Legislative Update: Feb. 8, 2019

​​Get the latest news​ for Texas' 86th legislative session.

Texas Capitol building in Austin.  

Feb. 8, 2019
Volume 7 Issue 5

This Edition

  • Happy One-Month!​
  • D-Town in the ATX
  • Important Issues
  • #TXLege Download
  • Finis …

Happy One-Month!

First … did you know the 86th legislative session turns one month old today? Yay! Happy one-month, 86th Lege! Over the last few weeks, you have grown so much. We remember when you didn’t have your first teeth, uh, we mean committees. Now that you are a one-month-old, you are officially under way. So, what other milestones can we expect? When will you walk … umm … we mean pass the budget? Because we all know that, under the Texas Constitution, you are required to do one important thing — pass a budget.

A couple of other key dates to remember:

  • Friday, March 8, 2019 - Last day a bill can be filed other than local bills, emergency appropriations and emergency matters submitted by the governor.
  • Monday, May 27, 2019 - We blow out the candles, the last day of the 86th Legislature.

D-Town in the ATX

On Thursday, DCCCD Chancellor Joe May packed comfy shoes for his visit to Austin. The morning didn’t start with Lola Savannah Texas pecan coffee (inside joke for those loyal legislative update readers), but rather a meeting with Texas Workforce Commissioner Robert Thomas. He also met with Ruth Hughs, TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers. Dr. May discussed the importance of workforce education and the role DCCCD plays, along with the need for JET (Jobs and Education for Texans) and Skills Development Funds.

Additionally, Dr. May met with Rep. Chris Turner, who chairs the Texas House Higher Education Committee, plus committee members Rep. Carl Sherman and Sen. Angela Paxton. During these meetings, the chancellor discussed DCCCD’s successful efforts in increasing enrollment and investing in P-TECH. He also shared our legislative priorities: 1) increasing funding for community colleges, specifically success points; 2) stabilizing funding for Small Business Development Centers; and 3) addressing college credit transfer concerns. Dr. May continues to tirelessly advocate for students, faculty and staff.

Chancellor Joe May and House Higher Education Committee Chairman Chris Turner meet.

Chancellor Joe May and Rep. Carl Sherman share time in Austin.

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 the 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

OK, what the heck happened to the spring-like weather? What the heck happened to the L.A. Rams’ high-powered offense? What the heck … Apple is paying a teenager for finding a glitch in FaceTime? So much news, so little time. Let’s roll with the #TXLege Download. Pack a blanket and a warm beverage. (Friendly reminder: Some content may be behind a paywall.)

ICYMI: Gov. Greg Abbott delivered the State of the State address

  • Read the State of the State address transcript online.
  • Not a fan of reading? Prefer video? We got you covered: Watch the State of the State address online.

More Elections and Voters (The gift that keeps on giving.)

  • Analysis: A green appointee’s harsh introduction to Texas election politics
  • Watch Secretary of State David Whitley’s Confirmation Hearing
  • Texas Secretary of State defends controversial voter list
  • Texas senators grill top elections officer, criticizing call to scrub voter rolls to find noncitizens

Around the Capitol

  • Senate committee starts work on property tax reform
  • Senators hush critics at first property tax reform hearing
  • Texas homeowners rejoice, local leaders brace for cuts as property tax cap gets first Senate hearing
  • Texas chief judge laments judicial turnover driven by ‘partisan politics’
  • Lawmakers, judges pitch bail bond reform
  • Bill spurs hopes for hemp production

Finis ...

We spoke to our lawyer to ensure we knew what we can say about … Austin? No, actually, about our recent fantastic news! On Tuesday, the DCCCD Board of Trustees approved a $1.1 billion bond program. What does that mean? Well, in May, voters will have a choice to vote for or against the bond.