View March 2019 newsletter

Around the Texas Capitol
At session halfway point, it’s bills, bills, bills

By Shayne Woodard, J Pete Laney and Lauren Spreen
TAD Governmental Affairs

On Monday, the Texas Legislature hit the halfway point of its 140-day legislative session. Now the action really takes off.

We’ve been working hard to review all of the bills that have been filed this 86th legislative session. The deadline to file bills to be considered by the Texas Senate and House was 6 p.m., Friday, March 8. The filing deadline does not apply to local bills, concurrent resolutions or simple resolutions.

A total of 4,773 House bills and joint resolutions and 2,508 Senate bills and joint resolutions were filed for a total of 7,281 bills. Of that total, a whopping 2,830 were filed in the last week. How the number of bills filed by deadline compares to the past five sessions:

To take a look at any and all bills filed, click here.

This week, the full House will start taking up bills. Tuesday’s calendar had nine bills, and Wednesday’s calendar has eight bills that will be heard by the 150-member body.

To see the House and Senate Intent Calendars– the list of bills to be considered each day by both chambers – click here.

Here’s a look at other select legislative activity:

The House Natural Resources Committee met Tuesday, March 19 to take up a number of significant water bills:

On March 12, the House Natural Resources Committee took up HB 807 by Larson which would require the Interregional Planning Council to adopt a new state water plan every five years. Also consideredwas HB 1617 by Larson which would change the deadline by which the Texas Water Development Board is required to identify and designate brackish groundwater production zones from 2022 to 2032. Both bills were left pending.

Election brings one new Texas House member

The legislative session may be half over, but one more member is joining the Texas House of Representatives. Democrat Ray Lopez, a former San Antonio City Council member and former Northside ISD trustee, won the March 12 special election run-off to replace former state representative and now Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio). Lopez defeated Republican Fred Rangel. Representative-elect Lopez will be sworn into office on March 21.