News from the Pink Dome

The big news: Conference Committee on HB 1 completed their negotiations on the state budget. The follow is what the conferees agreed to regarding TSD: 3 additional FTEs for special education teaching and direct services staff; 1 mental and behavior health counselor; furniture for student dorms, classrooms, Toddler Learning Center, and Central Services Building; a 4% pay increase for certain underpaid staff; funding for busses and a utility truck; and funding for to traffic circulation and CTE classroom expansion.

The school finance reform bill, HB 3 conference committee met today. The bill includes the $5,000 pay raise for teachers and librarians. The bill also provides school district property tax relief.

SB 500, the supplemental bill, and SB 2, property tax reform, are still in their respective conference committees. The legislature has until next weekend to adopt conference committee reports.

On Wednesday, SB 11, the school safety bill, was passed as substituted by the House Public Education Committee. The legislation requires Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Texas School Safety Center (TSSC) to develop and implement provisions regarding school safety. The House committee substitute adds language that provides an annual allotment of $50 per ADA.

It is expected that the House will be taking up SB 11 on either Monday or Tuesday. Sources say 50 proposed amendments have been filed so far.

HB 2255, newborn and infant hearing screening bill, and SB 281, terminology bill, are on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.

HB 637, which relates to conflicting language regarding TSD and TSBVI superintendent’s salaries, was voted out of the Senate Education Committee as substituted.

On bill that we are also tracking, HB 2689, which would require superintendents to designate a cyber security coordinator, has been referred to Senate Education Committee.

May 18th is the last day the House committees can report Senate bills and joint resolutions.

The last day the House can pass Senate Bills on second reading is May 21st. The last day the Senate can consider all bills is May 22nd.

A list of bills we are tracking can be viewed HERE.

The House of Representatives has not adjourned as of print time.

The Senate adjourned until 4:00 p.m. Sunday, May 19.

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