BLOG: Texas House Republicans Achieve Numerous Victories in the 88th Session
The 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature concluded on Monday, May 29. We accomplished a great deal of conservative achievements over the last 5 months. We were able to deliver on key priorities established by Republican leaders at the beginning of the session, from securing our schools to supporting Texas businesses to addressing the fentanyl crisis.
The Texas House passed a strong budget that invests in Texas and prioritizes tax relief, public schools, and much more.
HB 1 by Rep. Greg Bonnen allocates $321.3 billion for the state budget in fiscal years 2024-2025. Some of the topline figures from the budget include: $17.6 billion appropriated to tax relief, $8.9 billion for public schools, $9.4 billion for the development of mental health services, $5.1 billion for border security, $1.4 billion for school safety, and $1 billion for financing new water projects.
Expanding broadband access and securing water for the next generation of Texans were top priorities for the Texas House.
SB 28 establishes the New Water Supply for Texas Fund and the Texas Water Fund to improve water access and security.
BUSINESS AND COMMERCE
Texas House Republicans were able to pass business friendly legislation this session that will keep Texas the #1 state to do business.
House Bill 19 by Rep. Andrew Murr creates a much-needed business court system in Texas, establishing a legal process for complex business cases that aims to solve such matters in a fair, streamlined and consistent manner.
House Bill 2127 by Rep. Dustin Burrows provides regulatory certainty by creating a level playing field across the state of Texas, limiting local municipalities from imposing restrictions on local businesses.
This session the Texas House passed bills to better fund and arm our agencies, towns, and Texans in defending our communities from the fentanyl crisis.
House Bill 6 by Rep. Craig Goldman delivers swift punishment for fentanyl-related crimes in Texas, creating and increasing penalties for manufacturing or delivering fentanyl in Texas. This, along with other bills, helps communities and agencies combat the ongoing crisis in an appropriate manner.
PROTECTING TEXANS ONLINE
There is a recent and alarming trend of companies illegally harvesting Texans data and using this data to create and implement harmful algorithms. Texas House Republicans passed data privacy bills aimed at protecting Texans, and their children, in the digital landscape.
House Bill 4, the Data Privacy and Protection Act, by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione cracks down on companies that for too long have profited off of Texans’ personal information by granting Texans new rights related to their data privacy, including parental rights to protect their children.
House Bill 18, the SCOPE Act, by Rep. Shelby Slawson creates a number of tools for parents to have more of a say over the way that data is shared, including the ability to know what kind of data is being collected and the power to delete it.
EDUCATION AND SCHOOL SAFETY
Texas House Republicans were able to make great strides in supplying Texas schools with the resources they need to properly support our educators and protect school children in future emergency situations.
House Bill 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows further defines the roles and responsibilities of the Texas School Safety Center as well as the Texas Education Agency, ensuring that school safety standards can be properly enforced.
Senate Bill 10 delivers a cost-of-living adjustment for Texas retired teachers while maintaining the actuarial soundness of the Teacher Retirement System pension fund. All of these bills are aimed at improving our school safety standards and improving assistance to our educators.
HIGHER EDUCATION REFORM
With 60% of our workforce coming from Texas, higher education in Texas was a priority for the Texas House. The future of Texas’ workforce starts with us being able to supply our higher education institutions with resources, and the Texas House dedicated this session to supplying those.
House Bill 8 by Rep. Gary VanDeaver would establish a new funding model for community colleges in the state — one that 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.
Senate Bill 17 sets forth that higher education institutions cannot have an office that engages in hiring, implements policies, conducts training about, or provides preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, or ethnicity.
Senate Bill 18 improves the retention of professors at Texas’ institutions of higher education.