During the 86th Texas Legislature, the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) provides regular updates on disability-related issues that are being considered at the Capitol.
Crunch Time at the Capitol
As of today — Tuesday, May 21 — there are just six days left in the 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. Rather than slow down, the work of lawmakers tends to speed up during these final days and hours of session.
Over the course of the next two days, dozens — perhaps even hundreds — of bills will be passed in the House and Senate. Bills that had identical versions passed in both chambers will go directly to the Governor for approval or rejection. For bills that passed both chambers but ultimately were not identical, decisions will be made whether to accept the changes or to request a conference committee. If a conference committee is appointed, then compromise language will need to be approved by both the House and the Senate no later than Sunday, May 26. Once the clock hits midnight on Sunday, anything left pending is officially dead, as the final day of session (Monday, May 27) typically consists of just technical corrections to bills and speeches from members who are opting to not run for re-election after this term.
Here are a few of the major issues that are still to be decided in the coming days:
- House Bill (HB) 1, the state budget for the next biennium (see our overview of some of the disability-related issues still being worked out)
- HB 3, the session’s major school finance legislation
- Senate Bill (SB) 2, the session’s major property tax reform bill
- SB 11, creating new statutory provisions related to school safety
- SB 12, to shore-up Texas’ Teacher Retirement System
- SB 500, the supplemental appropriations bill, which will fund outstanding obligations for the current biennium
You can check-out one of our previous updates for the list of deadlines that lawmakers are facing in the remaining days of session.
Disability-Related Bills Advance at the Legislature
Last week, the disability-related bills listed below were passed by the full Texas House or Texas Senate, after having already passed in the other respective chamber. These bills will now go to the Governor for approval or rejection:
- SB 31, relating to establishing a guardianship abuse, fraud, and exploitation deterrence program.
- SB 281, relating to the use of certain language regarding a person who is deaf or hard of hearing in statutes or resolutions.
- SB 536, relating to associate judges for guardianship proceedings and protective services proceedings in certain courts.
- SB 1784, relating to the deduction from applied income of compensation paid to guardians of certain Medicaid recipients.
- SB 2038, relating to a report by the Texas Workforce Commission regarding occupational skills training for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For the bills listed below, the House will decide whether to accept changes made by the Senate or to request a conference committee to work out the differences:
- HB 601, relating to procedures and reporting requirements regarding criminal defendants who are or may be persons with a mental illness or an intellectual disability.
- HB 684, relating to the care of students with seizure disorders and the training requirements for certain school personnel regarding seizure recognition and related first aid.
- HB 1735, relating to sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking at public and private postsecondary educational institutions; providing an administrative penalty.