Get the latest news for Texas' 86th legislative session.
Regarding the tax swap or tax increase bill — perhaps this week, members are thinking it's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. As the House began deliberating HJR 3 and HB 4621, the bills’ sponsor — and the Big 3 — must have thought, "This is our bill and it's ending, one minute at a time." Wait. Remind me what this debate is all about. HJR 3 would ask voters to approve an increase in the state sales tax by one penny in order to buy down school district property taxes. HB 4621 offered another option to increase the sales tax. However, before the discussion began, the Senate chamber stripped the increase in sales tax from the school finance bill. As you might recall, the House tied the school finance bill to the sales tax increase. Thus, when the Senate stripped the tax swap, or the tax increase, the House pretty much said, "If I did have a tumor, I’d name it Senate." Project mayhem began. The bill's sponsor took to the mic to blame the Senate and then announced he was delaying the bill for two years — postponing it until 2021. Yes. Two-zero-two-one. It also didn’t help that a study showed the sales tax bill would hit poor Texans the hardest, and the bill already faced a block of 60+ “no” votes. And did we mention the House needs 100 votes to pass an HJR? Perhaps it would have been better to follow the first rule of tax swap: You don’t talk about tax swap. (But we will share more articles in #TXLege Download)
It’s that point in the session when members are keeping an eye on the calendar. Especially in the House. Thursday was the last day for a House bill to be heard on second reading. Deadlines are one way to kill a large swath of bills. Goodbye, House Bill 412 seeking to restore the Texas vs. Texas A&M football game. See you later, House Bill 146 seeking to allow adoption of research animals. Bye bye, House Bill 2063 relating to the sale of fireworks on and before Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day and Cinco de Mayo. Adios, House Bill 1723 repealing the permit requirement for intrastate shipment of bees. Bidi, bidi bye-bye, House Bill 2492 designating April 16 as Selena Quintanilla Pérez Day. It was nice knowing some of these bills, but you can now stick a fork in them. They are done.
When we visit with House and Senate members, Chancellor Joe May and DCCCD staffers have one primary goal: to advocate for our students and colleges on issues of importance. A few of those issues include:
Throughout the session, we will track the issues and bills that affect DCCCD as they make their way through the legislative process. We also will share more details about the issues listed above. As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. You can now email us at GovtAffairs@dcccd.edu or follow us on Twitter @DCCCDGovt.
Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. Your Capitol Update team wants to play. These past few days — dare I say weeks — have been filled with clouds and rain. Serious note: Keep our friends in Houston and southeast Texas in your thoughts. They’ve already faced floods and today are expecting more rain. Remember ... turn around, don’t drown. On a less serious note, does Delkus do weather right? Is Finfrock’s forecast finicky? With these cool temperatures and cloudy days, maybe it’s a good idea to grab a blanket and your favorite tall, half-caff, soy latte at 120 degrees. Or your other favorite complicated beverage. Caff-up, my friends. It's time for the #TXLege Download. Disclaimer, because they make us: Content maybe behind a paywall.
This weekend is a special weekend. A shout out to all of our mothers and soon-to-be moms. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.