April is typically when the legislator workloads increase exponentially. Committee hearings get longer and more bills are being placed on the House and Senate calendars. It is not unusual for committee and floor action to start early in the morning and go well into the night.

Monday

The House Elections Committee will consider HB 552 by Rep. Terry Canales, to require high schools to make voter registration forms available to students and employees.

The House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee will hear HB 2890 by Rep. Julie Johnson, to replace references to an “admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee” in statute with the language “individualized education program (IEP) team.”

Tuesday

It’s “charter school day” in House Public Education, with nearly 40 bills on the agenda, most relating to charter schools. Among them are two TCTA bills – HB 43 by Rep. Gina Hinojosa (prohibits charter schools from denying admission to students based on their disciplinary history) and HB 3322 by Rep. DeWayne Burns (not charter-related - requires districts to post online contact information for each campus’s behavior coordinator or other administrator responsible for student discipline).

The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a dozen bill, ranging from legislation requiring high schools to offer an elective on the founding principles of the Unisted States to a bill that requires districts to allow students to use a phone app instead of a graphing calculator, unless the district makes available a graphing calculator at no cost.  

The House Business and Industry Committee will hear HB 2501 by Rep. Rhetta Bowers, which entitles employees (private or public sector, working for an employer with more than 50 employees) with unpaid leave time of up to four hours at a time, up to twice a month, for meeting with a teacher/counselor/administrator of their child’s school, or a caregiver in a child-care facility; or to participate in a facility or school activity of the child (award ceremony, performance, etc.).

The House Natural Resources Committee will hear HB 2998 by Rep. James Talarico, which requires that lead water lines in every school and child care facility be replaced by the public water system servicing the facility. Schools and child care facilities must take action to prevent elevated lead levels in all water used for drinking or cooking.

(Note: Other committees expected to hold hearings next week have not yet posted their agendas.)