Stalwart Strategies is pleased to offer you an easy-to-navigate brief of the week’s activity inside state government, noteworthy items for the upcoming week, and other important news.
News In State Government
Governor Appointments: Governor Abbott made serval appointments this week including Boatright to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Milian Matt To Gulf Coast Authority Board Of Directors and Brainard to State Pension Review Board. Click here to view more gubernatorial-appointments from last week.
Governor Abbott Statement on House Passage of Senate Bill 2: Governor Greg Abbott released a statement after the Texas House passed Senate Bill 2 to rein in skyrocketing property taxes in Texas. Click here to read that statement.
AG Paxton Applauds Senate Confirmation of Texas Deputy Solicitor General Cam Barker to the U.S. District Court in Tyler: Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded Texas Deputy Solicitor General J. Campbell Barker’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler. Click here to read more.
Secretary of State:
Secretary Whitley Announces Settlement in Litigation on Voter Registration List Maintenance Activity: The parties to LULAC v. Whitley (and consolidated cases) agreed to a settlement in the litigation regarding the Texas Secretary of State’s voter registration list maintenance activity announced on January 25, 2019 to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens registered to vote in Texas. Click here to read the full news release.
Health and Human Services:
Texas Makes Significant Strides for Women’s Health: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission released a new report showing significant strides in improving the reach of the state’s core women’s health programs, including a 30 percent increase in the number of women served in the Healthy Texas Women program. Click here to read the full news release.
Texas House Approves Property Tax Reform Bill, Setting up Negotiations with the Senate: The House approved the bill designed to slow local property tax revenue growth, but made the bill contingent on the passage of a school finance bill, which is still pending in the Senate. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
After Texas Senate Committee Approves School Finance Bill, House Panel Advances Sales Tax Increase to Fund Property Tax Relief: The Senate Education Committee approved the school finance bill in a hurried meeting Wednesday. The full Senate is now expected to vote on the legislation Friday. Meanwhile, a House panel advanced a proposal to let voters decide whether a sales tax increase should fund property tax relief. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
2020 Presidential Campaign Already a Factor for Texas Manufacturers: The 2020 presidential election is starting to weigh on the outlook of Texas manufacturers already nervous about trade disputes, tariffs and the tight labor market. Click here to read the full Statesmen article.
Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Isn’t ‘Dead’ in Texas, Key Senate Chairman Clarifies: Marijuana decriminalization in Texas isn’t “dead,” contrary to what the lieutenant governor claimed on Tuesday. Click here to read the full MM Politics article.
Baker Hughes Chooses Permian Basin to Debut ‘Electric Frack’ Technology: Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes is using the Permian Basin in West Texas to debut a fleet of new turbines that use excess natural gas from a drilling site to power hydraulic fracturing equipment. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
San Antonio College Students Push Texas Lottery to Change Claim: Community college students ran combinations this semester to figure out how the Texas Lottery Commission decides the odds of winning its Mega Millions drawing. Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
Under New Tax Code, Oil Companies Get Rebates, Not Bills: Some of the biggest names in the oil industry managed to avoid paying any taxes last year under the new tax code that President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans passed in 2017. Subscribers can click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Texas Senate Approves Using Herbicides to Fight Illegal Border Crossings: It’s not a wall and it isn’t more boots on the ground, but the Texas Senate on Monday approved a bill that would send millions of dollars of herbicides to the front lines to battle illegal immigration. Subscribers can click here to read the full article.
First Quarter Slowdown Spreads Across Energy Industry: Profits at Exxon Mobil and Chevron cratered in the first quarter as a slowdown spread across the energy industry in the first three months of the year, hitting the oil and gas producers, refiners and chemical makers that drive the economy in Houston. Subscribers can click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Oil or Property Rights: House Panel Clashes Over Which to Favor as it Weighs Eminent Domain Reforms: Several bills meant to protect Texas landowners facing condemnation for oil pipeline construction and electric transmission projects generated heated debate on Thursday at a Capitol committee hearing. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Texas House Passes Bill Defining Fantasy Sports as Legal Game of Skill: While critics say fantasy sports sites are hubs for illegal online gambling, others contend the games are based on skill and are therefore legitimate. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
With Business Groups’ Backing, House Panel Adds Non-Discrimination Protection to Senate Bill: State Rep. Dade Phelan added the provision to a Senate bill that would bar cities from enacting rules on how businesses schedule their employees’ shifts. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Oil Volatility Picks Up, Putting 2019 Rally Under Scrutiny: is picking up in oil markets following a powerful 2019 rally, prompting a retreat among portfolio managers into less-risky investments in a sector that many investors still view as hot. Subscribers can click here to read the full Wall Street Journal article.
Mark Your Calendars!
Dates to Note:
May 3-5th, 2019: Go Wheels Up Auto and Air Show
May 6 - 9, 2019: Offshore Technology Conference
May 9, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider 2nd Reading HB’s on Daily or Supplemental Calendar
May 17th, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider Local HB’s on 2nd and 3rd Reading
May 18, 2019: Last Day for House Committees to Report SB’s
May 21, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider 2nd Reading SB’s
May 22, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider Local and Consent SB’s and ALL 3rd Reading SB’s on Supplemental Calendar AND Last Day for Senate to Consider ALL Bills & JR’s on 2nd or 3rd Reading
May 24, 2019: Last Day for House to Act on Senate Amendments
May 26, 2019: Last Day for House to Adopt CCR’s or Discharge House Conferees and Concur in Senate Amendments AND Last Day for Senate to Concur in House Amendments or Adopt CCRs
May 27, 2019: Last Day of 86th Legislature (Sine Die) Corrections Only in House and Senate
June 16, 2019: Last Day for Governor to Act on Bills
September 16, 2019 to September 20, 2019: Energy Trade Mission to Israel 2019
September 26 - 28, 2019: The Texas Tribune Festival