News from the Pink Dome

Today marks the 60th day of the Legislative Session. This means that the Legislature has 80 days to pass legislation and come to an agreed state budget.

House budget subcommittees met during the early part of the week to iron out agency requests. Then on Thursday, the subcommittees presented recommendations to the full House budget committee for approval.

All of TSD’s additional request were adopted as part of a “wish list.” Basically, this means that the committee can revisit funding needs later throughout the committee process. The House budget committee did adopt over half of what was requested for the TSD’s campus master plan, which are: improvements to pedestrian and vehicle traffic circulation; CTE classroom expansion; and renovation of Seeger Gym.

On Monday, the Texas Senate unanimously passed Senator Nelson’s SB 3, which would provide an across-the-board $5,000 pay raise to all full-time classroom teachers and librarians. The cost to the state is approximately $3.8 billion. The bill now goes to the House.

The following day, the House presented a more comprehensive proposal (HB 3 by Huberty) that increases per pupil spending, funds for full day pre-K for low-income kids and offers merit pay salary increase that are determined at the local level. The House Public Education Committee will hearing testimony for this bill on Tuesday, March 12th.

The Senate Education Committee took up school safety bills during the Tuesday hearing. One of those bills discussed was Senator Taylor’s SB 11, which aims to strengthen school security, hardening school infrastructure, and provides for mental health resources. This bill follows a lot of what was recommended by the Governor’s school safety plan.

The House Public Education Committee voted out Representative Mary Gonzalez’ HB 637, relating to TSBVI and TSD’s superintendent salaries. The technical change bill removes a provision in the Education Code that is antiquated and in conflict with the General Appropriations Act.

A list of bills we are tracking can be viewed HERE

The House of Representatives adjourned until 4 p.m. Monday, March 11.

The Senate adjourned until 3 p.m. Monday, March 11.

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