News from the Capitol

Speaker Phelan Unveils First Slate of Texas House Priorities for 88th Legislature

Speaker Phelan announced today several key legislative priorities for the chamber that focus on improving the privacy and security of all Texans as well as better supporting mothers and children in the state.

The following bills, which are part of the Texas House’s broader legislative priority package for the 88th Texas Legislature, have been recently filed by their respective bill authors and are based on Speaker Phelan’s extensive conversations with members over what issues the chamber should address during the session:

  • House Bill 4 by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione
  • House Bill 12 by Rep. Toni Rose
  • House Bill 18 by Rep. Shelby Slawson
  • House Bill 300 by Rep. Donna Howard

House Bill 4 by Representative Capriglione, also known as the Texas Data Privacy and Security Act, would grant Texans new online rights, including the ability to crack down on how companies collect, and in instances profit from, their personal data.

House Bill 12 by Representative Rose would extend Medicaid eligibility to new mothers in Texas to a year after the delivery of their child, significantly increasing the length of time moms can access critical postpartum health coverage.

House Bill 18 by Representative Slawson, also known as the Securing Children Online through Parental Empowerment (SCOPE) Act, would equip Texas parents with tools to keep their children safe online, including the ability to put a stop to addictive algorithms and prevent companies from collecting private information.

House Bill 300 by Representative Howard would exempt, among other essential baby items, diapers and wipes, along with feminine hygiene products from the state’s sales tax, helping to make those items for mothers and families in the state more affordable.

“I am so proud of the hard work that members of the Texas House have already put into these four legislative proposals, which reflect some of the most pressing issues on the minds of Texans today,” Speaker Phelan said. “These bills are great starting points for our chamber as we work to get them over the finish line this legislative session, and I thank Representatives Capriglione, Rose, Slawson and Howard for their leadership.”

“As I have said before, it is essential that the Texas House makes meaningful progress this year on better supporting mothers and children in the state — and that starts with extending health coverage for new moms to a full year,” Speaker Phelan added. “Additionally, I am eager to see our chamber take on Big Tech, which for too long has taken advantage of the data and privacy of Texans and especially our children, who are vulnerable to predatory and addicting algorithms and advertisements on social media platforms. Putting Texans and Texas parents back in the driver’s seat on this issue is a priority for our chamber this session.”

Additional legislative priorities of the Texas House will be announced in the coming days.

Speaker Phelan forms House Select Committee on Community Safety for 88th Legislature

Speaker Dade Phelan today formed the House Select Committee on Community Safety to consider gun-related legislative proposals that are filed during the 88th Legislature.

The 13-member committee has jurisdiction over matters related to the possession, use, sale and transfer of all firearms and ammunition, as well as any associated criminal offenses and penalties.

The membership of this committee supplements the membership of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, to which similar legislation was referred during the 87th Legislature, with members who served on the Robb Elementary Shooting Investigative Committee and members whose communities have experienced the unspeakable tragedy of a mass shooting in recent years.

“The Texas House intends to do everything in our power to keep children and classrooms in our state safe,” Speaker Phelan said. “While there are many factors related to this wide-ranging issue that our chamber will discuss during the legislative session, such as mental health, social media and school safety, a necessary component to this conversation will be related to firearm safety.”

“The individuals I have appointed to serve on this select committee bring extensive knowledge related to homeland security and public safety as well as their personal experiences from the districts they represent,” Speaker Phelan added. “I trust that the members of this committee will thoroughly examine the legislation that comes before them, guiding the rest of our chamber on a robust and much-needed conversation this legislative session.”

The following members of the Texas House have been appointed to serve on the select committee:

  • Rep. Ryan Guillen, Chair
  • Rep. Jarvis Johnson, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers
  • Rep. Dustin Burrows
  • Rep. Terry Canales
  • Rep. Mark Dorazio
  • Rep. Vikki Goodwin
  • Rep. Sam Harless
  • Rep. Justin Holland
  • Rep. Tracy King
  • Rep. Brooks Landgraf
  • Rep. Joe Moody
  • Rep. Ellen Troxclair

To view the proclamation authorizing the creation of the House Select Committee on Community Safety, click here.

Senate Finance Committee Workgroups Named

Articles I, IV & V (Articles I - General Government, IV - Judiciary, and V - Public Safety and Criminal Justice)

Senator Hinojosa — Chair
Senator Campbell
Senator Flores
Senator Whitmire

Article II (Health and Human Services)

Senator Kolkhorst — Chair
Senator Hall
Senator Hughes
Senator Paxton

Article III (Education)

Senator Creighton — Chair
Senator Bettencourt
Senator Hancock
Senator Zaffirini

Articles VI, VII & VIII (Articles VI - Natural Resources, VII - Business and Economic Development, and VIII - Regulatory)

Senator Nichols — Chair
Senator Perry
Senator Schwertner
Senator West

Governor Abbott’s 2024-2025 State Budget Proposals

Click here to view Governor Abbott’s 2024-2025 State Budget Proposals.

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