Happy Cinco de Mayo! With three weeks and a day left to this session, our updates will become even shorter and more irregular due to the lack of notice from the legislature on what it is going to do and when it is going to do it.
The House is entering the final week in which it can pass its own bills (other than local bills, which have an additional week of life.) When the House convenes Monday, it will take up a few dozen bills originally calendared for last Wednesday, then several score of bills originally set Thursday, and then the members can start on new bills set for the first time on Monday. This backlog means that any House bill that does not appear on a House daily calendar for Tuesday is in serious, serious trouble, even though the official deadline is not until midnight Thursday.
With that in mind, House bills scheduled to be debated Monday or Tuesday include (in order of appearance on the calendar): HB 1936 by Rose (no death penalty if “serious mental illness”), HB 1590 by Howard (creating statewide Office for Sexual Assault Survivor Assistance), HB 24 by Romero (FV enhancement if child present), HB 1365 by Lucio III (legalizing medical cannabis), HB 3703 by Klick (expansion of low-THC “compassionate use program” [“TCUP”]), HB 37 by Minjarez (mail theft), HB 4448 by Springer (drones), HB 2613 by Frullo (spending certain civil asset forfeiture proceeds on human trafficking victim services), HB 1631 by Stickland (ban on red light cameras), HB 2754 by White (no arrest for fine-only offenses absent danger), HB 3824 by Sherman (FV findings), HB 760 by Wu (porch piracy theft), HB 1686 by Smith (automatic sexual assault protective orders), HB 2020 by Kacal (the Damon Allen Act limiting bail), HB 4163 by S. Thompson (judicial commutation of parole sentence), and HB 4202 by Smithee (out-of-time agreed motion for new trial).
Across the rotunda, the Senate plans to take up HB 3 by Huberty/Taylor, the school finance reform bill, on Monday (resulting in all Senate hearings being cancelled on Monday). Other bills eligible to be considered as of Monday include: SB 653 by Hall (ban on red light cameras), SB 970 by Creighton (contingent fee agreements), SB 1543 by Menendez (notice of right to record CPS interviews), and SB 2136 by Powell (extraneous evidence in FV trials).
House Calendars Committee update
Among the bills that have recently been sent to the House Calendars Committee and are hoping to win the golden ticket to floor debate are: HB 3303 by Bowers (limiting probation revocations of sole caretakers of children), HJR 71 by Canales (exempting county court-at-law judges from the resign-to-run rule), and SB 1257 by Huffman/Leach (attorney general prosecution of trafficking-related crimes). If you support or oppose these bills, or any of the other bills we told you about late last week, then contact the members of that committee to have your say.
These are summaries of relevant committee notices posted for the upcoming week. The lists are pretty scanty right now, but bills may be added to these lists with little or no notice:
Monday, May 6
House Elections – 8:00 a.m., Room E2.016
- SB 751 by Hughes criminalizing a deceptive video intended to influence an election
House Criminal Jurisprudence – 2:00 p.m. or upon adjournment, E2.012
- HB 95 by Hinojosa creating offense for strawman purchases/transfers of firearms
- SB 1820 by Huffman relating to impersonating a public servant
House Public Education – 8:00 a.m., E2.036
- SB 11 by Taylor, this session’s omnibus school safety bill
Senate Health and Human Services – 8:00 a.m., Senate Chamber
- HB 16 by Leach/Kolkhorst creating a civil action and new felony for failing to provide medical treatment to a child born alive after an abortion
- SB 2091 by Hughes limiting the State’s ability to take possession of a child or terminate the parent-child relationship
Wednesday, May 8
House State Affairs – 8:00 a.m., E2.014
- SB 702 by Bettencourt requiring the reporting of expenditures for local gov’t lobbying activities
Thursday, May 9
Senate State Affairs (tentative; cancellation from Monday)
- HB 93 by Canales/Hughes requiring a magistrate’s name to appear on certain orders/warrants
- HB 98 by M. Gonzalez/Huffman to narrow the revenge porn offense
- HB 2789 by Meyer/Huffman create an adult “sexting” crime for explicit images
- SB 2365 by Hughes protecting parental rights in CPS cases
Remember, if you see anything on this list that you like or don’t like, don’t count on anyone else carrying your water for you. Instead, contact Shannon and find out how to get personally involved.
Here are some stories and articles we don’t have time to summarize, but they might be of interest to some of you:
- Austin police DWI video upload delays create roadblock to justice (Austin American-Statesman)
- Electric scooters to be kicked off sidewalks? (Texas Tribune)
- Attacks on the Dallas DA signal trouble for the criminal justice reform movement (Texas Monthly)
- The big blue obstacle to bipartisan criminal justice reform (Texas Observer)
- Session likely to end with little change to marijuana laws (Austin American-Statesman)
More Quotes of the Week
“What about my personal liberty, my personal safety, when I’m walking on a sidewalk? Not a ‘side scooter-way,’ a ‘side runway,’ or a ‘side speedway,’ but a sidewalk?”State Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), speaking in support of a Senate measure that would impose a statewide ban on electric scooters from sidewalks.
“Look, I’m not going to lie to you. This stinks!”Bay Scoggin, state director for the Texas Public Interest Research Group, when asked about questionable campaign fund expenditures made by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, a former state senator.
“It’s been tough. I never envisioned the level of insane, continuous, vicious attacks from these people that live out in the woods in a cave somewhere on an issue that simply is about letting a felon carry a gun.”House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton), commenting upon threats he has received over the failure of a bill to legalize the permitless carrying of handguns.