Slight slowdown in the final weeks of the session | TCTA
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Slight slowdown in the final weeks of the session

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Capitol action has slowed down a bit this week. Many major bills have passed one chamber but not begun moving in the second, as each chamber is focusing on getting its own bills moving before deadlines set in. The first major deadline is next Monday, May 8, the last day that House bills can be reported out of House committees. This effectively means that any House bill that did not have a hearing in a House committee by this week is dead — though it is not unheard of for entire bills to be amended on to other legislation that is moving more quickly through the process.

The House Youth Health and Safety Committee did not hold a hearing this week, and the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee agenda only included one TRS-related bill. SB 1854 by Sen. Angela Paxton directs TRS to provide optional dental and vision plans under TRS-Care.

The House Public Education Committee had a shorter agenda than those of the last few weeks, hearing relatively minor bills, with some exceptions.

Of interest in the House Public Education Committee meeting:

  • HB 2677 by Rep. DeWayne Burns, which requires districts to adopt policies on workplace bullying, specifically including bullying of a teacher by a parent.
  • HB 2694 by Rep. Venton Jones, requiring districts to notify parents of any schools that do not have a nurse, counselor or librarian assigned to the campus during all instructional hours for 30 consecutive days. Rep. Jolanda Jones has a similar bill, HB 1281, that was also heard at this week’s meeting; it is limited to notification regarding a lack of nurses, and to districts with 10,000 or more students.
  • SB 1515, a bill by Sen. Phil King (sponsored in the House by Rep. Candy Noble) that would require classrooms to display a poster of the Ten Commandments if the poster was donated.