Priority bills moving quickly through Texas Senate

Earlier this year, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick named 30 priority bills for the Texas Senate, tackling a variety of issues ranging from those important to social conservatives to bipartisan measures relating to state infrastructure spending.

With roughly two months left in the 88th Legislative Session, the Senate is leading the way not only in passing general bills but has now cleared over half of its 30 priorities off its list and sent them to the House of Representatives.

Two bills by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) put the chamber past the fifty-yard line for its priorities on Wednesday, those being Senate Bills (SB) 20 and 21.

SB 20 would prohibit local prosecutors, namely county and district attorneys, from adopting policies of refusing to enforce state law. SB 21 would require the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to respond to ethical complaints against judges in a timely manner, as well as prohibit judges from failing to follow state bail bond guidelines.

The bills passed with some bipartisan support, 21 to 10.

SB 12 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) was introduced to prevent the exposure of minor children to adult drag shows or sexualized performances. It passed along party lines Wednesday in a 19 to 11 vote.

Another controversial bill passing on strict party lines was SB 14 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), which bans medical procedures to modify the gender of a minor child. After a controversial amendment that exempted some non-surgical procedures for existing patients was removed, the bill passed 19 for to 11 against.

While the Senate’s school choice legislation, SB 8 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), is on the calendar to be taken up, one education-related bill has already passed: SB 10 by Huffman would provide a one-time payment to retired teachers over age 75 as well as a cost-of-living increase to those who retired prior to 2022.

On infrastructure, Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) was praised by Patrick for his leadership in addressing the state’s freshwater needs with SB 28, which creates the New Water Supply Fund to administer grants to local development projects.

Two priority bills also passed Wednesday focusing on the state’s electric grid by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) include SB, which 6 creates the Texas Energy Insurance Program, and SB 7, which establishes reliability requirements for renewable energy generators.

As of now, the 19 Senate priority bills that have fully passed the chamber include:

Senate Bill 2 – Restoring Voter Fraud to a Felony
Senate Bill 3 – Increasing the Homestead Exemption to $70,000
Senate Bill 4 – Adding Additional Property Tax Relief
Senate Bill 5 – Increasing the Business Personal Property Tax Exemption
Senate Bill 6 – Adding New Natural Gas Plants
Senate Bill 7 – Continuing to Improve the Texas Grid
Senate Bill 10 – Adding 13th Checks for Retired Teachers
Senate Bill 12 – Banning Children’s Exposure to Drag Shows
Senate Bill 14 – Ending Child Gender Modification
Senate Bill 15 – Protecting Women’s College Sports
Senate Bill 20 – Removing District Attorneys Who Refuse to Follow Texas Law
Senate Bill 21 – Removing Judges Who Refuse to Follow Texas Law
Senate Bill 22 – Assisting Rural Law Enforcement Funding – Increasing Pay and Needed Equipment
Senate Bill 23 – Creating A Mandatory 10-Year Prison Sentence for Criminals Committing Gun Crime
Senate Bill 24 – Expanding Alternatives to Abortion
Senate Bill 25 – Creating New Scholarships for Registered Nurses
Senate Bill 28 – Addressing Texas’ Future Water Needs
Senate Bill 29 – Banning Local COVID-19 Mandates
Senate Bill 30 – Supplemental Budget
Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher is the editor and publisher of High Plains Pundit. Dan is also the host of the popular High Plains Pundit Podcast.

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