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    Legislative Services

    County Issues Newsletter | February 2024

    News Article | February 23, 2024

    Month in Review: A Digest of Capitol News

    County News | Legislative News
    Legislative Services
    Texas Conference of Urban Counties Holds Annual Education and Policy Meeting

    The Texas Conference of Urban Counties held its annual Education and Policy Conference Feb. 14-16 in Dallas County. Officials from Texas' most populous counties received an update from Rep. Victoria Neave Criado (D-Dallas) on Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock). SB 4, which is set to take effect March 5 pending a lawsuit in federal court, allows Texas police officers to arrest people suspected of crossing the border illegally. Additionally, Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) provided an update on his ongoing efforts to preserve local control.

    Throughout the conference, officials heard from an array of experts on subjects ranging from mental health to land development. Attendees were also briefed on the use of artificial intelligence by local governments and heard from the Texas Department of Information Resources on the requirements and availability of funds for a new cybersecurity grant program.

    For more information about the conference, please contact Katy Estrada.

    County and District Clerks Meet for Winter Conference

    The County & District Clerks' Association of Texas (CDCAT) held its winter conference Jan. 29-Feb. 1 in Denton. There were 392 registered attendees. The legislative committee met to begin discussions on CDCAT's legislative agenda for next year's legislative session. Legislation may be pre-filed in November. The committee will meet again July 7-11 in Rockwall at CDCAT's annual conference to continue discussions and prioritize the association's legislative agenda.

    For more information about the County & District Clerks' Association, please contact Nanette Forbes.    

    Candidates Busy as Early Voting Opens

    Early voting began Tuesday and will remain open through March 1 ahead of the March 5 primary elections. In Texas, few general election races are closely contested, placing us firmly in peak campaign season. Incumbents vying for a return to office and challengers looking to unseat them are busy making their cases at candidate forums, walking door to door and filling mailboxes and airwaves with their messages.

    Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), several of his committee chairs, and the longest-serving member of the Railroad Commission are among the incumbents making their case to voters. While the January 2025 start of the 89th Legislature may seem far away, much about it will be told in the coming days. "Beware the ides of March" indeed.

    Newly elected Rep. Jill Dutton (R-Ben Wheeler), who prevailed in a special election runoff for House District 2 and was sworn in just days ago, must immediately defend her seat against fellow Republican and second-place finisher Brent Money. The winner will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

    Even if every incumbent wins reelection, the House and Senate will have many new faces next year. Eighteen incumbent Representatives, some 12% of the House, are sure not to be back. In the 31-member Senate, at least two districts will change hands. Those vacancies were created by lawmakers who decided not to run for reelection or who have sought or are seeking another office. The list:

    • Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), House District 6.
    • Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-College Station), House District 12.
    • Rep. John Raney (R-College Station), House District 14.
    • Rep. Ed Thompson (R-Pearland), House District 29.
    • Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), House District 30.
    • Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown), House District 34.
    • Rep. Andrew S. Murr (R-Junction), House District 53.
    • Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson (R-Waco), House District 56.
    • Rep. Evelina "Lina" Ortega (D-El Paso), House District 77.
    • Rep. Tracy King (D-Uvalde), House District 80.
    • Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo), House District 87.
    • Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth), House District 97.
    • Rep. Victoria Neave Criado (D-Dallas), House District 107.
    • Rep. Carl Sherman (D-DeSoto), House District 109.
    • Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D-Rowlett), House District 113.
    • Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch), House District 115.
    • Rep. Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston), House District 139.
    • Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), Senate District 15.
    • Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster), Senate District 30.

    Current election information may be viewed on the Secretary of State's website.

    For more information about this article, please contact Pete Winkler.