House State Affairs met on April 29 to take up a number of bills. This report covers discussions concerning HB 392 (Bowers et al.), HB 1743 (Guerra), HB 2600 (Paul et al.), HB 2671 (Guillen), HB 3906 (S Thompson), and HB 4661 (Goldman). Part one of the hearing can be found here and part two can be found here.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


Vote Outs

CSSB 19 (Schwertner) (8-3)

HB 1925 (Capriglione) (9-3)

SB 13 (Birdwell) (11-1)



HB 4661 (S Thompson) (CS) – Relating to a prohibition on sexual harassment by lobbyists.

  • Thompson – Committee substitute is a legislative draft
  • Is a result of recent events; described a personal experience with sexual harassment in the Capitol
  • Is currently uncertain that Capitol rules/procedures apply to lobbyists and whether they can be held accountable
  • Requires all individuals registering to lobby to complete TEC sexual harassment training within the first 30 days; will have to renew every two years
  • Defines sexual harassment; perpetration of such by a lobbyist will be a violation in the jurisdiction of TEC
  • Requires TEC to conduct a format hearing on a complaint within 180 days; the lobbyist can be fined or have their license revoked
  • Effectively barring them from directly communicating with staff and members of the legislature
  • Executive director can temporarily suspend registration of lobbyists charged with sexual harassment, sexual assault, indecent assault, and aggravated sexual assault for 90 days
    • Will be hearings to determine if continued suspension is necessary
  • Smithee – Is not a criminal statute?
    • Is not a criminal penally, but if they violate Chapter 22, will be turned over to a DA
  • Smithee – Is penal in nature; concerned the definition of sexual harassment is vague
    • Sexual harassment is already a violation of the law; can enumerate those elements in the bill
    • Howard – Worked on this in 2017 on legal definition; includes unwelcomed sexual advance
    • Smithee – That was not regarding criminal punishment; will talk about this
  • Raymond – Language is clear; what is not clear about that?
    • Smithee – Concerned whether it will hold up judicial scrutiny; courts have stricken down statutes that involve a subjective term like “unwelcome”
  • Raymond – Concerned with when it goes back to the DA?
    • Smithee – The suspension of license could be a judicial issue
    • Will call TDLR and let them look at the language
  • Harless – Can they suspend on an accusation? Or does there have to be a charge?
    • It is a charge in the bill
  • Slawson and Thompson discuss how difficult it was to speak out against sexual harassment
  • Howard – Part of the challenge is the power differential within the body; an effort to look at those not a part of the House
    • Yes; women are not the only people who have encountered sexual harassment


JR Johnson, Texas Ethics Commission – Neutral

  • Shaheen – On page 3, is about the process of the sexual harassment complaint; can the 180 days be shortened?
    • Could be shortened; is shorter than the typical complaint process
    • Commission would need to meet more frequently as directed by statute
  • P King – Is a 90-day suspension? What is it without criminal charges?
    • Yes, in connection with criminal charges
    • Is a secondary informal hearing process
  • P King – Most of the time will not be criminal charges; what happens then?
    • Have the authority to strip lobbyist’s registration; maybe additional penalties for registered lobbying
  • Smithee – What about someone files a complaint and they chose to make it anonymous?
    • Is entire confidential until it reaches the informal hearing stage
    • Significant orders finding violations are always public
  • Smithee – How is it made public?
    • The Commission’s website


Thompson, in closing

  • Bill finishes unfinished business from 2017; will work with those to ensure the Capitol is a lawful environment
  • Could vote it out this morning and then fix it on the floor
  • Paddie – Possible we will do that

HB 4661 left pending


HB 392 (Bowers et al.) – Relating to discrimination on the basis of hair texture or protective hairstyle associated with race.

  • Bowers – Prohibits race-based hair discrimination; is the lawmaker’s duty to protect people’s liberties
  • Does not create a new protective class
  • Does not interfere with OSHA regulations
  • Does not create litigious environment for those to be motivated to file frivolous lawsuits
  • Bill has no fiscal impact to the state


Lisa Cylar Barrett, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund – For

  • Have been at the frontline on discriminatory policies that limit the social/professional mobility of black people
  • Have been consistently targeted based on hair styles/texture
  • Have challenged these policies in schools in Boston, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas
  • EEOC has recognized natural hair discrimination equals race discrimination


Adjoa B. Asamoah, CROWN Coalition – For

  • Hair discrimination includes having offers of employment being rescinded, passed over for promotions, etc.
  • Limits upward mobility and has caused negative educational experiences; psychological impact is profound
  • A student in Texas was told he could not participate in a high school graduation due to their hair style
  • Euro-centric preferences in schools and the workplace warrant this type of legislation


Dr. Stephanie Boyce, Texas Education Policy Institute – For

  • Texas Education Policy Institute member and professor
  • America has a long history of assimilating black bodies to Euro-centric ideals
  • Urges committee supports this bill to prevent the infringement of rights


Hope Cozart, Self – For

  • Provides an anecdote of their son being punished due to their hair style/type


Tashara S. Parker, Self – For

  • Broadcast journalist in Dallas; received messages that their hair was not professional
  • Are conditioned to like a certain established beauty standard
  • Bill will declare it is okay to show up authentically in all spaces
  • Will show the state will not accept any form of discrimination


Aicha Davis, Self – For

  • Member of the SBOE; bill is one of the most important bills in equity for students
  • Are 684,000 African American students in the state; 90% of in school or out of school suspensions were due to polices put in place by the schools
    • Being in and out of school suspension creates opportunity gaps
  • Bill is supported by Texas State Teachers Association and Texas Education Policy Institute


DeAndre Arnold, Self – For

  • Experienced hair discrimination at Barbers Hill School; was denied participation at their graduation
  • Hopes the bill is passed to put legal protections against racial discrimination

HB 392 left pending


HB 3906 (Goldman) – Relating to the regulation of political funds, campaigns, and lobbying, including certain functions and procedures of the Texas Ethics Commission.

  • Goldman – Technical clean-up bill for TEC; allows to use blue ink and black ink on paper forms

HB 3906 left pending


HB 2600 (Paul et al.) – Relating to fiscal impact statements for legislation imposing mandates on health benefit plan issuers.

  • Paul – Texas is the second state behind Massachusetts who enforces the most amount of mandates upon insurers
  • Bill creates a fiscal impact statement in the LBB for the health benefit introduced by the legislature
  • Smithee – Legislature previously passed a cost-benefit analysis panel through TDI for this exact purpose; never worked because the experts would say they could not make the determination
    • May have been repealed, have not seen that
    • According to LBB, they believe there is no financial impact with this
    • Smithee – Not opposed to the bill, but just want to look into this
  • Howard – LBB already gives fiscal impact statements on healthcare policies
    • Would make sure private polices would be included in that
  • Raymond – Smithee, tried doing this before?
    • Smithee – The data is hard to come by; may be more available today
    • Are already doing this for ERS and TRS, believes they have the ability to do it


Jamie Dudensing, Texas Association of Health Plans – For

  • Elected officials have not had the best information they need to make good decisions on the costs of insurance
  • 1 in 3 small employers are thinking about dropping coverage due to the amount of mandates/costs of coverage
  • Were 48 mandates filed in the House this session; 30 have gotten a hearing and 13 have gotten out of committee
  • Process Smithee was talking about was a one-time task force; this bill has the LBB do it who is familiar with how to gather this data
  • Other states who have a similar entity to LBB can do this
  • Raymond – How many of those bills are Medicaid-related?
    • None of those are Medicaid; are only items that impact the cost of private insurance
  • Raymond – Are concerned more insurance companies will not want to provide coverage?
    • Will continue to provide coverage; but is the mandate worth the increase of cost?
    • When new mandates are passed, because of the ACA, costs get passed to the insured
  • Raymond – What things are being considered to be added now?
    • Preventative services are one aspect of the ACA; are federal mandates
    • For example, insulin copay caps would increase the cost; bill would be transparent in how much that would increase premiums
    • Is a bill that eliminates all PAs, a formulary freeze bill; would cost millions


Bill Hammond, Texas Employers for Insurance Reform – For

  • LBB does these fiscal notes for ERS and TRS; would be capable to do so for small businesses
  • Bill does not cover the unfunded plans or the ERISA plans
  • Mandates make insurance for small businesses costly
  • Bill has a chance to get out if it is voted out of committee today
  • Raymond – Notes he did not support that mammograms should be covered
    • Arguing about knowing the full financial impact of these types of decisions


Paul, in closing

  • Bill is about an analysis of the cost impact; like fiscal notes
  • Is about private market, which is 15% of the entire market
  • Deshotel – Wish you could include some study shows the negatory impacts for providers
    • These are products out on the market for purchasing
    • Should get that information

HB 2600 left pending


HB 1743 (Guerra) – Relating to the protection of personal information sold by a state agency to a contractor; authorizing a civil penalty.

  • Guerra – A software company under contract with DPS exposed the information of over 27 million people in a breach
  • Occurred in 2019 because 3 files were accidentally misplaced
  • Increases liability for state agency contractors
  • Requires proper notification and assistance to individuals
  • Prevents contracts with companies who have had a breach for 3 years

HB 1743 left pending


HB 2671 (Guillen) – Relating to the operations, communications, and notice procedures of state agencies and political subdivisions.

  • Guillen – State agencies and commissions are required to write over 1,000 reports each biennium
  • Most are outdated, unnecessary, and go unread
  • Creates a report to determine its necessity and allows the sharing of documents in the most efficient way possible so it is not paper mail and can be shared electronically
  • This is a cost saving measure

HB 2671 left pending