Well, January 2023 is about to come to a close. That’s hard to believe… I guess time flies when you are having fun!
120 days remain in the 88th Legislative Session.
As we reported last week, Senate Committees have been appointed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Some observations on that:
- The number of Senate standing committees remained the same as the 2021 , at 15.
- The Education Committee has a standing Subcommittee on Higher Education and the Higher Education Committee was eliminated.
- The name of the Veterans Affairs and Border Security Committee was changed to the Veteran Affairs Committee.
- Republicans chair 14 of the Senate’s 15 Committees. Only the Dean of the Senate, John Whitmire who chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, remained a Democratic Chair.
- It’s still unclear which Committee will receive the bills related to insurance. We can expect more on that as bills are referred to the committee jurisdiction where those issues will be heard.
- The Senate Finance Committee will have 16 members, up from 14.
Speaking of the Senate Finance Committee, SB 1 the State’s Budget for the next biennium begins hearings on major pieces of the State Budget this week. Article II of the Budget, related to Health and Human Services Issues begins this Wednesday. The following Monday the Committee will look at Article III the State’s Education Budget. Those are the two largest pieces of the Texas State Budget. That’s where most of the money is…
On the other side of the rotunda, the Speaker “cards” for the House member’s committee preferences were due to the Speaker the end of this week. Expect House Committees to be appointed sometime in February.
We also await the Governor’s “State of the State” address to the Legislature will be shortly and there he is expected to announce his “emergency issues” for the Legislature to start considering ASAP, avoiding the Constitutional requirement of 60 days. The large issues have been discussed – Property Taxes, Border Security, School Choice, and Electricity Reform are the favorites if you are betting on what the “emergency items” will entail. Keep your eye on social issues as well. Stay tuned on this….
As for LLK, we are busy tracking bills, meetings with stakeholders, getting bills returned from the Texas Legislative Council and getting them filed by the members! The bill filing deadline is March 10, 2023.
This is fun! In the news for LLK – the Texas Lobby Rankings by Capitol Inside were released Friday. Lara Keel remains the highest ranked woman on the contract lobbyist list! For the entire article and commentary, see the Texas Lobby Power Rankings of 2023 here: https://capitolinside.com/lobby2023-mainxxx.html
For more information on the 88th Texas legislature you can go to: www.capitol.texas.gov
All the best from us and for Texas!
Lara Laneri Keel & Zoe Fain