Monday, the Texas Legislature adjourned sine die and legislators have headed home to their districts. Some have decided to hang it up or move on to other things. Those who have confirmed that they will not seek re-election:
- Sylvester Turner (D-Houston), retiring after ___ years to run for mayor of Houston.
- Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen), retiring after ___ years.
- Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball), retiring after ___ years to run for Constable.
- Joe Farias (D-San Antonio), retiring after ___ years.
- Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), retiring after 27 years.
How hot topic issues fared this session
Property Tax Cuts: PASSED. SB 1 increases the homestead exemption for school district property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000, providing $1.2 billion in property tax relief over the biennium for Texas homeowners.
Franchise Tax Cuts: PASSED. 25% reduction of the franchise tax on Texas businesses. The cut will provide $2.56 billion in tax relief to businesses over the biennium.
Open Carry: PASSED. Texans licensed to carry concealed handguns will now be able to openly carry handguns in shoulder or belt holsters. Gun free zones (such as hospitals, bars, and schools grade K-12) remain the same.
Campus Carry: PASSED. Will allow those with concealed handgun licenses to carry concealed handguns on public college/university campuses. Universities and colleges will be allowed to establish policies establishing how and where concealed carry can occur on campus.
Statewide ban on texting while driving: DID NOT PASS
Pre-K: SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR. $130 million (about $1,500/eligible child) is set aside for the next two years for school districts whose pre-kindergarten programs meet certain standards.
Transportation Funding: in November, a constitutional amendment temporarily dedicating a portion of the revenue derived from the state sales and use tax to the state highway fund, will be put to a vote for approval.
Border security: PASSED. $800 million has been set aside to increase the Department of Public Safety’s presence on the border.
Legalization of marijuana: DID NOT PASS, but a law legalizing the use of cannabinoid oil for those with epilepsy has been SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR.
Religious freedom/Pastor protection: PASSED. Clarifies that a member of the clergy has the right to refuse to conduct a marriage that violates his or her beliefs.
Only In Austin…