LEGISLATION WATCH LIST
Top Bill for week May 1st-5th:
Legislative Update May 5th, 2023
MAY DAY ! MAY DAY ! MAY DAY !
The distress call for ships at sea and the day of solidarity for the workers of the world is very fitting for citizens and groups concerned or merely interested in legislative proceedings in Texas during the month of May of this odd-numbered year 2023…
May is the last month of the session. The state budget is not finalized with a conference committee having just been appointed by House and Senate leaders. Their first meetings will occur this coming week.
In the Texas House, 5417 bills have been filed. In the Senate 2626 bills have been filed, a total of 8,043 bills in all.
Deadlines imposed by House and Senate rules will start to take a toll on the number of bills that will pass by the end of the session, May 29, 2023.
The first deadline occurs on May 08 which is a deadline for House Committees to report (pass) House bills. After May 08 no House bills can be voted on in House Committees. To do so would be a violation of the rules and make the legislation subject to a point of order on the House floor.
Every day following May 08 will impose similar restrictions on a variety of measures. There is a link to the deadline calendar posted below. If you have any questions, please give me a shout and I will attempt to answer or find the answer for you.
Top Bill for week April 24th-28th:
Take Action by April 28, 2023
Last Chance to Secure Child Care Bedrock Funding!
The Budget Conferences have been chosen, and The Child Care Funds have NOT been moved over into the permanent budget yet. We have one last chance, and very little time to request funds to get moved into the actual budget. The Funds, if made into the budget, would potentially give Child Care Centers TWO more stimulus checks. The only major difference from the pervious checks would be the fact the the new funds would be State Dollars vs Federal Funds.
It's time the State of Texas takes Child Care seriously and helps support young children, young students, young families, young workers, and ultimately our future. We are asking the State of Texas to support Child Cares by using less than 1% of the overall budget, to help sustain out future.
Top Bills for week April 17th-21st:
Legislative Update for the week of April 17, 2023
Greetings from Austin,
One more flip of the weekly calendar and we find ourselves in week 14 of a 20-week legislative session. Many legislative priorities are starting to move along in the process. Here are a few examples of priority bills.
HB 1–State Budget by Bonnen Senate sponsor Huffman
This is the only bill the legislature has to pass and it is moving along. Both houses of the legislature have voted on their respective budget bills. After each body rejected the others’ version, the bill will proceed to a conference committee to sort out the differences. The question now for legislative nerds, like myself, is who will be on the five-member conference committee for each body. Time will tell…actually the conference committee announcement will be made, certainly by the end of this week, perhaps early this week.
Property Tax Relief
Texas House passes $12 billion property tax relief package |
Texas Senate approves $16.5 billion for property tax cuts |
These competing headlines have appeared in various publications over the past few weeks. There is movement on meaningful property tax relief for Texas home and property owners during this session. The current roadblocks involve a disagreement between the two leaders of the House, Speaker Dade Phelan, and the Senate, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. The two leaders differ on the approaches to delivering property tax relief this session. This is not unusual for cutting edge issues during a legislative session. There are a lot of politics at play and a lot of potential credit to be had. The leaders will no doubt work out an amicable way for everyone to receive credit for delivering much needed tax relief.
Emergency Child Care Funding
Take Action to continue Emergency Relief Funds for Child Care in Texas!
Spend the next two minutes and click on the Take Action Button, to help keep Child Care affordable, sustainable, and to improve the quality of care that our young children deserve.
Take Action Now to Urge the Texas Legislature to prioritize funding for child care in the state budget! The House version of the state budget (HB1) includes $2.3 billion for child care which will provide critical bedrock funding to child care programs. This represents less than 1% of the state budget, and surely, we can all agree that our young Texans deserve at least that! These funds are currently in Article XI of the budget which is essentially a wish list and does not guarantee funding. Ask your legislators to work with their colleagues to include a strategic investment of $2.3 billion for child care in Article VII.
SB 1145-West - This bill will be heard on Monday, March 27th. This Bill is relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation pf real property used to operate a child are facility. Look for TLCCA's "Take Action" email regarding this Bill.
HB 4515- Allen- Relating to an alternative qualified nearly learning grant program administered by the commissioner of education and funding for prekindergarten and kindergarten program under the Foundation School Program. Looking for another sponsor.
HB 4600- Allen- Funding for child care centers. Looking for another sponsor, and an overwhelming amount of support for this Bill.
HB 2923- Dutton- Relating to the operate of free prekindergarten program by certain school districts and to the early education allotment under the Foundation School Program. Working to get some key requirements in the Bill.
Legislative letter for week March 13th-17th:
The (C) Rush is On
We have passed the 60th day of this Legislative Session, our first big deadline with many more to come. After day 60 in a Regular Session no bills shall be filed by either body of the legislature according to the Texas Constitution (Article 1 Section 5). Now the House and the Senate can suspend this rule but it takes a 4/5 majority to do so. That is 120 votes in the House out of 150 members and 25 votes in the 31-member Senate. The Senate routinely suspends this rule, but not so in the House. Altogether, 7,662 bills were filed by members of the House and Senate.
The next phase of the legislative process begins now and that is the referral of bills to the appropriate committees in the two bodies of the legislature. The referral process seems to take an agonizingly long time. Referral of bills is done by the presiding officers of each body, the Speaker and the Lt. Governor, and often is done at the rate of one or two hundred bills a day.
The large budget surplus that is projected for Texas, $32.7 billion, is starting to be carved up by legislative leaders. Property Tax reductions are being attempted with Speaker Dade Phelan announcing support for a $17 billion property tax cut, roughly $1,000. reduction in school property taxes for the average Texas homeowner.
Committees of the House and Senate are fully organized and have started holding substantive hearings on legislation referred to the committees. Soon, legislative days will grow longer and committees will begin to hold hearings late into the evenings. There are 80 days left in this regular session and most waking hours will be spent in the Capitol by members of the legislature, their staff, and interested parties like you and me.
Top 5 Bills for week February 27th-March 3rd:
TLCCA is pushing to find an audience for 88R 13165 and 88R 10049. These two Bills will greatly benefit childcare centers throughout the State.
HB2923- Dutton- Relating to the operation of free prekindergarten programs by certain school districts and early education allotment under the Foundation School Program.
HB211- González- Relating to the regulation of childcare facilities and registered family homes providing services to children with disabilities or special needs.
SB 1098- Paxton- Relating to the rights of a parent or guardian with a child in a childcare facility.
Top 5 Bills for week February 20th-24th:
HB2729- Legislator Harris- will provide relief to the teacher requirement for High-Quality Prekindergarten. Classroom teachers will not be required to have a degree and certification. This bill will greatly improve the childcare industry's ability to partner with school districts and provide prekindergarten, if Parent choice Pre-k is passed.
SB1145 and SJR64- both by Senator West- SB1145 will allow property tax exemptions to most childcare facilities. SJR64 is the constitutional amendment that will be required in order to allow the property tax exemption.
HB1979- Legislator Raney- Relating to the powers and duties of the Texas Workforce Commission and local workforce development boards regarding the provisions of child care.
HB1801- Legislator Talarico- Relating to an exemption from as valorem taxation of real property used to operate a child-care facility.
SB 353 -Senator Zaffarini - This Bill would allow all Texas Rising Star (TRS) providers the same reimbursement rate.
HB 1834- Legislator Thompson- This is a companion Bill, identical verbiage, to SB 353.
HB 1737 Legislator Hernandez - This Bill has lots of language. It would require all Child Care Centers to keep video recordings of anywhere a child 2 years or younger could go within the facility, for 30 days.
SB 765- Senator Zaffarini and HB 1568 - Legislator Allison - The language within this Bill is very specific. It would require a certain certification for Child Care employees, that have a pool on site at the Center.
HB 1919- Legislator Goodwin- This Bill would increase minimum wage to $17 per hour. It's a big number which will prove difficult to pass. This Bill would increase pricing for families and potentially have negative impact on Child Care.
HB 1892 - Legislator Cain- This has a Parent Choice component, and although the funding would go through the Comptroller, it's not adequate because of the timeline. The Bill does not currently have a strong chance of making it very far. It is one of several Parent Choice Bills that we will continue to watch.
HB 1614 - Senator Dutton - This Bill would address partnerships between Child Care and School Districts. It's not clear enough to force partnerships, and would need additional language to do so.
SB 668 and HB 1905 - Senator West and Legislator Talarico - These Bills would allow Child Care Centers to attend, and receive training hours, for ISD safety meetings. As an example, Child Cares would be able to access Active Shooter training at the ISDs.