This is the update for week 2 of the 86th Session:
Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sworn into office
Tuesday morning, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took the oath of office on the north steps of the Texas Capitol and pledged bipartisan cooperation, significant reforms of school finance and property taxes.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hailed a spirit of bipartisanship after taking the oath of office Tuesday. Patrick said three big issues will guide the 2019 session as he presides over the Senate:
* Reforming property taxes for homes and businesses, including a freeze on taxes for those 65 and older.
* Reforming education and school finance.
* Giving teachers a pay raise.
Both the House and Senate starting budget plans were filed, and both prioritize public education
The Senate plan includes $2.4 billion to fund enrollment growth and an additional $3.7 billion for a teacher pay raise; the House has proposed $9 billion in additional general revenue for public education this session.
The Senate Finance Committee announced its first hearings on the budget for this Tuesday.
The Senate announced committee appointments on Friday
Most of the major committees and chairs are not substantially changed from last Session. A new committee, the Senate Property Tax Committee, chaired by Sen. Paul Bettencourt will have jurisdiction over the property tax bills this session, rather than the Finance Committee.
For a complete list of Senate committee appointments click this: 2019 Texas Senate Committees
The House has not announced committees as of this week. Those announcements are expected soon.
Over 900 bills have been filed in the House as of this week, and almost 400 in the Senate.
An appraisal cap bill was filed this week, along with the first batch of revenue cap bills. Watch for more of these bills to be filed in the coming days as committees are appointed.
Another Chapter 312 bill, SB 350, was filed to make the chapter permanent in the Tax Code.