Get the latest news for Texas' 86th legislative session.
Saying goodbye – to Dirk Nowitzki and potentially to high property taxes. Saying hello – potentially to a higher sales tax. Wait a minute! Say what? Okay. Let’s explain. On Thursday, the Texas House was scheduled to debate HB 2 aka the property tax bill. (Remember, it’s been in limbo on the Senate side.) Simply put, in one corner are counties and cities fighting against the 2.5% cap. In the other corner are the Governor, Lt. Governor, and House Speaker (the Big Three), all pushing for the cap. You can see the entire list of who testified on the bill here. In the spirit of transparency, community colleges are exempt from HB 2. Before the debate began, legislators had submitted 180 pre-filed amendments. And yes, we won’t even get into the likelihood of amendments to the amendments. Another bruising, marathon day was expected in the House. Shortly before 4 p.m., the Speaker of the House announced that HB 2 was postponed until Monday. Yes. Postponed. The reason given was that the House is working with the Senate on the bill. Stay tuned. A related article is here and in the #TXLege Download.But wait – there’s more! You say goodbye, I say hello. To make up for revenue loss, the Big Three – as they say under the dome – are saying hello to a potential sales tax increase. They believe a sales tax increase will buy down property tax rates for all Texans. Their proposal would raise the state's sales tax from 6.25% to 7.25%. It’s not an automatic increase. A few things need to happen…like HB 2. You can read the press release here and find related articles here and here. Hold on a minute. What’s next? What about HB 1? Glad you asked. HB 2 has been scheduled for Monday, and the Senate also anticipates it will take up SB 2, the companion bill, on Monday as well. HB 1, otherwise known as the budget bill, was voted out of the Senate chamber. Now a conference committee will be appointed to iron out the differences. This week, DCCCD Chancellor Joe May was invited by Rep. Michelle Beckley to testify on HB 4068 before the House Committee on Public Health. The bill, in part, would help address the high costs of vaccines the state requires for college students. To view the committee hearing, visit this link and scroll down to 4/10/19 Public Health. Dr. May's testimony begins at 3:47:00.
DCCCD Chancellor Joe May at the front table (first from left) testifies before members of the House Committee on Public Health.
When we visit with House and Senate members, Chancellor Joe May and DCCCD staffers have one primary goal: to advocate for our students and colleges on issues of importance. A few of those issues include:
Throughout the session, we will track these issues and bills that affect DCCCD as they make their way through the legislative process. We also will share more details about the issues listed above. As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. You can now email us at GovtAffairs@dcccd.edu or follow us on Twitter @DCCCDGovt.
Are you binge-watching TV shows or a certain TV show? People are bundling up in preparation, supposedly, for the last winter. Your Capitol Update team prefers to watch live local and consent video from the House floor or reruns of the Golden Girls. However, if you plan to catch up on a specific show involving dragons, you should have started your binge early this morning. Oh, you didn’t? Well then…now you have time to catch up on what’s happening at the Capitol with the #TXLege Download. Don’t worry. The download is dragon-free. You know the disclaimer.
All good things must come to an end. This week was the last game Dirk Nowitzki played as a Dallas Maverick. Many good stories about Dirk have been published, like this recent article. Similar but different, the 86th Texas Legislative session ends on May 27. Have you seen a bill that you aren’t happy with? Concerned about proper funding for public schools or colleges? The easiest way to track or find a bill is through the Texas Legislature Online page. Then you can contact your House or Senate member to voice your opinion.