TEXAS COUNCIL for
DEVELOPMENTAL
DISABILITIES

Texas Legislative News: Nov. 18, 2022

TX Legislative News

Welcome to the first edition of Texas Legislative News for the 88th Texas Legislature. In this weekly feature, we’ll provide information on disability-related issues that are being considered at the Texas State Capitol. We’ll also include overviews of how business is conducted by lawmakers and details on upcoming TCDD events.

Elections Wrap-Up

Texas held its general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Statewide officials and all 181 legislative seats were on the ballot. Unlike much of the nation, Texans saw very few surprises once votes were counted. This is primarily due to a redistricting process that resulted in a minimal number of competitive seats in the state House and Senate. Going into the next session, Republicans will maintain their control of the governorship and the Legislature. When compared to the last session, Republicans gained a single seat in the Texas Senate; they now have a 19-12 majority in the body. Republicans also increased their majority by one seat in the House, leaving that chamber with an 86-64 split.

Bill Filing Begins

The Monday after the general election is the first day for lawmakers to file bills for the upcoming legislative session—known as “pre-filing.” The number of pre-filled bills ran up quickly; over 900 pieces of legislation were filed on Nov. 14. To put that into perspective, a total of about 7,000 bills have been filed in each of the past three legislative sessions.

Pre-filed bills are generally comprised of proposals that were filed last session but didn’t pass, some “messaging” bills that capitalize on a current hot topic, and lawmakers’ top priorities. Legislators may pre-file a bill to immediately demonstrate to voters and constituents what the legislators’ goals are for the session, to promote their legislation and find support, and to bid for an early hearing on the bill once committees are announced in January or February.

Several of the pre-filed bills relate to disability issues, including the following:

  • House Bill (HB) 211 by Rep. Mary González, relating to the regulation of child care facilities and registered family homes providing services to children with disabilities.
  • HB 245 by Rep. Mary González, relating to community attendants under the community attendant services program.
  • HB 272 by Rep. Julie Johnson, relating to the terminology used to refer to an individualized education program team.
  • HB 296 by Rep. John Bucy III, relating to accommodating voters with a disability.
  • Senate Bill (SB) 55 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, relating to a study and report by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding best practices for assisting students with autism spectrum disorder.
  • SB 139 by Sen. Royce West, relating to allowing therapy or facility dogs to accompany a child or a person with a disability during testimony in certain criminal cases.

 

TCDD staff will review all the disability-related bills under consideration by lawmakers. We will highlight some of them in future updates. Please stay tuned!

Happy Thanksgiving!

TCDD Legislative News will take a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will return on Monday, Dec. 5.

Stay Informed

To stay up-to-date regarding how disability-related issues are being addressed by the Legislature, subscribe to our newsletter. To receive additional notifications, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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