Texas Legislative News: January – May 2023

88th Legislature

January 10, 2023 – May 29, 2023

Election Integrity (#1). Lawmakers take first steps to restoring felony penalties for illegal voting. A bill that would reestablish illegal voting as a felony in Texas received its initial approval Monday from a state Senate committee. The legislation, a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, would reverse the work lawmakers did two years ago when they approved sweeping changes to the state’s election laws that included downgrading a conviction of illegal voting to a misdemeanor. The early vote by the Senate State Affairs Committee is further evidence how important the legislation is to Senate leadership. However, because election issues are not among Gov. Greg Abbott seven legislative priorities for the session, the entire Senate cannot debate the bill until after March 10.

House and Senate bills filed by Republican lawmakers in response to Harris County’s mismanagement of its recent elections could give the Texas secretary of state the authority to step in, suspend county election administrators when a complaint is filed and appoint a replacement administrator. See “Bills of the Week” for more information. 

School Choice (#8). Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he will be “heavily involved” in the push for an educational savings account program this legislative session as the idea continues to face an uphill battle in the Texas House. Abbott, in an interview with The Texas Tribune, said he would be traveling the state to make the case directly to voters, particularly in rural areas. Such a program could redirect taxpayer money away from public schools as parents use that money to pay for their children’s private school, online schooling or private tutors. Similar proposals have typically met resistance from a coalition of Democrats and rural GOP lawmakers.

One of the emergency items that Abbott announced was “education freedom,” including education savings accounts for every parent. Those would allow the state to deposit taxpayer funds that parents could then use to help pay for sending their kids to schools outside the traditional public education system.

State House Speaker Dade Phelan has said he is fine with an up-or-down vote on those kinds of proposals, but he has noted that the House has previously rejected them by wide margins. In rural parts of Texas, public school systems are major employers and a source of community pride. Many rural regions have few private schools.

Do you support School Choice in Texas? 

Coming soon: A feature that will allow you to vote on questions like these!

New Braunfels Election News

Election Day: May 06, 2023

Early Voting: April 24 – May 02

The City of New Braunfels will hold its 2023 general election on May 6, 2023. The City will contract with Comal County to conduct the joint election and provide election services.

Candidates for New Braunfels City Mayor:

Roy Neal Linnartz

Edward Martinez Jr.

George Green

Michael Alexander French

City Council – District 5:

Mary Ann Labowski

Bently Cain Paiz

City Council – District 6:

Peter James Dillon

April Ryan 

Steven Voges

James Blakey

City of Garden Ridge

City Mayor – No Contest:

Robb Erickson

City Council:

Place 2 Lisa Swint

Place 3 Jesus “Jesse: Valdez

New Braunfels Independent School District (NBISD)

At Large Candidates (2 Year term):

Falon Cochran

Kimberly Goodwin

James William (Bill) Lewis (III)

District 2 – No Contest:

Nancy York (Incumbent)

District 4:

John E. Tucker (Incumbent)

Jaclyn Gold (Jackie) Sanders

Comal Independent School District (CISD)

District 2 – No Contest:

Jason York (Incumbent)

District 4:

Russell Garner

Garrison Maurer

New Braunfels BOND 2023 Election

On May 6, residents of New Braunfels will vote on whether or not to fund $140,045,000 in city project by issuing municipal bonds with no expected increase to the City tax rate.

Proposition A – Transportation

•        Total Cost: $99,330,000

•        Eight major transportation projects:

  • Common Street (Loop 337 to FM 306)
  • Barbarosa Road/Saur Lane (FM 1101 to Saengerhalle Road)
  • Conrads Lane (Goodwin Lane to FM 1102)
  • Kohlenberg Road (FM 1101 to I-35)
  • Citywide Street Improvements to rehabilitate existing city street pavement, curbs, and sidewalks
  • Citywide Intersection Improvements including new traffic signals and turn lanes
  • South Kowald Lane (FM 1101 to I-35)
  • Solms Road (I-35 to FM 482)

Proposition B – Parks and Recreation

  • Total Cost: $12,155,000
  • Mission Hill Park – Phase 2
  • Improvements to existing 10-acre park, including:
  • Parking, Restrooms, and Event Space
  • Multi-level Observation Tower
  • Canopy Walk with access to Observation Tower Decks
  • Soft and Hard Surface Trails with Trailhead

Proposition C – Library Facilities

  • Total Cost: $28,560,000
  • Southeast Library Branch
  • 23,250-square foot building
  • Proposed features  includes:
  • Quiet study rooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Public plaza and garden space

Comal ISD BOND 2023 Election

Comal Independent School District 2023 Bond Issues. The Comal ISD Board of Trustees has approved a bond package to address growth, campus safety and security, student technology, and expansion/improvement at existing campuses. The bond referendum will appear as three separate propositions.

Proposition A – Growth & Reinvestment – $560,564,863

Proposition B – Stadiums Projects – $46,094,984

Proposition C – Student Technology & Infrastructure – $28,000,000

Thank you,

Matthew Okerson


[email protected]