Legislative Roundup: May 22

UPDATE: May 23

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen have come to an agreement about the differences in the House and Senate versions of House Bill 3.  Although specific language from HB3 isn’t available yet, a press conference summary reports that the following are included: funding for full-day pre-K, an increase in the base funding per student, a reduction in recapture payments, and funding for districts that want to create a merit pay program. It also includes funding for “dynamic teacher compensation” tied to the base funding per student for teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses. Both chambers still need to sign off on the bill, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen has stated that the vote will take place as soon as possible.

The 86th Texas Legislature concludes next Monday, May 27. It meets biennially, and the budget that the Texas Legislature sets is in place for two years.

Senate Bill 29 was defeated in the House this week. The bill would have prohibited school districts, cities, and counties from paying dues or fees to associations to advocate on their behalf and was a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

House Bill 3, a school finance reform bill, is still being discussed in a conference committee that includes five Senators and five House members. Some of the biggest differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill focuses on teacher salary increases, merit pay, outcomes-based funding, and increased testing.

As this session enters its last few days, legislators must adhere to very important deadlines:

  • May 21: last day Senate bills can be considered for the first time in the House
  • May 22: last day the House can consider Senate bills on a local and consent calendar, which is for uncontested legislation, for the first time
  • May 24: last day the House can decide whether to accept or negotiate Senate changes to bills
  • May 26: last day the House and Senate can vote on final versions of bills they’ve been negotiating
  • June 16: last day the Governor can veto legislation passed by the House and Senate

For more information:

Make sure to see the Klein Leadership Coalition Website for additional resources.