PRE-FILING IS UNDERWAY
On November 8, 2010, pre-filing began in earnest at the Texas State Capitol for the 82nd Legislative Session. Due to the shortness of the legislative session (140 days beginning on the second Tuesday of January and ending on approximately 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 week of the 2010 pre-filing period, more than 446 bills were filed with the Chief Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate’s respective offices. In the 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 for the 82nd Legislative Session was House Bill (HB) 16. HB 16 outlines what would be defined as acceptable documentation to be presented by an individual at a polling location in order to ascertain the individual’s identity. Individuals may present documentation such as utility bills or documents such as a state identification card. Several of the other bills pre-filed in the Texas House are:
• HB 26 seeks to establish a freeze on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed on the residence homestead of an eligible person who is a member of a reserve division of the United States armed forces and is ordered to active military.
• HB 33 relates to measures to increase the affordability of textbooks used for courses at public institutions of higher education.
• HB 155 is related to the instruction of American Sign Language in public high schools.
• HB162 would provide that in each even-numbered year, the legislature shall
convene in budget session at 12 noon on the third Tuesday in April.
In the Texas Senate the first bill filed establishes respectful language to be used in statutes or rules when referencing individuals with disabilities. Senate Bill (SB) 26 asserts “that language used in reference to persons with disabilities shapes and reflects society’s attitudes toward persons with disabilities. Certain terms and phrases are demeaning and create an invisible barrier to inclusion as equal community members”. A number of the other bills pre-filed in the Senate are:
• SB 63 relates to the creation of the individual development account program to provide savings incentives and opportunities for eligible persons to pursue home ownership, postsecondary education, and business development.
• SB 73 addresses the removal of certain limitations on the debt issuance of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institution of Texas.
• SB 98 relates to human trafficking.
• SB 100 creates voting procedures necessary to implement the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.
• SB 109 is related to benefits and protections for residential electric consumers.
The pre-filed bills for the 82nd (R) legislative session are available for the public to view at www.capitol.state.tx.us. 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).
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE THANKSGIVING!!!!