In the state Senate, the first bill, as usual, came from Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, who is known to have her staff line up outside the clerk’s office hours before prefiling starts. Senate Bill 31 is a bipartisan effort — eight senators signed on as authors, with Zaffirini at the top — to create a guardianship, abuse, fraud and exploitation deterrence program within the state Office of Court Administration.
Meanwhile, the first bill filed in the lower chamber, House Bill 21, is related to higher education. Authored by state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, the bill would exempt college textbooks from sales taxes during one week in August and one week in January.
(Filing early gets a bill a low number. But the lowest numbers are reserved by the House speaker and lieutenant governor, who assign those numbers to their top-priority legislation.)
Here’s a list, which will be updated regularly, of notable bills from the first day:
- House Bill 49, by Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, would get rid of daylight saving time in Texas. Some lawmakers have tried to do this in past sessions.
- House Bill 63, by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, would make it a civil offense — not a crime — to be caught with less than one ounce of marijuana. Moody’s bill was one of several filed Monday aiming to loosen marijuana laws in Texas.
- House Bill 84, also by Moody, would repeal the section of the Texas penal code that lists “homosexual conduct” as a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that the section is unenforceable, but it remains on the books.
- House Bill 222, by Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, would prohibit Texas cities from adopting or enforcing ordinances that would require employers to offer their employees paid sick leave. San Antonio and Austin have passed paid sick leave ordinances this year. Soon after Austin passed its ordinance, state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, announced that he would file legislation banning the ordinances, but Workman was defeated in Tuesday’s election.
- House Joint Resolution 24, by Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, would propose a constitutional amendment requiring the state to fund at least half of the cost of funding public schools. If the amendment were approved by voters, local property tax collections would not apply to the state’s share.
- Senate Bill 66, by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would reduce and eventually eliminate the state’s franchise tax.
Texas Tribune mission statement
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
You can support the Cypress News Review in a handful of ways.
1. We’re uploading our action and news photos to a new reseller. https://cypressnewsreview.pixieset.com/
2. Become a monthly patron for as little as $1 via Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/CypressNewsReview).
3. Like our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CypressNewsReview), follow our Twitter (https://twitter.com/CypressNewsRev), and subscribe to our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKIuHUwXbt_R673iszcLz7g).
We’re relatively new to the scene, so our numbers might look small, but they’re growing exponentially thanks to your liking and sharing our content. Cypress is our home, and has gone for far too long without a dedicated news source, and we aim to fill that gap.