This Week in Texas: December 16, 2020

Posted December 16, 2020 in The Mignon Memo

The Best Seat in the House
House members have completed their desk selection on the House floor for the 2021 legislative session. We have an inside scoop of the House Floor Seating Chart and who’s sitting next to who.The House Opening Day Operational Plan, detailing the logistics of the opening day ceremony for the 87th Legislative Session, was also released this week. The modifications outlined in the memo were made to ensure the health and safety of the Memberselect, guests, staff, media, and the public.
The Gates Are Open…two of Them at Least
The Texas State Preservation Board (SPB) says the chains are coming off the East and West entrances to the Capitol grounds, while the Capitol building will remain closed. SPB said they are working with other agencies to reopen the grounds to the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.The grounds were closed at the end of May following protests which resulted in injury to Texas Department of Public Safety personnel, destruction of state property, and damage to the Capitol building.
A Christmas Miracle: COVID Vaccine Is Here
Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has been given an emergency use authorization by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for adults 16 years and older, and the first of 1.4 million doses allocated to Texas have begun to arrive.The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) released the complete list of over 100 Texas hospitals that will get the first round of vaccines in week 1 and how many doses – of the allocated 224,250 – each will get.Two HCA Healthcare hospitals will be among the first providers to receive the Pfizer vaccine this week – HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest and HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast (Pasadena) – for a total of 2,925 doses.Read the COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guiding Principles by DSHS to see who gets vaccinated first in Phase 1 of distribution.
Senate District 30 Special Election
The special election for Texas Senate District 30 (North Texas) is this Saturday, December 19th. State Representative Drew Springer (R- Muenster) and Dallas salon owner Shelly Luther are vying for this Senate seat which was vacated by Congressman-Elect Pat Fallon (R-Prosper).
Bill Filing Is Going…Swimmingly
The 87th Legislature convenes in 27 days, but that has not slowed down legislators from filing proposals. As of Tuesday, over a thousand bills have been filed – 878 House bills and 220 Senate bills.Some noteworthy legislation filed by House Representative Erin Zwiener (D-Kyle) includes H.C.R. 12, which would designate the city of Kyle as the official Pie Capital of Texas, and H.C.R. 13 would designate the city of San Marcos as the official Mermaid Capital of Texas.