Throughout the 88th Texas legislative session, thousands of bills are filed in hopes of making it out of committee and on to the floor, with the overall goal of reaching the governor’s desk and being signed into law.
With leadership establishing a set agenda of bills that are of priority to them, many others do not see the light of day.
Monday, May 8, was the first of several key legislative deadlines. Any House bills that had not been voted out of a House committee by Monday are effectively dead. A second deadline occurred Thursday. Any House bill that had not been passed to third reading by the House is effectively dead, and as of Friday, any House bill that has not been passed on third reading is dead.
Though nothing is truly dead until the legislative session ends May 29; even bills that missed deadlines can be revived as amendments to other bills.
Throughout the session, Texas AFT has tracked bills aligned with our Respect Agenda, as well as bills that posed threats to public education. Today, we spotlight a few of each that did not make it out of the House, for better and for worse.
Rest In Peace: Bills We Loved & Lost
- HB 202 (Rep. John Bucy, D-Round Rock) would have provided full-time employees of state agencies and higher education institutions with a $10,000 raise.
- HB 770 (Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston) would have provided a $4,000 raise for educators.
- HB 991 (Rep. Terry Meza, D-Irving) would have established a minimum wage for school bus drivers of $15.
- HB 1548 (Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock) would have provided a $15,000 raise for teachers and a 25% raise for support staff.
- HB 4586 (Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin) would have provided a $10,000 raise for teachers and certified staff and a 15% raise for support staff. Additionally, it would have increased the basic allotment in relation to the Consumer Price Index (it would’ve increased the state funding for schools in relation to inflation).
- HB 2938 (Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston) would have removed the ability of Districts of Innovation to exempt themselves from class-size restrictions and would have required all schools to report excessive class sizes on the school website.
- HB 2939 (Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston) would have removed the ability of Districts of Innovation to exempt themselves from class-size restrictions, employment protections, and the Safe Schools Act.
- HB 4230 (Rep. James Talarico, D-Austin) would have expanded 22:1 student-teacher ratio requirements to 5th through 8th grade, and would have made it more difficult to subvert these requirements.
- HB 882 (Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin) would have increased the basic allotment in relation to the Consumer Price Index (it would have increased state funding for schools in relation to inflation).
Good Riddance: Bills That Mercifully Died
- HB 1507 (Rep. Ken King, R-Canadian) would have prohibited LGBTQIA+ Pride celebrations in schools and would have authorized up to $10,000 in fines against educators.
- HB 4640 (Rep. Nate Schatzline, R-Fort Worth) would have eliminated payroll deductions for private school educators.
- HB 2890 (Rep. Charles Cunningham, R-Humble) would have changed the rejection of open-enrollment charter school application by the State Board of Education from a majority to a supermajority.
- HB 2615 (Rep. Gary Gates, R-Fort Bend) would have reversed significant progress the Texas Legislature has made in career and technical education (CTE) in past decades especially since the passage of the landmark House Bill 5 in 2015, which established the Foundation High School Program. HB 2615 would have lowered the bar for graduation, possibly preventing students from being academically prepared to enter the workforce or gain industry certification.The Texas AFL-CIO, which fights for high-quality apprenticeships for students, also joined in our opposition.