BLOG: LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHTS OF APRIL
With April over, the 88th Legislative Session is rapidly approaching its end. In the past month, the Texas House voted on many significant bills, and we’re excited to highlight these latest legislative developments. We’re highlighting the key bills that made headway in April, so scroll through to see how House Republicans are making Texas better.
Property Tax Relief Act
This April, the Texas House passed Representative Morgan Meyer’s House Bill 2, also referred to as the Property Tax Relief Act. This bill delivers the most significant property tax reduction in the state’s history, lowering school district property taxes and limiting yearly appraisal increases. Thanks to these measures, homeowners can expect to save hundreds of dollars each year.
One Pill Kills: Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis
The Texas House is dedicated to passing legislation to help combat the fentanyl crisis in Texas. Representative Craig Goldman’s House Bill 6 tackles this issue by imposing harsher criminal penalties for fentanyl-related offenses and introducing two new criminal offenses for the production and distribution of certain opioids.
Developing Texas Infrastructure
House Bill 9 by Representative Trent Ashby establishes the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund to build out affordable and universal access to high-speed internet, a crucial step toward enhancing the quality of life for Texans while also boosting their economic prospects. By increasing internet access across the state, House Bill 9 will open up a world of possibilities for Texans to thrive and prosper.
Protecting Texans Online
House Bill 18 by Representative Shelby Slawson, also known as the SCOPE Act, aims to protect children from the harmful effects of social media by requiring parental consent for minors to use digital services. It also requires disclosure of advertising and provides parents with more control over their children’s online settings, further protecting children from big tech’s push of harmful and deceptive advertising.
Improving School Safety in Texas
Two important House bills, House Bill 3 by Representative Dustin Burrows House Bill 13 by Representative Ken King, enhance school safety and security in Texas. House Bill 13 provides greater funding for school safety and mental health services, while House Bill 3 requires at least one armed security guard in each school and enhances school safety standards.
With the passage of House Bills 3 and 13, the Texas House is one step closer to better protecting children and educators in Texas classrooms.
House Bill 900, the READER Act, by Representative Jared Patterson, creates parameters for the library materials sold to and included in public school libraries, preventing sexually explicit and inappropriate literature from being distributed to children. This will empower parents and put them back in charge of the material presented to their children while they are in school.
Sponsored by Representative Greg Bonnen, Senate Bill 10 provides a cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers in Texas, giving eligible educators a one-time cost-of-living increase and issuing $5,000 to the state’s oldest retirees.
Representative Gary VanDeaver’s House Bill 8 establishes a new funding model for community colleges in Texas. House Bill 8 is focused on recognizing and rewarding such institutions for the important role they play with associate degrees, non-credit workforce education programs and other credentials of value that will be required for more than 60% of jobs in the state over the next decade.
The Texas Regulatory Consistency Act
House Bill 2127, The Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, by Representative Dustin Burrows, is a critical piece of legislation that brings regulatory uniformity to Texas. House Bill 2127 will help Texans, businesses, and local governments navigate regulations with greater ease and certainty, leading to a more stable and prosperous economic environment.
As we near the end of the 88th Legislative Session, it’s important to reflect on the crucial bills passed by the Texas House and Senate in April. These bills will have a significant impact on Texans' daily lives, and we encourage you to stay tuned for further updates on the progress of these bills and other vital legislation as we make our way through the final month of the 88th Legislative Session.