Legislative Action Alerts and Status Report
May 5, 2023 (Day 115 of 140 of the 88th Texas Legislature)
The Race to the Finish Line!
We are at the stage of session where deadlines are looming and every bill is jockeying for position to be able to get across the line in time. For Texas House bills, the looming deadline is next Thursday, May 11 at midnight. Bills starting in the House have to be voted on for the first of two votes (called second reading) by that deadline. To get there, the Calendars Committee has to place the bills the House calendar.
The problem is at the end of the session, usually the House Democrats start engaging in stalling tactics that puts the actual progress behind schedule, so that bills placed on the calendar for Wednesday and especially Thursday are in grave danger of dying. As of this evening, the calendars for Saturday, May 6 and Monday, May 8 are set. To have a realistic chance of passing, House bills have to be on the Tuesday, May 9 calendar. And for that to happen, bills need to be in Calendars tomorrow.
The Texas Senate has later deadlines and looser interpretations of that and Senate bills heard in the House have later deadlines, so Senate bills, especially still have hope, too.
Our Money Bills Status – Hope is Alive, But it Will be a Close Run Thing
While maddeningly close to the edge, HJR 146 is on pace to get the vote in time and to get the 2/3 of the chamber it needs. On Wednesday, HJR 146 got a bipartisan unanimous vote of 7-0 to send it sailing out of committee. As of this moment, the paperwork has been distributed, and we need one more step completed to place it in Calendars. Chair Gio Capriglione is confident that we will get it to Calendars and get it on the House Calendar in time to get it passed.
Encouragingly, my tweet about passage of HJR 146 has 21.7K views as of this writing. I have only recently started using Twitter, and this is by far the biggest reach I have ever gotten there. Click here to see Giovanni Capriglione’s layout of HJR 146 and my testimony on it.
If you have not done so, use this link to send an email to Calendars to encourage quick passage.
HB 4903 Dorazio / SB 2334 Hughes -- Digital Gold Backed 100% by Texas Bullion Depository
Rep Dorazio beat Chair Capriglione to the punch in getting his bill out of committee, but sadly, the behind-the-scenes and completely out-of-our-control process of getting the required paperwork together and to Calendars is behind that of HJR 146. That means HB 4903, at least starting in the House, is in danger of dying there.
But Senator Hughes is riding to the rescue in the Senate! His SB 2334 companion to HB 4903 has been scheduled for a hearing on Monday in Senate Finance that starts at 9:00 am in E1.036. The troops that produced a wonderful hearing in House State Affairs are gearing up to do it again on Monday in front of Senate Finance Chair Joan Huffman and the largest Senate committee that includes over half the Senate. A motivated Senate has the time to get this to the House in time for final passage.
Use this link to email the Senate Finance Committee members, urging them to pass SB 2334 out of committee on Monday, the same day it is heard.
SCR 25 – Parker – Texas Resolution Opposing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)
We had a wonderful hearing on SCR 25 on Tuesday, May 2. It is out of committee and placed on Senate Local & Consent to give it maximum speed to the Senate floor. Rep Gio Capriglione is ready to pick up the torch when it gets to the House.
I had the opportunity to talk about the threat of CBDC and these three legislative approaches to resistance on the KTRH Houston Morning News show with Jimmy Barrett and Shara Fryer. Click here to hear that interview.
Border Security on Track!
The big House border security bills are HB 20 Schaefer, HB 7 Guillen, and HB 82 Spiller (identical interstate compact companion SB 1403 Parker). HB 7 and HB 82 are in Calendars. HB 20 got the bill analysis and committee report filed with the Committee coordinator late this afternoon. Multiple sources are confident that House leadership will ensure that HB 7 and HB 20 will get a vote in time to make it to the Senate. One more step and we will get to see on TLO the exact language that will be going to the floor for HB 20.
SB 1403 has passed the Senate and out of House State Affairs. It Is now positioned to be substituted for HB 82 when HB 82 makes it to the calendar, so that SB 1403 gets final passage.
Use this link to encourage Calendars to move HB 20, HB7, and HB 82 quickly.
Known Upcoming Bill Hearings Week of May 8
Monday, May 8:
Senate Finance: (9:00 am, E1.036)
SB 2334 – Hughes – Digital currency 100% backed by gold in Texas Bullion Depository (Great Reset)
See comments above.
Wednesday, May 10:
Senate Health & Human Services: (8:00 am, Senate Chamber)
HB 44 – Swanson, sponsored in Senate by Middleton – Prohibits anti-vax discrimination by Medicaid and CHIP health providers. (Medical Freedom)
House Pensions, Investments & Financial Services: (8:00 am, E2.014)
SB 1446 Hughes – Requires Texas pension systems to invest based on fiduciary responsibility and not using any system assets that “take any action with a purpose of furthering social, political, or ideological interests.” Use this link to remotely comment in support of SB 1446. NOTE: This is the only bill being heard in the hearing, so you need to be there at latest by 8:00 am to testify. I just hope that Senate Health & Services does not lead off with HB 44 at the same time.
We need to get moving over the weekend on the action items embedded above. When I have a bit more time later during the weekend, I plan to do a comprehensive look at how other parts of the Texas Constitutional Enforcement Legislative Agenda are progressing.