We are excited to announce success during the 85th session of the Texas Legislature! When we entered this legislative session, our bills to watch included funding for our colleges; the ability to confer an early childhood baccalaureate degree; workforce development through a program called Recruit Texas; and funding for our Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).
First, the Texas Legislature appropriated a total of $179,301,855 for DCCCD to cover the 2018-2019 biennium. This amount funds core operations, student success and contact-hour funding. Included in that total amount is approximately $3,856,647 for special items funding -- or non-formula support – for Small Business Development Centers and Starlink. You can read more about Article III funding here.
The early childhood baccalaureate is on the way to Governor Abbott’s desk! SB 2118 was sent to the governor today, May 30! After passing both chambers and being amended in the House, the bill was sent to a conference committee. Both chambers negotiated and released the conference committee report. The final version passed the House, 134-8, and the Senate, 28-3. DCCCD will have the legal right to offer a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, along with the opportunity to offer other bachelor’s degrees in applied science, applied technology and nursing. On our deadline, the Senate had not published how members voted on the report, although you can see how they, including local members, voted when the bill was in the chamber here. You can view the House vote here.
Economic and workforce development – Recruit Texas – are on the way to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk! HB 108 was sent to the governor on May 27. HB 108 passed both chambers and was not amended on the floor; after it passed the House, 115-30, and the Senate, 28-3, it was sent to the governor. Who voted “Yay” or “Nay” against economic development? See how local members in the Senate and the House responded.
The Senate passes HB 1108 "Recruit Texas."
Are you interested in learning more about the status of other bills? Visit our legislative bill tracker. As always, if you have any questions, please contact our office.
As many of you know, Sine Die was yesterday. We skipped Latin class – what does that mean? Sine Die is the term used to signal that the legislative session is officially over. Done. The End. Adios. It’s Latin for “without a day.” Here is how the Texas House defines Sine Die.
So, you’re saying it’s all over?
Maybe. Contrary to news reports regarding Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s call for a special session, the only state executive who can call a special session is Gov. Abbott. The governor has the constitutional authority to call back lawmakers for 30-day special sessions, and the governor has the sole ability to select issues which are addressed during a special session.
Will the governor call a special session? We are not sure, but here are some related headlines.
Mariachis representing a high school from South Texas provide a musical break in the Capitol's open-air rotunda.
Where do we begin? With shenanigans or policy? You decide. Here is the download.
Did you hear about the shenanigans in the House? The headlines speak for themselves.
It’s over! (Crossing fingers!) The 85th regular legislative session heard the final gavels hammer down – first the House, then the Senate. Both chambers’ sites state:
“House: Adjourned sine die.”
“The Senate of the 85th Legislature stands adjourned sine die.”
During the session, 4,333 bills were filed in the House, and they passed 654. The Senate filed 2,298 bills and passed 485. Between both chambers, a total of 1,139 bills were passed. Passing a bill in the Texas legislature can be an arduous task, but with the right team, support, stakeholder involvement and a little luck, good things can happen. Our DCCCD team worked hard, and – as they say in the lege – Isaac Faz (that’s me, the voice of Capitol Update!) would like to take a moment of personal privilege.
Thank you to our chancellor, Dr. Joe May, who met with legislators, testified before committees and met with stakeholders to build support as he tirelessly advocated for our students, faculty and staff. Thank you to all our team members who created, drafted, edited and sent this newsletter. Thank you to all of our team members who called and advocated; who organized stakeholders; who helped educate the lege team about the issues; who created one-pagers to circulate at the Capitol; who coordinated the logistics of travel and meetings; and to all those who read and were interested in learning more about the legislative process. THANK YOU!
If the governor declares a special session, expect a few more Capitol Updates, or you may receive one just to give you an update about the new laws as they are implemented. If not, see you in 2019. Adios! See you at happy hour!
Who is this guy? A DCCCD government affairs team member (left) discussing bills with a staffer at the capitol. So much for privacy under the dome.