Legislative Update: Feb. 1, 2019

This Edition

  • Back to the Property Tax Cap Future

  • They Came. They Saw. They Conquered.

  • Important Issues

  • #TXLege Download

  • Finis … 

This week, Marty McFly jumped into the DeLorean and went Back to the Future … or rather ... to the 2017 legislative session. Okay, maybe it wasn’t Marty. On Thursday, the Big 3 (the state's governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house) held a press conference to announce the filing of HB 2 and SB 2 – the property tax bill. Wait! Tell me more.

During the 85th session of the Texas Legislature, the Big 3 discussed a property tax bill that would place a cap on how much revenue local municipalities, school districts and counties could raise. Any increase over a certain percentage (as low as 2.5% to 6% — depending on various versions of the bill) would trigger an election.

Back to 2019: The current version – both bills are identical – would require citizens to approve any local property tax increase of more than 2.5%. So far, the tone around the Capitol has been full of happiness and optimism, which will be tested as the bill moves through the process. Your legislative update team will monitor the bills and report back to you throughout the session. In the meantime, here are a few articles you might want to read. They might be easier to digest with a little Johnny B. Goode.

  • Analysis: Something’s missing from the opening bid for property tax “relief” in Texas

  • Texas lawmakers announce bill to rein in local property tax increases

  • Governor, top Texas state leaders settle on property tax plan as others raise alarms

They Came. They Saw. They Conquered.

The Texas Capitol was packed on Wednesday as hundreds of community college students from across Texas entered the pink dome on Community College Day. Approximately 50 DCCCD students from various colleges began their day with a rally outside the Capitol. North Lake College’s very own, current TJCSGA president, Mhakeda Shillingford, delivered inspiring remarks during the rally.

Polar vortex or not, the weather didn’t dampen their spirits as students headed indoors to meet with legislators and staff members. They discussed the importance of funding and transfer, and they also raised other issues that are important to students.

A special legislative shout-out to Beth Nikopoulos from North Lake, Kelly Sonnanstine from Richland and Brian Borski from Brookhaven for partnering with the governmental affairs team and allowing us to capture some of the interactions between students and legislators.

Important Issues

When we visit with House and Senate members, Chancellor Joe May and DCCCD staffers have one primary goal: to advocate for our students and colleges on issues of importance. A few of those issues include:

  • Funding for community colleges

  • Funding for Small Business Development Centers 

  • A student’s right to transfer 

  • Workforce development

  • Local control 

Throughout the session, we will track these issues and bills that affect DCCCD as they make their way through the legislative process. We also will share more details about the issues listed above. As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. You can now email us at dcccdgovt@dcccd.edu

#TXLege Download

Exciting times! All committees are set. Budget bills have been filed. The big property tax bill dropped this week and – of course! – our college students made it a nightmare to enter the Capitol Grill.

Speaking of food…the Super Bowl is here! Light up the grill, warm up the oven or line up the sandwich meats – whatever you prefer! (I like fajita tacos.) However, before you sit on the couch and munch away, try a healthy portion of the #TXLege Download. Remember, go easy on the jalapeno poppers. (Yet again, the disclaimer: Some content may be posted behind a pay wall.)  

Elections and Voters

  • Botched purge of Texas voter lists put politics ahead of truth

  • Former Texas Secretary of State Believes Inaccurate Voting List Should Be Rescinded

  • Analysis: Texas election officials serve up a plate with lots of red meat, few veggies

  • LULAC sues Texas SOS, AG over voter fraud claims

Around the Capitol

  • Texas lawmakers get a $4,300 raise before taking a single vote in 86th session

  • Fall behind on your student loans? You could lose your license to work. Texas lawmakers want to change that.

  • Texas lawmakers want to fix wait times at driver's license offices

  • Casinos in San Antonio? Texas lawmaker wants to legalize gambling for hurricane relief

  • ICYMI: Time to end daylight saving time in Texas? It could happen

Finis ...

We are about to enter the second month of this legislative session. Pretty soon, more committees will start hearing bills. This is the time when we begin to monitor which bills will be heard in committee and then move forward through the legislative process. If we compare Senate and House to the previous session, we know most of the bills filed will “die in committee.” However, some bills will make their way to the floor, which will impact our students, our colleges and where we live. We hope you read the update, follow us on Twitter (@DCCCDGovt) and voice your opinions and thoughts. Have a great weekend – and Go Patriots! 😊