Budget and Tax Relief
The members of the budget conference committee gave final printing directions to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) for HB 1, the general appropriations bill, and stood adjourned on May 21. A copy of the issue docket decisions can be viewed on the LBB site. The conference committee printing is not available yet but will be posted on the LBB site when available.
Tax relief packages are moving in both chambers. On May 24, the Senate passed out the committee substitute of HB 32 (Bonnen/Nelson), which will reduce franchise tax rates by 25% and raise the EZ threshold to $20 million. The bill will now move back over to the House where they can accept the differences or move to conference committee. The substitute removed language that would gradually phase out the tax by 15% each year and a similar amendment offered by Sen. Huffines was tabled.
On May 25 the House finally passed out SB 1 (Nelson/Bonnen) which will increase the mandatory homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 and provide funds for school districts to make up for the lost tax revenue; the bill requires tax assessors to prepare tax bills as if the companion constitutional amendment called by SJR 1 is passed by voters. SJR 1 was also passed out of the House on May 24 and will put the issue to voters during the November 2015 election.
SB 1 passed out of the House unanimously and with a total of seven adopted floor amendments. Those amendments would require tax assessors to mail a second tax bill to homeowners in the event that the constitutional amendment is not approved by voters, ensure certain school districts who already provide a higher exemption would also be held harmless, remove all taxing units aside from school districts from the bill, reduce the time period of the mandatory exemption increase from 10 years to 5 years, and other changes.
SB 1 was sent back over to the Senate yesterday where the Senate voted not to concur and appointed the following conference committee members: Sens.: Nelson, Hinojosa, Nichols, Huffman and Bettencourt.
Going to Conference
SB 20 (Nelson/Price) – relating to state agency contracting is going to conference committee to resolve the differences. Conferees Sens.: Jane Nelson, Juan Hinojosa, Robert Nichols, Joan Huffman and Charles Schwertner. Reps.: Four Price, Byron Cook, Richard Raymond, John Kuempel and Marsha Farney
HB 5 (Otto/Nelson) – Relating to strategic fiscal reviews of state agencies is going to conference committee to resolve the differences. Conferees Sens.: Conferees: Jane Nelson, Joan Huffman, Robert Nichols, Juan Hinojosa and Paul Bettencourt. Reps.: John Otto, Drew Darby, Sarah Davis, Armando Walle, and Dade Phelan.
HB 200 (Keffer/Perry) – relating to regulation of groundwater is going to conference committee to resolve the differences. Conferees: Sens.: Charles Perry, Bob Hall, Brandon Creighton, Juan Hinojosa and Lois Kolkhorst. Reps.: Jim Keffer, Dennis Bonnen, Poncho Nevarez, Lyle Larson and Eddie Lucio
SB 1 (Nelson/Bonnen) – relating to homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes. Conferees: Sens.: Jane Nelson, Juan Hinojosa, Robert Nichols, Joan Huffman and Paul Bettencourt
SB 200 (Nelson/Price) – relating to the continuation and functions of the Health and Human Services Commission and the provision of health and human services in this state. The bill realigns administrative functions of the HHS system and aligns other aspects of the system along functional lines; the bill also eliminates certain advisory committees and strengthens oversight of MCOs. SB 200 was passed out of the House with 16 adopted floor amendments on 5/25 with 143 ayes and 1 nay and will go back to the Senate where they can either concur with the changes or go to conference committee.
SB 202 (Nelson/Price) – relating to the Department of State Health Services, the provision of health services in this state, and the regulation of certain health-related occupations and activities. The bill, much narrower in scope than the companion bill previously heard on the house floor, reduces the role DSHS plays in occupational regulation and permitting. SB 202 was passed out of the House with 3 adopted floor amendments on 5/25 with 143 ayes and 1 nay and will now go back to the Senate where they can either concur with the changes or go to conference committee.
SB 204 (Hinojosa/Raymond) – relating to the functions of the Department of Aging and Disability Services was finally passed out of the House on 5/24 with 20 adopted floor amendments and with 124 ayes and 3 nays. SB 204 will now go back to the Senate where they can either concur with the changes or go to conference committee.
HB 2463 (Raymond/Campbell) – relating to the functions of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services was finally passed out of the Senate unanimously on 5/22 with one adopted amendment relating to technical changes. The bill will now go back to the House where they can either concur or move for a conference committee.
TODAY, May 26: Last day for house to consider senate bills and joint resolutions, other than local and consent, on second reading on House Daily or Supplemental Calendar
Wednesday, May 27: Last day for house to consider local and consent senate bills on second and third reading and all senate bills or joint resolutions on third reading on House Supplemental Calendar. Last day for senate to consider all bills and joint resolutions on second or third reading
Thursday, May 28: Midnight deadline for house to distribute senate amendments
Friday, May 29: Last day for house to act on senate amendments. Midnight deadline for senate to print and distribute senate copies of conference committee reports on tax, general appropriations, and reapportionment bills. Last day for senate committees to report all bills and joint resolutions
Saturday, May 30: Midnight deadline for house to distribute house copies of all conference committee reports. Midnight deadline for senate to print and distribute senate copies of all conference committee reports on bills other than those on tax, general appropriations, and reapportionment and all house amendments to senate bills and joint resolutions that did not go to a conference committee
Sunday, May 31: Last day for House to adopt conference committee reports or discharge house conferees and concur in Senate Amendments. Last day for senate to adopt conference committee reports or concur in house amendments
Monday, June 1: Last day of 84th Regular Session; corrections only in house and senate
The House has adjourned until 10 a.m. House Calendar
The Senate recessed until 9:30 a.m. Senate Calendar