What once felt like a marathon is now starting to feel like a sprint as legislators enter a period of looming deadlines, intense floor action and back-and-forth negotiations between the House and Senate. Monday is the last day for House committees to report out House bills and joint resolutions before the regular session ends in just 24 days.
To help you keep pace, the Texas Association of Counties' Legislative Services department hosts weekly breakfast meetings every Tuesday featuring reports from each of the county office affiliate associations. This week's meeting discussed several key bills for counties, including:
- Senate Bill 1446 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), which proposes new fiduciary standards that could harm future earnings for the Texas County and District Retirement System. The bill is currently in the House Committee on Pensions, Investments and Financial Services.
- House Bill 2043 by Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D-Garland), which seeks to create a statewide pretrial and sentencing database for each defendant arrested in Texas. It passed the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence on Wednesday.
- SB 369 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), which is a de-annexation bill that would affect counties. It was placed on the Senate intent calendar on Tuesday.
- SB 175 by Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston), which would ban so-called taxpayer-funded lobbying. The bill has been awaiting a hearing in the House State Affairs Committee after passing the Senate on April 6. As he has on previous occasions, Jim Allison, senior counsel for the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, urged breakfast attendees to reach out to committee members and their own state representatives to ask them to oppose the bill. Contrary to what some representatives may have heard, SB 175 has not been "fixed" and still would negatively affect the ability of county affiliate associations to engage with the Legislature, Allison said.
HB 1, the spending plan for the 2024-25 biennium, and SB 30, the supplemental appropriations bill for the current two-year budget, remain in conference committee. Our Legislative Services resources include worksheets comparing House and Senate funding of importance to counties in HB 1 and SB 30.
What happens at the Capitol affects counties. For the latest developments, join TAC's Tuesday Morning Breakfasts in person or online each week at 7 a.m. Register here.