This Week in Texas: March 13, 2013

Posted March 13, 2013 in The Mignon Memo

The preliminary bill filing totals are in.  Last Friday was the bill filing deadline although local measures may still be introduced and the Senate often suspends the rules to allow the late filing of certain bills.  On the last filing day, 964 bills, joint resolutions and concurrent resolutions were introduced.  That led to a grand total of 5853 bills and joint resolutions, a total slightly under last session’s bill filing total. Now legislators are focused on getting those bills passed by the last day of the 83rd legislative session, May 27, 2013.

Both the House and the Senate have been hard at work on their respective versions of the 2014-2015 state budget.  The Senate Finance Committee approved SB 1 this morning and expects a floor debate on the bill next week. The House Appropriations Committee is expected to finish HB 1 by Monday and will substitute its language into SB 1 when it reaches the House.  The bill then goes to a Conference Committee made up of five senators and five representatives to resolve differences between the two versions.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Esperanza “Hope” Andrade of San Antonio to the Texas Workforce Commission for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2015. She will serve as commissioner representing employers, replacing Commissioner Tom Pauken who resigned from that position. Andrade previously served as Texas’ Secretary of State.

The election season for 2014 has already begun.  George P. Bush has announced through his website that he will be a candidate for Texas Land Commissioner.  Current Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has said he will run for Lt. Governor in 2014.