Sine Die

The legislature adjourned sine die ("without another day") on Monday, having technically fulfilled its obligation for the session by adopting a state budget on Saturday. The House approved SB 1, the appropriations bill, on a 135-14 vote, and it passed the Senate 30-1.

Budget agreement reached, vote expected Saturday

With only a few days left in the legislative session, the conferees on the state budget appear to have reached a final agreement, which has just been released. With the House consistently refusing to adopt any type of voucher proposal, the Senate would not agree to significant additional funding for public schools.

Accountability legislation - House versus Senate

Although both chambers expressed an interest in making changes to the current school accountability system this session, the versions of HB 22 that have passed the House and Senate are substantially different in some respects. 

HB 21 dead (probably); TRS-Care bill heads to governor

After the Senate added an education savings account voucher program for special needs students to the school finance reform bill (funding for which had been whittled down from more than $1.6 billion to just over $.5 billion in the negotiated budget), House author Dan Huberty refused to agree to the Senate changes on HB 21 and requested the appointment of a conference committee.

Weekend wrapup: budget, TRS-Care, vouchers, bathrooms

The House and Senate had a busy weekend, forging ahead on several major issues, some of which may stave off a special session. The conference committee on SB 1 agreed on a state budget, and the Senate passed a necessary but flawed TRS-Care bill and a voucher proposal, while the House passed an amendment to a school safety bill that addresses the use of school restrooms by transgender students.

Special session - what would it mean for educators?

Relations between the House and Senate have deteriorated, but with 10 days left in the session, no one can yet predict either success or failure. Still, much of the buzz among Capitol insiders these days revolves around the likelihood of a special session. 

Senate Ed considers revised version of accountability system changes

As the legislative session nears an end, whether the Legislature will do anything to significantly revise the A-F accountability system is still unclear. Although the House passed its version of a revision to the A-F accountability system, HB 22, weeks ago, the Senate only recently took up consideration of the House bill in committee.

Patrick says special session can be avoided by House action on bathrooms, property taxes

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a press conference Wednesday morning in response to a letter from House Speaker Joe Straus that was provided to the media on Tuesday. Straus had maintained that the legislature only needed to pass a state budget bill and a bill ensuring the continuation of several state agencies (a "Sunset safety" bill) in order to avoid the need for a special session.

Payroll deduction prohibition on the move?

After several weeks of inaction in the House, SB 13 may be on the move again. After passing the Senate, the bill that prohibits payroll deduction of association dues for many public employees, including teachers, sat in limbo in the House, not referred to a committee (a necessary step before a bill can receive a committee hearing).

Senate committee adds maintenance drug assistance to TRS-Care bill

Monday morning, the Senate State Affairs Committee heard HB 3976, the House bill restructuring TRS-Care into two separate plans for age 65+ and pre-65 retirees.

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