Legislative Update > 2017 Legislative Updates > May, 12, 2017 (Vol. 6, Issue 17)

May, 12, 2017 (Vol. 6, Issue 17)

This Edition

  • Higher Education: Where Are the Bills?
  • It’s All about Deadlines
  • Recruit Texas Moves Forward
  • TX Lege Download
  • Bills to Watch
  • Finis – What’s Going on in D.C.?

Higher Education: Where Are the Bills?

As this legislative session winds down, time is not on our side. We are working diligently with House and Senate members and their staffs on bills of importance, including the baccalaureate bills HB 971, HB 4092 and SB 2118. This week, SB 2118 was referred to the House Higher Education committee, which held a formal meeting and voted to send it on to the Calendars committee. SB 2118 contains an amendment which includes early childhood education among the bachelor’s degrees that specific community colleges would be allowed to offer. 

ACTION ALERT: We are asking you to please contact the Calendars committee members and ask them to support SB 2118 and to schedule it for a vote on the House floor. 

At the same time, a push was in the works for HB 971 and HB 4092 to be scheduled for a full House vote before that chamber’s deadline. (For information about deadlines, read more below.) HB 971 was scheduled for a vote on May 10; unfortunately, the heavy workload in the Texas House prevented members from taking any action. As a result, HB 971 and HB 4092 died before the full House took a vote.  

It's All about Deadlines

Deadlines, deadlines. As you know, barring a special session, the last day of the 85th Texas Legislative session will occur on Monday, May 29. (There goes the day off our legislative advocacy staff!) Even though that date is two weeks away, deadlines which have an impact on House bills began this week. For example, Monday was the last day that a House bill could be voted out of a House committee, and Thursday was the last day the House chamber could pass a House bill on second reading. If you recall from our previous legislative lessons, in many Capitol Updates past, a bill must be read three times on the floor for it officially to be voted out of the chamber. Many House bills met their fate on Thursday. 

If you would like to track other deadlines, several are listed below; here’s the link to a helpful calendar here.   

Thursday, May 11, 2017 (122nd day)

This is the last day for the House to consider House bills and House joint resolutions on second reading on the Daily or Supplemental Calendar. 

Friday, May 12, 2017 (123rd day)

This is the last day for the House to consider consent House bills on second and third readings plus all third-reading House bills or House joint resolutions on the Supplemental Calendar. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017, by 9 a.m. (128th day)

This date is the deadline for the Texas House to distribute its last House Local and Consent Calendar with local house bills. 

Friday, May 19, 2017 (130th day)

This date is the last day for the House to consider local House bills on second and third readings. It’s also the first day that the Senate can consider bills and resolutions on the first day they are posted on the Senate Intent Calendar. 

Recruit Texas Moves Forward

On Thursday, HB 108 by Rep. Carol Alvarado – otherwise known as Recruit Texas – passed the House. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. The House vote was 115-30. 

After the initial committee hearing, Rep. Alvarado offered a committee substitute that removed the fiscal note and included a “claw-back” provision. 

TX Lege Download

You now know the deadlines and are familiar with the legislative process. It’s crunch time. As one state representative noted, “We’ll be working 24/7.” Darn it, that Starbucks gift card just ran out – time for the download. 

  • Let the litigation wars begin. On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4, banning “sanctuary cities.” The governor went millennial and signed the bill on Facebook Live. This bill allows police officers to ask for a person’s legal status, even if the person is not under arrest. Critics say this law will lead to racial profiling. Here are several stories: Univision 45, Fox 7, KUT, Texas Observer, Yahoo! News, Hoy Tamaulipas
  • What the government giveth, it taketh away. The House passed SB 500, which would take away an elected official’s pension and force that person out of office if convicted of public corruption or other felonies. Read more in the Texas Tribune, Houston Chronicle
  • SB 7 passed the Senate and the House chambers. The bill’s description says it relates “to improper relationships between educators and students and reporting of educator misconduct; creating a criminal offense and expanding the applicability of an existing offense; authorizing an administrative penalty.” 
  • It failed. No…wait – it passed! After failing on Wednesday night by one vote (70-71), HB 245 was reconsidered and passed by the full House. The bill would add teeth to a previous law which requires law enforcement agencies in Texas to send a report to the attorney general’s office any time an officer is involved in a shooting which results in injury or death. 
  • On Thursday night, we saw tears and heard yelling. ICYMI: Thursday afternoon, the Texas Freedom Caucus threatened to derail Friday’s local and consent calendars. They can do that by gathering at least five signatures. At 10:52 a.m. on Friday, May 12, the Texas Freedom Caucus took that step: they had the needed signatures to remove all bills from local and consent. What does that mean? It means those bills are dead and will not move forward. Here are some related articles: Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Austin American Statesman.

 

The bills on the local and consent calendars that died Friday, with signatures of the State Representatives.

With so much going on at the capitol, all we can say is: “Are you not entertained?” 

Bills to Watch 

Listed below are bills of importance to DCCCD. We track these and other bills that may have an impact on our district during the legislative session. You can view those House and Senate bills by visiting our site

  • Funding for community colleges
    • We are seeking $1.834 billion in general revenue for core operations, student success and instruction for community colleges.
    • Our community colleges have grown 62 percent since 2000.
  • Early childhood education: Sen. West, SB 534; Rep. Giddings, HB 971; Sen. Seliger, SB 2118
    • SB 2118 has been voted out of the House Higher Education Committee and sent to Calendars committee
    • HB 971 passed the House committee and was scheduled for a full House vote on May 10. Bill was not heard on the floor.
    • SB 534 has been referred to Higher Education Committee.
    • The Dallas County job market is experiencing a shortage of more than 4,000 early childhood educators.
    • The bill will offer the choice of a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
    • It supports the governor’s mission of a quality pre-kindergarten.
    • This goal can be achieved without adding a fiscal cost for the state.
  • Workforce development: “Recruit Texas” Rep. Alvarado, HB 108
    • On Thursday, May 11, it was voted out of the House.
    • On Thursday, March 23, it was heard in committee and left pending.
    • HB 108 has been referred to the Economic and Small Business Development Meeting.
    • We want to ensure that Texas remains competitive and is the #1 place for economic development and workforce training.
    • “Recruit Texas” redirects current funds within the Texas Workforce Commission.
    • The program can include assessment, employee recruitment, safety training and leadership development.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
    • For every $1 invested in TX SBDC, $5.85 in tax revenue is generated.
    • Statewide there are four SBDC lead offices, one is housed at the Dallas County Community College District.
    • SBDC conducts research, counsels and trains business people in managing, financing and operating small businesses.
    • SBDC plays a pivotal role in driving the Texas economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state. We believe in keeping the Texas economy strong by funding SBDC. 

Interested in learning more about other bills? Visit our legislative bill tracker to learn the status of several bills. As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. 

Finis – What’s Going on in D.C.?

We haven’t intentionally skipped the D.C. update. Because this week’s report is jam-packed with Austin news, we have taken the extra space to provide you with more information about what’s happening in the state Capitol. Of course, there’s plenty of action in D.C. as well. Hello, Comey! However, as the session winds down, we want to share news about bills that may have a direct impact on DCCCD faculty and staff members as well as our students.