Legislative Update: May 17, 2019

​​​​Get the latest news for Texas' 86th legislative session.

Texas Capitol building in Austin. 

This Edition

  • It's the Fourth Quarter
  • Important Issues
  • #TXLege Download
  • Finis …

It’s the Fourth Quarter (SB 25, HB 1, SB 2)

You know that time in the game … when it feels late because it is late. You look up at the clock and realize time is running out. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Welcome to the 86th legislature’s fourth quarter. We have a few bills on the goal line that need to make it into the end zone.

SB 25 — the transfer bill — was voted out by the full Senate and sat in the House Higher Education committee for about a week. However, great news! On Tuesday, SB 25 was voted out of the House committee (8-0). Sen. Royce West attended the House hearing and agreed with the committee substitute. SB 25 now awaits scheduling for a second reading by the full House.

HB 1 — the budget — was voted out by both chambers and now is in conference committee to reconcile the differences between the chambers. So far, committee members announced that they have come to an agreement on six of the ten articles for the state budget (I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII). Higher education is in Article III. (Fingers crossed!)

SB 2 — the property tax bill — is in conference committee.

So what does all of this mean? There’s still time, isn’t there?

Your Capitol Update team is glad you asked. The reason why we’re in the fourth quarter is because time is running out. Here are a few of the deadlines:

  • Saturday, May 18 — Last day that House committees can report out Senate bills
  • Sunday, May 19 — Last day that the House daily calendar can be distributed
  • Tuesday, May 21 — Last day for the House to hear Senate bills on second reading
  • Wednesday, May 22 — Last day for the Senate to consider all bills

As of today, nearly 400 bills – out of slightly more than 7,000 bills filed – have been voted out by both chambers. There are plenty of bills being discussed, debated and remain in committees. But the time to consider a Hail Mary pass to get those bills on the governor’s desk is quickly approaching.

Important Issues

When we visit with House and Senate members, Chancellor Joe May and DCCCD staffers have one primary goal: to advocate for our students and colleges on issues of importance. A few of those issues include:

  • Funding for community colleges
    • HB 1 currently has additional dollars for all community colleges, more than SB 1.
    • As passed, HB 1 includes a total increase of $75.2 million in formula funding for all community colleges over the 2018-2019 biennium.
    • On April 9, the Senate chamber unanimously passed the committee substitute for HB 1.
    • A conference committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences.
  • Funding for Small Business Development Centers
    • Both SB 1 and HB 1 appropriate approximately $3.2 million for SBDCs.
  • A student’s right to transfer
    • Sen. Royce West has filed SB 25 and SB 1923, which focus on transfer.
    • Sen. West convened a group of individuals, including DCCCD representatives, to discuss how to improve the transfer bills.
    • On April 10, the Senate Higher Education committee voted out a committee substitute for SB 25.
    • On April 24, the Senate unanimously passed SB 25.
    • On May 14, SB 25 was voted out of the House Higher Education committee.
  • Workforce development
    • Both SB 1 and HB 1 allocate dollars for Jobs Education and Training (JET) and Skills Development Fund (SDF) grants.
  • Local control / Property tax bill
    • Also known as SB 2 and HB 2.
    • SB 2 was voted out of the Senate (April 15).
    • HB 2 was voted out of committee (March 26); however, it has not been heard on the House floor.
    • SB 2 was substituted for HB 2 and voted out of the House (April 30). A conference committee was appointed to reconcile differences.
      • Community colleges are in the House substitute at an 8% cap.

Throughout the session, we will track the issues and bills that affect DCCCD as they make their way through the legislative process. We also will share more details about the issues listed above. As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. You can now email us at GovtAffairs@dcccd.edu or follow us on Twitter @DCCCDGovt.

#TX Lege Download

Let’s sing: "The stars at night, are big and bright…deep in the heart of Texas!" This week, several stars visited the Texas Capitol. Spotted were Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Cowboys great Jay Novacek and Houston rapper Paul Wall. Oh, wait … Did we mention Ronald McDonald was also at the Texas Capitol? All this star power has me in the mood to put on my grillz, grab a Big Mac with two all-beef patties, rock my #41 jersey and, of course, relive the 90’s! Time for the #TXlege download. You know the disclaimer – and grillz on after the Big Mac.

Gov. Greg Abbot and members of the Dallas delegation pose with Dirk Nowitzki. (Photo courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks)

Rep. Toni Rose and Dirk Nowitzki (Photo courtesy of Rep. Rose)

Rep. Ana Maria Ramos and Paul Wall (Photo courtesy of Rep. Ramos)

House Higher Education committee chairman Chris Turner and Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek (Photo courtesy of Rep. Turner)

Your Capitol Update team meets Ronald McDonald.
(Because we knew you wouldn’t believe us!)

Around Waterloo

  • 'We are so proud of you': Dirk Nowitzki honored by Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas House and Senate (DMN)
  • Analysis: A rumor of a game of succession in the Texas Senate (Trib)
  • Texas high-speed rail project dodges bullet after 'budget rider' dies (KPRC – Video)
  • Bill to legalize hemp, CBD products in Texas passes final hurdle (DMN)
  • Texas Legislature Poised For Biggest Broadband Push In State History But Still Catching Up (TX Standard — Audio)
  • A Change To Texas' Voting Bill Could Limit Voting Centers In Minority Areas, Opponents Say (KUT)
  • Texas votes to lift ban on brass knuckles, kitty keychains and clubs (DMN)
  • How the 'Save Chick-Fil-A' bill rose from the grave in the Texas Legislature (Caller Times)
  • "I'm honestly still stunned that I work here": Meet the staffers who keep Texas lawmakers in check under the dome (Trib — Video)
  • Johnson: Community colleges are the future of Texas (RGG)

The Beltway and Beyond

  • Legal Experts Say Ken Paxton Is Following Trump's Lead By Shutting Out Congressional Investigations. (KUT)
  • House approves anti-LGBT discrimination bill (The Hill)
  • ‘Big 4’ leaders to begin talks with White House on budget deal (Politico)
  • Trump wants his border barrier to be painted black with spikes. He has other ideas, too. (WP)
  • Now we know why Donald Trump was SO focused on Michael Flynn (CNN)
  • Mueller files reveal Flynn was being probed earlier than thought; brother alleges 'trap' effort (Fox News)
  • Trump Delays Auto Tariffs in Press for Deal With Japan, Europe (NYT)
  • The political gospel of Karamo Brown (Roll Call)
  • 10 images that define the week in Washington (Roll Call)
  • Guatemalan migrant boy dies at El Paso hospital, advocacy group demands investigation (EP Times)
  • La propuesta migratoria de Trump no tiene apoyo suficiente para ser aprobada en el Congreso (Univ - Video)

Finis ...

Some say, "all good things come to an end." When it comes to Brookhaven President Dr. Thom Chesney and DCCCD Director of Media Relations Ann Hatch, I’d like to think good people come and go. Thank you both for your service and dedication to our students and faculty. Dr. Chesney, you should know the TABC Sunset bill you asked about is still pending in the Senate. However, it should pass, and Texans soon will be able to buy a case of beer each day, to-go, from craft breweries. Ann, thank you for sharing stories; without you, the Capitol Update newsletter would be riddled with errors. Thank you for your patience and help, even when the newsletter was sent to you at 5 p.m. for review. Good people come and go. No doubt these good people will do more good things in their next life’s chapter. Now, grab your favorite craft brew — or cold (coffee) brew – and cheers to these two wonderful individuals.