BLOG: Looking Back at January of the 88th Session
The start of the 88th Legislative Session for the Texas House of Representatives began on January 10th, 2023, where 86 Republican members of the Caucus were welcomed back to the Capitol. On the opening day of session, the House’s first order of business was to elect a Speaker of the House. Republican State Representative Dade Phelan of Beaumont was elected for his second term as Speaker. Speaker Phelan laid out a few of the chamber’s priorities for the session, including:
Providing lasting, meaningful property tax relief;
Increasing access to and giving patients greater control over their healthcare;
Prioritizing criminal justice reform, DA accountability, and public safety;
Utilizing the state’s once-in-a-lifetime budget surplus to improve infrastructure;
Fighting back against the exploitation, sexualization, and indoctrination of Texas children;
Making schools safer for students and teachers;
Extending postpartum health coverage for new mothers to a full year; and
Addressing the threats posed by a porous Southern border.
After electing Speaker Phelan, the House had to adopt rules in order to ensure efficiency and fairness in the House’s processes. These measures include new punishments for members who break quorum, including fines, reprimands, censure proceedings or expulsion. These rules will be used by the Texas House throughout the 88th Legislative Session.
As of January 31st, there have been more than 1,800 bills filled in the Texas House. This number will continue to grow until the March 10th bill filing deadline. These bills will begin to be referred to committees after Speaker Phelan releases committee assignments for this session. The 34 standing committees will be hard at work reviewing legislation until the end of the 88th Regular Session on May 29th.
The House also introduced the House’s Proposed State Budget and Supplemental Bill in January. The proposed budget appropriates $288.7 billion, a decrease of $8.5 billion or 2.9 percent. State General Revenue (GR) spending totals $130.1 Billion, an increase of $11.9 billion or 10.1 percent, while remaining well below the Pay as You Go limit, constitutional tax spending limit, and the newly created consolidated general revenue limit. More highlights of the proposed budget can be found here on our website.
As February gets underway, the pace of the Texas House is picking up speed. To make sure you don’t miss a minute, be sure to watch the House’s proceedings live via the Video-Audio section of the Texas House website and check the archives to watch committee hearings you may have missed.