Texas Legislative News

88th Legislature

January 10, 2023 – May 29, 2023

Our 88th Legislature will soon enter its 13th week. We are now more than halfway through the regular session with a total of 9,755 bills that need to be considered. Last week the Senate passed the Children’s Gender Protection Act (SB14). This bill seeks to protect Texas children from harmful, medically unnecessary gender modification treatments. It also blocks minors from updating gender on U.S. passports. Banning gender modification of children is our third Texas GOP priority. I encourage you to read more about SB14 in the Bills of the Week link below. 

As of today, the Senate has passed priority legislation banning gender mutilation procedures for minors (#3), restoring the felony penalty for illegal voting (#1), and offering $16.5 billion in property tax relief. Meanwhile the House has yet to pass a single priority of the States GOP nor any of Gov. Abbott’s priorities as well. RPT Chairman Matt Rinaldi said The House has a completely different culture, as you could see. And it’s a very adversarial relationship with the party and the grassroots. It’s like you get the sense that they don’t like their own voters. There’s this animosity towards Republican voters that’s almost palpable in the House.” You can read more on Matt Rinaldi’s interview on the Article of the Week link.  I’ve also included a committee link for the House and Senate below. There you can view a schedule for upcoming meetings. 

In other news the House approves $302.6 billion state budget. The spending plan will include pay raises for state employees, allocate $17.5 billion for property tax cuts, $5 billion for schools and school safety, and $4.6 billion for boarder security. After record breaking tax collections, Texas now has a surplus of $37.2 billion. Earlier this week the House committee cleared two main proposals that would expand gambling in the state. This gave advocates a burst of momentum even though they will likely face resistance in the Senate. 

Lastly SB12 defines drag shows as sexually oriented performances and would fine businesses that host events allowing children. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send this bill to the full chamber on a 6-2 vote along the partisan line. This bill is available to view on the Bills of the Week link. 

Thank you,

Matthew Okerson
[email protected]