providing 30 days of half-day instruction for students in grades PreK-5 during the summer months;

Updates the transportation funding model from a burdensome linear density model to a simplified one dollar per mile reimbursement;

Allocates resources to low-income students on a sliding scale (rather than an equal weight) to prioritize students with the highest needs, and provides more funding to schools with higher concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and generational poverty;

Quadruples the amount allocated to fast growth districts to build and equip new instructional facilities funding to $100 million per year;

Expands career and technology education programs for students in grades 6-12 (previously grades 9-12), making students more skilled and better prepared for the workforce or post-secondary education; and

Establishes a grant program for districts to offer parents of economically disadvantaged students with learning disabilities in grades 3-8 access to additional services to help improve educational performance.

 

Senator Creighton Authors Senate Bill 7, Which The Texas Senate Passed Unanimously March 20, To Set Up Funding Mechanism To Disburse Harvey Relief Dollars

By admin on March 21, 2019No Comment

Senator Brandon Creighton, Republican of Conroe, spoke in favor of Senate Bill 7 on March 20, 2019, which he authored and which passed the Texas Senate 31 to 0, to provide a funding mechanism for relief from the Harvey storm.

Austin, March 21 – The Texas Senate unanimously passed legislation, which Senator Brandon Creighton of Conroe and fourteen others authored, to provide a funding mechanism to disburse federal relief funds for the Harvey storm on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said, “Senator Creighton, I really do believe this is one of the most important bills this body has ever passed for the entire State of Texas and our future.”

The legislation now goes to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration.

Senator Creighton’s speech to the Texas Senate yesterday afternoon, March 20, 2019, follows:

Members,

On August 27th, 2017, the National Weather Service issued this warning…”This event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”

It’s been 20 months and we are finally understanding the impacts of this unprecedented, 1,000 year storm.

I would like to begin by thanking everyone for their commitment to responding and rebuilding after Harvey and everyone who has worked so hard on getting this bill to this point. Right after Harvey hit, we were in the response phase for a few weeks, making sure people had places to sleep and clothes to wear. Soon after that we got right to work on many pieces of legislation including this bill, Senate Bill 7.

SB 7 creates the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund, or TIRF, which is the funding mechanism to disburse Harvey recovery dollars and future dollars for flood mitigation strategies. This bill will bring Texas tax dollars back to the state, maximizing federal recovery funds.

This fund will be administered by the Texas Water Development Board and is the state’s Texas-sized response for recovery from Harvey and mitigation in the future.

This bill utilizes an existing account at the TWDB and expands the use of the fund. The Floodplain Management Account is renamed TIRF and will contain 4 accounts:

Floodplain Management Account – this account maintains the current existing duty of the account. Existing funds will remain in the account with the same revenue streams and uses that already exists in statute.

Harvey Recovery Account – This account only exists to disburse state dollars to meet the local match requirements for federal dollars. This will only include outstanding Public Assistance costs and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program costs.

Flood Plan Implementation Account – This account will cooperate with the State Flood Plan, created by SB 8. Mitigation projects to protect us from future storms will be identified and prioritized in the State Flood Plan and can seek funding from this account.

Federal Match Account – This account will be used by projects partnering with the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The bill also includes several protective provisions

political subdivisions applying for the fund must put up at least 25% of the remaining non-federal share.

The fund will be transparent by putting information on projects online for everyone to track projects

TIRF will be overseen by on oversight committee comprised of 3 House members, 3 Senate members, the Comptroller, and the director of TDEM

We also added language from SB 563 that requires agencies that use federal fund to create a report on where the money comes from and where it goes.

Harvey was a storm of biblical proportions is not an everyday, expected occurrence. We didn’t budget last year expecting experience the largest storm in US history. However, we have budgeted conservatively over that past years. We have saved money in our Rainy Day Fund and it is at a historic balance. The Rainy Day Fund was created precisely for events like this – one time expenditures to recover and rebuild.

When owning a businesses, you don’t budget for a machine to break, but when it does, you have to pay for it.

That’s what the Rainy Day Fund is for. When you consider that $775 million spent by the state of Texas brings back over $5 billion of Texas’ tax payers money from Washington DC, this is a fiscally sound use of tax payer money. And Senate Bill 7 places safeguards on the disbursement of the money so we know exactly how and where and why the money is being spent.

Members, on behalf of southeast Texas, I’d like to thank each of you for the efforts of you and your constituents for helping our part of Texas respond to Harvey. As you say, Governor Patrick, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Around Senate District 4, the loss was so great. An area of southeast Texas greater than the size of New Jersey was underwater. This storm set the record for total rainfall and total damage in our nation’s history.

Even today, people are displaced from their homes, and businesses remain closed. However, Texans once again showed the world how to step up and help each other out.

It was a great display of how Texans have each others’ back. Senate Bill 7 is the next step of stepping up and taking care of each other. The next storm is “when,” not “if.” So let’s take bold action today to prepare Texas.

Green New Deal

Senator John Coryn

Last month, several House and Senate Democrats introduced a resolution calling for America to adopt the “Green New Deal.” It’s being billed as a way to fight climate change and strengthen our already strong economy. In reality, it’s just a half-baked socialist policy. And it would be a raw deal for Texas.

I never thought in my entire life that I would have to speak about the perils of socialism – but here we are.

Socialism cannot provide what capitalism can. That’s a lesson Boris Yeltsin learned almost 30 years ago at a grocery store in Clear Lake, Texas.

The Houston Chronicle reported that he gawked at the produce, fresh fish, and cheese samples. He was stunned at what was a far cry from the Soviet Union’s grocery stores.

Truth is, policies born out of the new rise of socialism in the Democrat party aren’t going to raise up the most disadvantaged people in our society while keeping Texas an economic powerhouse.

Texas is the envy of the nation, and we’re successful because we keep taxes low, government spending restrained, and regulations at a minimum to give people freedom to pursue their dreams and prosper.

The “Green New Deal” would tighten the grip of government, bankrupt our state, and is counter to the values we hold as Texans.

 

Bills to better prepare for the next Hurricane Harvey coast through Senate

Andrea Zelinski March 20, 2019 Updated: March 20, 2019 3:54 p.m.

AUSTIN -- Twenty months after Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Gulf Coast and flooded thousands of people out of their homes, the state Senate approved a trio of bills Wednesday that members say will address lessons learned from the storm.

The bills call for the creation of a disaster recovery blueprint for government officials, establishment of an “infrastructure resiliency fund” and would require the state to update mapping techniques and develop a state flood plan every five years.

Gov. Greg Abbott asked lawmakers to strengthen the state’s response to future disasters in light of the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey. One bill, Senate Bill 6, would require training and the creation of a how-to guide for local officials to navigate their after-storm response, including contracting for debris removal, obtaining federal funding and building short- and long-term housing.

“When you face a natural disaster, you don’t know where to start,” said Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, who sponsored the bill.

Pending legislation prompted by Harvey

Senate Bill 1220 — Requires sellers of real property provide notice of property located in floodplains, flood pools or reservoirs — Awaiting hearing from Senate committee

Senate Bill 443 — Extends the two-year limit for claiming homestead exemptions without living on the premises in disaster areas — Pending in Senate committee

Senate Bill 500 — Funding for Hurricane Harvey-related expenses and programs — Cleared Senate, scheduled for House debate March 27

House Bill 4 — Funding Hurricane Harvey-related expenses and programs — Awaiting hearing from House committee

House Bill 1650 — Funding Hurricane Harvey-related expenses and program — Awaiting hearing from House committee

House Bill 2337 — Contracting guidance for debris removal — Awaiting hearing from House committee

Senate Bill 7 would establish the “Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund” to pay for expenses like floodplain management and projects related to Hurricane Harvey. Senate Bill 8 would organize government agencies to share flood prevention plans in an effort to “make sure one municipality is not moving their flood mitigation programs to other towns or counties. Each passed the Senate 31-0.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick referred to the bills as some of the most important of this year’s legislative session. They will next go to the House, which will evaluate them in legislative committees.

“They will impact generations of Texans for years to come,” he said in a statement.

 

Lawmakers Grill Texas Municipal League Over Opposition to Ending Forced Annexation

“My point is just this: when cities come to citizens with a value proposition, it is possible to have voluntary annexation and no need for involuntary annexation.”

By Destin Sensky|March 6, 2019

There’s only one individual in the entire state of Texas who testified against citizens having a say on whether or not their land is annexed by a city—the lobbyist who is paid by the cities.

During the Texas House Committee on Land and Resource Management’s meeting on Tuesday, lawmakers sparred with a representative of the Texas Municipal League, a big government taxpayer-funded lobby organization, over the issue of forced—or involuntary—annexation.

Last session, lawmakers passed legislation requiring major cities to put forth a proposal for voters to consider and approve before they can forcibly annex land outside of their existing jurisdiction, with the option for residents of smaller cities to opt in via petition. However, not every county received the protection. Enter House Bill 347, authored by Weatherford Republican State Rep. Phil King, which would pick up where SB 6 left off by extending the voter approval requirement to counties and municipalities with a Tier 1 designation.

According to Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Analyst Bryan Mathew, “a tier 1 county is any county with a population of less than 500,000 and that does not contain a freshwater fisheries center operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. A tier 2 county is any county that is not a tier 1 county.” Moreover, “the law requires “tier 2 municipalities” to obtain the consent of a majority of property owners and residents being annexed through either a publicly held election or via a petition process.”

Only one individual opposed the commonsense reform: Scott Houston, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for the Texas Municipal League; largely funded by millions of taxpayer dollars, the TML is one of the largest Austin-based lobbying groups for growing the size and scope of government.

“We’re here to advocate that the cities should have the authority to decide what’s best for them, based upon this system that was created years and years ago,” Houston told the committee. “Under [last session’s law], the cities in the largest counties are essentially prohibited from annexing now.”

Houston drew the ire of conservative State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford), who pointed out that he was the only person who had come down to oppose the bill, which was largely supported by citizens who had trekked to the Capitol to vocalize their support for including their smaller city that has abused involuntary annexation since the process was reformed in 2017.

“Well, I’m looking at the deal here and, overwhelmingly, it’s a bit compelling that we’ve got individuals [who] are coming here on their own dime, on their own time, to speak for this bill,” said Stickland, “And the one person that’s come before me today [in opposition], is the one who’s paid to be here with their money, ironically.”

State Rep. Cecil Bell (R–Magnolia), also an author of the bill, made it a point to highlight the need for the change, which simply requires all cities, regardless of size, to receive the voter-approved permission of property owners, saying:

“My point is just this: when cities come to citizens with a value proposition, it is possible to have voluntary annexation and no need for involuntary annexation. You’ll end the enclave challenges and other things when you bring value propositions to those people. If you don’t have a value proposition, you should not touch that property.”

The bill was left pending in committee but is already showing signs of strong and bipartisan political support inside the Capitol. In addition to King and Bell, coauthors include State Reps. Dan Huberty (R–Kingwood), Terry Canales(D–Edinburg), Lyle Larson (R–San Antonio), Mike Lang (R–Granbury), and Jared Patterson (R–Frisco).

Three identical bills, Senate Bills 408, 745, and 1432, have also been filed in the Texas Senate and are authored by State Sens. Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury), Charles Schwertner (R–Georgetown), and Pat Fallon (R–Prosper), respectively.

 

Active Texas Bills (Introduced, Engrossed, Enrolled, Passed)

BillSummaryAction

HB1326Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Military Department.2019-03-11

To House Defense & Veterans' Affairs Committee

HB1328Relating to the operations and functions of the Veterans' Land Board and the sunset review date for and programs administered by the board.2019-03-11

To House Defense & Veterans' Affairs Committee

HB1327Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Veterans Commission.2019-03-11

To House Defense & Veterans' Affairs Committee

HB650Relating to female inmates of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.2019-03-07

To House Corrections Committee

HB574Relating to the consequences of successfully completing a period of deferred adjudication community supervision.2019-03-07

To House Corrections Committee

HB304Relating to the governance and operation of municipal management districts.2019-03-07

To House Urban Affairs Committee

HB951Relating to a common characteristic or use project in a public improvement district in certain municipalities.2019-03-07

To House Urban Affairs Committee

HB1374Relating to grants for the development and operation of pretrial intervention programs for defendants who are the primary caretaker of a child.2019-03-07

To House Corrections Committee

HB1389Relating to the placement on community supervision, including deferred adjudication community supervision, of a defendant who is the primary caretaker of a child.2019-03-07

To House Corrections Committee

HB659Relating to the collection of information regarding the parental status of inmates of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.2019-03-07

To House Corrections Committee

 

Most Viewed Texas Bills

SB90Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations...

SB3Relating to additional funding to school districts for classroom teacher salaries.

HB357Relating to the carrying of a firearm by a person who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing the firearm and to criminal offenses otherwise related to the carrying of a firearm; creating criminal offenses.

HB1271Relating to the award of good conduct time to certain inmates; changing parole eligibility.

HB49Relating to daylight saving time.

HB209Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations.

HB63Relating to the civil and criminal penalties for possession of certain small amounts of marihuana and an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia; creating a criminal offense.

SJR8Proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize and regulate the possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis.

SB155Relating to the release on parole of certain inmates convicted of an offense committed when younger than 18 years of age; changing parole eligibility.

HB517Relating to unprofessional conduct by mental health providers who attempt to change the sexual orientation of a child; providing penalties.

Most Monitored Texas Bills

HB1271Relating to the award of good conduct time to certain inmates; changing parole eligibility.

SB3Relating to additional funding to school districts for classroom teacher salaries.

SB90Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations.

HB357Relating to the carrying of a firearm by a person who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing the firearm and to criminal offenses otherwise related to the carrying of a firearm; creating criminal offenses.

SJR8Proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize and regulate the possession, cultivation, and sale of cannabis.

HB209Relating to authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by qualifying patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations.

HB63Relating to the civil and criminal penalties for possession of certain small amounts of marihuana and an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia; creating a criminal offense.

HB49Relating to daylight saving time.

SB116Relating to industrial hemp; requiring an occupational license; authorizing fees.

SB155Relating to the release on parole of certain inmates convicted of an offense committed when younger than 18 years of age; changing parole eligibility.

 

Legislative News and Local Information on Government in our Area

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84th Legislative News

 

May Legislature News

Tax Show Down

Texas Senate Bill Protecting Pastors

Texas Senate Passes Ethics Reform

Newsweek: Professors May Inflate Grades ...


April Legislature News

Tax Show Down

Easing Graduation Requirements

A Look at the Budget Committee

BP Agent to Texas Senate

Denton Fracking Bill

Parental Trigger Bill SB 4

Open Carry Set to Pass

Texas SB 106

Texas Senate Approved Two Year Budget


March Legislature News

HB 562

HB 2254

SB 1968: End of Public Sector Unions

Senate Approves Open Carry

Tax Slashing Budget Passes

Noise Regulation Legislation (Unincorporated Harris County)

Franchise Tax

Human Trafficking

House Bills

Senate Bills

New GOP Chairman

Opt Out of Time Change HB 150

Electrical Usage HB 2254 

Age of Adulthood from 17 to 18 for Criminal Prosecution

Funding Roads

The Border

Legalizing Marijuana HB 2165

250 Troopers on the Border


February Legislature News

Upcoming Houston Mayor's Race

HB 1627

Senate Committee Chairmen

Vaccinations

Newly Introduced Bills

HJR 77 Convention

House Committee Chairs

SB 2 Senate Budget Bill

School Choice

Open Carry Bills

School Bond Bills

HB 80 and SB 25 Texting While Driving


January Legislature News

Excerpts from Governor Greg Abbott

Exerpts from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Education House Bills

House Bill 654

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Texas State Budget

DISCLAIMER: Political advertising paid for by Kingwood Area Republican women PAC, Regina Thompson, Treasurer, P.O. Box 5906, Kingwood, TX 77325-5906. Political contributions are not tax deductible for Federal Income Tax.
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