With a little over three weeks of session left, I have passed twenty-four of my bills through the Senate and over to the House so far. Three of those bills are already on Governor Abbott’s desk, waiting to be signed into law. In this next week, I expect to have more bills voted over to the House and sent to the Governor.
I also wanted to provide you all with an update on the Lt. Governor’s top thirty priority bills, which have all been passed over to the House! These top thirty priorities include legislation that will provide Texans major property tax relief, empower parents, protect children, and support our law enforcement. Below is a list of all thirty priority bills:
- SB 1 Establishes the state budget for fiscal years 2024-2025, this bill has become HB 1.
- SB 2 Restore the penalty for voting illegally to a second-degree felony. This was the penalty for the last 50 years until the 2021 second special session when it was changed on an un-debated amendment.
- SB 3 Will increase the Homestead Exemption from $40k to $70k. For those over 65 years old, it will increase the homestead exemption by an extra $30K for a total exemption of $100K, resulting in over $1,000 in savings a year.
- SB 4 Allocates $5.38 billion to compress ISD tax rates and reduce recapture for many districts, including schools in our district.
- SB 5 increases inventory tax exemptions for businesses from $2,500 to $25,000, giving some businesses a 20% tax credit. This could save businesses $1.5 billion!
- SB 6 Guarantees 10,000 new megawatts for the electric grid by establishing the Texas Energy Insurance Program. This would be enough to power 2 million homes during peak electricity demand!
- SB 7 Addresses electricity market uncertainty by establishing an additional service for dispatchable generators and a calculation that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) can use to require generation to firm up power grid reliability.
- SB 8 Creates education savings account of $8,000 per child per school year so parents have the freedom to send their children to the school of their choice.
- SB 9 Raises teacher salaries across the board, with additional compensation for teachers in small and mid-sized districts, and it further rewards Texas’ best teachers with increased compensation bonuses.
- SB 10 Supports our retired teachers by giving a 2% cost of living adjustment for all retired educators who have been retired for 2 to 9 years and a 4% cost of living adjustment for retired educators who have been retired for 10 years or more. The bill would also provide a one-time $7,500 check to approximately 186,000 retired educators aged 75 and over.
- SB 11 Secures out schools, by ensuring all schools receive the funding they need for adequate security measures. This bill also establishes the Office of School Safety and Security, school safety review teams, and requires that student discipline records are shared between schools when a student transfers.
- SB 12 Prevents drag shows from being performed in front of children.
- SB 13 Prevents school districts from purchasing obscene materials which contain graphic sexual content for school libraries. To further protect children I added an amendment to this bill to ensure that the law can’t be circumvented simply by someone donating obscene material to a school library.
- SB 14 Protects Texas children from medically unnecessary, irreversible gender modification treatments and prohibits physicians and health care providers from performing sex change surgeries or prescribing puberty blockers.
- SB 15 Protects and keeps women’s college sports fair by ensuring that biological males can not compete against biological women.
- SB 16 Bans critical race theory from being taught in Texas Universities. Last session, I was proud to support legislation that was passed to ban CRT from being taught in K-12 education.
- SB 17 Bans the establishment of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offices and hiring practices at Texas universities. The practice of DEI has grown on college campuses and seeks to divide people by putting them into categories.
- SB 18 Prohibits Texas universities from granting an employee tenure or any kind of permanent employment status. Tenure has created a lack of accountability on college campuses and has led some professors to promote radicalized stances.
- SB 19 Creates the Texas University Fund (TUF). The TUF will provide an endowment worth $3.5 billion for research expenditures that will benefit research universities in Texas including our own University of North Texas as well as Texas Tech, Texas State, and the University of Houston.
- SB 20 Removes District Attorneys and Judges who refuse to follow and enforce Texas Law, such as those who refuse to arrest criminals or release these criminals without bail.
- SB 21 Removes District Attorneys and Judges who refuse to follow and enforce Texas Law, such as those who refuse to arrest criminals or release these criminals without bail.
- SB 22 Establishes a grant program for sheriff’s departments and prosecutor’s offices in the 236 Texas counties with a population of less than 300,000. This is the bill that I authored, and I am very honored that Lt. Governor Patrick included this in his top thirty priorities.
- SB 23 Creates a mandatory 10-Year Prison sentence for criminals committing gun crimes.
- SB 24 Codifies the “Texas Pregnancy and Parenting Support Network” (formerly known as the Alternatives to Abortion program) in order to fund services to families to promote healthy pregnancy and childbirth, family formation, and help families achieve economic sufficiency.
- SB 25 Addresses Texas’s nursing shortage by establishing programs to help with student loan repayment and scholarships for registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and nurses who are seeking or have already obtained their degrees.
- SB 26 Will help rural Texans by increasing mental health services for those who are currently underserved. The bill will create an “Innovation Grant” program to direct state funding to improve mental health bed capacity and services across Texas.
- SB 27 Will create a new state district court to hear business cases involving transactions larger than $10 million.
- SB 28 Ensures Texas’s future water needs are met by upgrading water infrastructure, especially in rural communities.
- SB 29 Prohibits any governmental entity from imposing mask or vaccine mandates or closing private businesses and schools in response to COVID-19.
- SB 30 Provides for a state supplemental budget.
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