Thursday, May 13, was a major deadline for the Texas House as it was the final date for its regular daily calendar to include bills that originated in that legislative chamber.
When the day started, House members moved slowly through their 25-page-long calendar with many members offering amendments and raising objections, known as “points of order,” to legislation. The debate was also slowed by a practice called “chubbing,” in which lawmakers discuss measures at extraordinary length to either delay or prevent the consideration of certain bills.
By midnight, the House had only gotten to page 13 of its calendar. This meant nearly 200 bills that were on the calendar and hundreds more that never made it onto the House schedule effectively died for the session. Those proposals may still be included as amendments to other bills, or they may have identical Senate versions still in play. But for most of the unpassed bills, the window of opportunity narrowed substantially.
The following day, House members were able to consider House bills on their consent calendar, which is typically reserved for bills that are not expected to cost the state money and were voted out of committee with no opposition. House members have until this Friday, May 21, to consider House bills on their local calendar, which is generally comprised of bills targeted to a specific area of Texas rather than the entire state. Primarily, however, the House will now focus on considering Senate bills.
The Senate’s rules allow it to consider both Senate bills and House bills through next week. But the chamber must keep in mind the House’s deadlines and estimate the last day the Senate may send a bill over to the House if the bill is to have a realistic chance of passing both chambers. That deadline should occur within the next few days, as we are now just two weeks away from the end of the session.
Hearings To Watch
This section includes a sample of the hearings that we are monitoring this week. During these hearings, legislative committees may consider important disability-related bills. To receive notifications about new hearings that are scheduled with short notice, follow us on Twitter. You can find live and archived broadcasts of committee hearings on the House and Senate websites.
The Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on Monday morning, May 17, and discussed House Bill (HB) 4080 by Rep. Jacey Jetton. The bill relates to the issuance of autism awareness specialty license plates.
The House Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday morning, May 18, on the following notable bills:
- SB 1808 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, relating to the regulation of providers of Medicaid services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- SB 1921 by Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., relating to Medicaid reimbursement for behavioral health and physical health services
The Senate Business and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday morning, May 18, to discuss HB 4477 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson. The bill relates to the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.
The House Insurance Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday morning, May 18, on the following notable bills:
- SB 1648 by Sen. Charles Perry, relating to the provision of benefits to Medicaid recipients with complex medical needs
- SB 2028 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, relating to the Medicaid program, including the administration and operation of the Medicaid managed-care program
The House Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday morning, May 19, to discuss SB 1071 by Sen. Chuy Hinojosa. The bill relates to disability retirement benefits for peace officers under the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
To stay up to date regarding how disability-related issues are being addressed by the Legislature, subscribe to TCDD eNews. On our website, you can find legislative resources and video updates from TCDD Policy Director Scott Daigle on what’s happening at the Capitol. To receive additional notifications, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.