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DPSOA Legislative Update - Wright Report

Tuesday, November 19, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: John Pike
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While some legislative activity is quieting down ahead of the holidays, here at the Capitol we can feel the coming election year in the wind. Candidates are lining up ahead of a filing deadline on December 9th, March primaries are just around the corner; and with recent retirement announcements, we will see new faces in offices that have been held by longstanding members. All thatbeforea surge of Democratic candidates potentially shaking up the Texas Legislature and an increasingly charged electorate. There is no doubt that the 2020 election season will be historic, and the significance of how it might play out could hardly be exaggerated. However, there are some important legislative updates commanding our attention in the here and now, and we’ve included those items below.

On October 22nd, Speaker Bonnen announced that he would not be seeking re-election as State Representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House. This will mean the swearing in of a new Speaker for the 87thlegislative session, but notably, it marks the first time in more than two decades that House District 25 is an open seat. In the interim, Speaker Bonnen will continue to oversee the work of the House, and we will send you the House Interim Charges as soon as they are released.

On the Senate side, the Lieutenant Governor released Senate Interim Charges at the end of October. Senate Committees on Finance, Health and Human Services, and Intergovernmental relations are scheduled to meet during the first week of December to discuss their respective charges and hear public testimony.

More recently, the November 5th special elections resultedinthree run-off races betweenthefollowing candidates: Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz (D) and Gary Gates (R) for House District 28; Lorraine Birabil (D) and James Armstrong III (D) for House District 100; and Anna Eastman (D) and Luis La Rotta (R) for House District 148.Voters also went to the polls that day to weigh in on ten proposed constitutional amendments, of which, Proposition 1 (permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time) was the only one to fail.TheGovernor has just set January 28, 2020, as the date fortherun-offs.

Additionally, Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D), recently announced that he will be running for Pete Flores’ (R) seat in Senate District 19. As of now, the only other confirmed candidate in this race is Xochil Peña Rodriguez (D), an attorney from San Antonio. If either Gutierrez or Rodriguez turns this district blue, it could cost the Republicans their supermajority in the Senate. Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D), has also announced that he will not be seeking reelection in House District 74, a seat he has held since 2013. Currently, there are no confirmed candidates running to replace him.

Lastly, following the end of the fiscal year on August 31, 2019, the Comptroller released the State of Texas Annual Cash Report. The report contained a letter to the Governor with a summary of the State’s financial condition, and it includes the following highlights:The Consolidated General Revenue Fund ended the year with acash balance in the state treasury of $8.4 billion.The change in the balance is largely due to an increase in tax collections. Balances in Special Revenue Funds increased to$23.1 billion in fiscal 2019. The Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF)ended fiscal 2019 with a total balance of $10.1 billion.Net revenues for all funds excluding trust funds increased to a total of$127.9 billion in fiscal 2019.Tax collections totaled$59.4 billion,and accounted for the largest revenue category. Federal income, the second largest revenue category,totaled $41.9 billion.The largest dollar spending increase by governmental function was inHealth and Human Services, which increased to a total of $51.9 billion.Read thefull reporthere.

We will keep you updated on important events in and around the Texas Legislature as we finish out the year. Have a good Thanksgiving!

 


Courtney Williamson, Legislative Director
Eric Wright & Associates


Lillian Gerrity, Communications
Eric Wright & Associates

 

 

Interim Activities

 

COMMITTEE: Health & Human Services
TIME & DATE: 9:00 AM, Tuesday, December 3, 2019
PLACE:E1.012 (Hearing Room)
CHAIR: Senator Lois Kolkhorst

The Committee will meet to discuss the following interim charges:

Public Health
•Examine the emerging public health concerns from the rise in e-cigarette use and "vaping," especially among minors. Determine if additional policies or laws are needed to protect the public's health.
•Monitor the implementation of Senate Bill 21, including strategies to address tobacco and nicotine use, including e-cigarettes and vaping, by adolescents.

Health Care Costs
• Examine the current status and future direction of the following programs: The Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver, including the DSRIP Transition Plan, and the Healthy Texas Women Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver.

 

 

COMMITTEE: Finance
TIME & DATE: 1:00 PM, Tuesday, December 3, 2019
PLACE: E1.036 (Finance Room)
CHAIR: Senator Jane Nelson

The Senate Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 1:00pm to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:

Spending Limit: Examine options and make recommendations for strengthening restrictions on appropriations established in Article VIII, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution, including related procedures defined in statute. Consider options for ensuring available revenues above spending limit are reserved for tax relief.

Business Personal Property Tax: Study the economic dynamics of the current business personal property tax. Consider the economic and fiscal effects of increased exemptions to the business personal property tax, versus its elimination. Following such study, make recommended changes to law.

Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Finance passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

• House Bill 1525, relating to the administration and collection of sales and use taxes applicable to sales involving marketplace providers.

 

 

COMMITTEE: Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety, Select
TIME & DATE: 9:00 AM, Wednesday, December 4, 2019
PLACE: E1.036 (Finance Room)
CHAIR: Senator Joan Huffman

The Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community
Safety will meet to take up the following charge:

• Assess how state and local law enforcement agencies, fusion centers, mental health providers, digital platforms and social media companies such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., can better collaborate to detect, prevent, and respond to mass violence and terroristic activity. Examine what resources, staffing and protocols are necessary to enhance these partnerships and whether state funding is needed to assist local authorities in this endeavor.

 

 

COMMITTEE: Intergovernmental Relations
TIME & DATE: 2:00 PM, Thursday, December 5, 2019
PLACE: E1.012 (Hearing Room)
CHAIR: Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

The Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations will hold an organizational hearing and hear invited testimony on the Committee's interim charges.

 

 

COMMITTEE:Redistricting
TIME & DATE: 3:00 PM, Friday, December 13, 2019
PLACE: Edinburg, TX (See details below)
CHAIR: Rep. Phil King

The Committee will meet to hear invited and public testimony at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, Conference Halls A & B located at 118 Paseo Del Prado, Edinburg, TX 78539.

The purpose of the interim field hearings is to solicit public input on the 2021 legislative redistricting process and provide context to the official 2020 Census data that the 87th Legislature will receive by April 2021. Since the Legislature will not receive official data from the U.S. Census Bureau until the 87th session is underway, these interim field hearings seek to maximize the opportunities for Texans to share information they believe relevant to the upcoming redistricting process, including information about communities of interest within our state.

 

 

COMMITTEE: Redistricting
TIME & DATE: 11:00 AM, Saturday, December 14, 2019
PLACE: Harlingen, TX (See details below)
CHAIR: Rep. Phil King

The Committee will meet to hear invited and public testimony at Texas State Technical College Cultural Arts Center located at 1825 N. Loop 499, Harlingen, Texas 78550.

The purpose of the interim field hearings is to solicit public input on the 2021 legislative redistricting process and provide context to the official 2020 Census data that the 87th Legislature will receive by April 2021. Since the Legislature will not receive official data from the U.S. Census Bureau until the 87th session is underway, these interim field hearings seek to maximize the opportunities for Texans to share information they believe relevant to the upcoming redistricting process, including information about communities of interest within our state.

 

 

Watch live broadcasts of House hearings and meetings here. Watch live broadcasts of Senate hearings and meetings here.

 

 


Lillian Gerrity, Communications
Eric Wright & Associates


Courtney Williamson, Legislative Director
Eric Wright & Associates

 

 

 

Elections

 

Dates and Deadlines

  • December 9, 2019:Filing deadline for 2020 Elections
  • January 15, 2020:Campaign finance reports due
  • March 3, 2020:Primary Elections
  • May 26, 2020:Primary Runoff Elections
  • July 15, 2020:Campaign finance reports due
  • November 3, 2020:General Election

 

 

Races

Candidates for the Run-offElections on January 28, 2020

House District 28candidates:

  • Gary Gates (R-Rosenberg).In the special election:8,271 votes(28.45%)
  • Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz (D-Katy). In the special election: 11,355 votes (39.06%)

House District 100candidates:

  • James Armstrong, III (D-Dallas).In the special election: 1,421 votes (20.76%)
  • Lorraine Birabil(D-Dallas).In the special election:2,274 votes (33.22%)

House District 148candidates:

  • Anna Eastman (D-Houston).In the special election: 4,201 votes (20.34%)
  • Luis La Rotta (R-Houston).In the special election:3,272 votes (15.84%)

 


Katy Cramer, Office Administrator
Eric Wright & Associates


Lillian Gerrity, Communications
Eric Wright & Associates

 

 

Headlines

 


Lillian Gerrity, Communications
Eric Wright & Associates

 

 

Fundraisers

 

Representative Erin Zwiener
November 18, 2019
1 PM - 3 PM
Austin Club, 110 E 9th St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

Representative John Cyrier
November 20, 2019
4 PM - 5:30 PM
Austin Club, 110 E 9th St, Austin, TX 78701

Senator Robert Nichols
November 20, 2019
11:45 AM - 1 PM
Coronado Club, 919 Milam St #500, Houston, TX 77002

Senator Charles Schwertner
November 20, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Westgate Bldg. 1122 Colorado #2001 Austin, TX

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller
November 20, 2019
4 PM - 6 PM
Austin Club 110 E. 9th St. Austin, TX 78701

Justin Ray for HD 135
November 20, 2019
11:30 AM - 1 PM
Austin Club 110 E. 9th St. Austin, TX 78701

Representative Chris Turner
November 20, 2019
6 PM - 8 PM
500 E. Division St. Arlington, TX

Senator John Whitmire
November 21, 2019
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Four Seasons Hotel Houston, 1300 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010

Senator Lois Kolkhorst
November 21, 2019
4 PM - 6 PM
Austin Club 110 E. 9th St. Austin, TX

Representative Gina Hinojosa
November 21, 2019
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Austin Club 110 E. 9th St. Austin, TX

Senator Eddie Lucio Golf Tournament
November 23, 2019
9 AM - 3 PM
South Padre Island Golf Club, 1 Golf House Rd, Laguna Vista, TX 78578

 


Katy Cramer, Office Administrator
Eric Wright & Associates

 



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