PRE-FILING IS UNDERWAY
On November 12, 2012, pre-filing began in earnest at the Texas State Capitol for the 83rd Legislative Session. Due to the shortness of the legislative session (140 days beginning on the second Tuesday of January and ending around June 1st of every odd-numbered year) many bills are pre-filed before the legislative session even begins. On the first Monday in the week following the November general elections current members and those just elected but not yet seated may begin pre-filing bills. In the first three weeks of the 2012 pre-filing period, more than 359 bills were filed with the Chief Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate’s respective offices. In an upcoming series of articles I intend to present a cross section of the bills which to date have been filed.
The first bill pre-filed in the Texas House of Representatives for the 83rd Legislative Session was House Bill (HB) 21. HB 21 outlines the establishment of a central database listing individuals of whom on three or more occasions have been convicted of family related violence. The database would have information regarding convictions of family violence and other such information about the individual’s which is open to the public. Several of the other bills pre-filed in the Texas House are:
- HB 27 relating to the creation of an offense for certain prohibited uses of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
- HB 29 seeks to require that general academic teaching institutions offer a fixed tuition rate plan to undergraduate students.
- HB 37 relates to the criminal penalty for and certain civil consequences of damaging property with graffiti..
- HB 47 is related to a handgun proficiency course that is taken to obtain or renew a concealed handgun license.
- HB 48 relates to the procedure under which a person may renew a license to carry a concealed handgun.
In the Texas Senate the first bill filed is Senate Bill (SB) 11, which addresses the administration and operation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. SB 11 would require that those individuals of whom apply for TANF funds, to submit to a controlled substance use screening assessment in order to be eligible for those benefits. A number of the other bills pre-filed in the Senate are:
- SB 46 seeks to establish an exemption for books purchased, used, or consumed by university and college students from the sales and use tax for a limited period.
- SB 52 relates to exclusions for disabled peace officers from payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education.
- SB 72 would establish a prohibition of the use of credit scoring in underwriting and rating certain personal lines of insurance coverage.
- SB 93 seeks to provide for the continuation of the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force.
- SB 101 is related to a constitutional limit on the rate of growth of appropriations and the use of surplus state revenues.
The pre-filed bills for the 83rd (R) legislative session are available for the public to view at www.capitol.state.tx.us.
I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that my Capitol Office room location has changed. My new office location is GW. 18. I welcome everyone to come by and see the new space and visit with my staff if you are in Austin. Please feel free to call if you need any assistance in locating the new office.
If you have questions or comments regarding any of the pre-filed bills mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces (Part) and San Patricio Counties. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 512-463-0672.