Hundreds of bills are already off in hopes of becoming law in the State of Texas.
It’s been one week since election day and Texas state representatives took advantage and filed bills for the upcoming Texas legislative session as soon as they could.
Local representatives have already filed dozens of bills targeting everything from health and schools to border security.
Here is a look at what El Paso’s representatives filed in the Texas House of Representatives.
Rep. Joe Moody, who represents West El Paso, is one of many state representatives trying to loosen marijuana laws in Texas.
Moody filed House Bill 63, that would change how someone who is caught with less than an ounce of pot would be punished. It would make it a civil offense, not a criminal one.
Rep. Lina Ortega, who represents the Northeast and Downtown El Paso, filed House Bill 36, which would expedite court proceedings for dangerous buildings, referencing revitalization in Downtown El Paso.
Ortega says this bill would result in a faster resolution of lawsuits and allow cities to continue developing without quote “dangerous buildings holding them back.”
Rep. Cesar Blanco, who representative the El Paso’s Lower Valley, filed House Bill 265 which would take on a controversial state law.
Blanco says there are concerns of racial profiling and unlawful detentions with “anti-immigrant policies like the state’s “show me your papers law.” That law allows police officers to ask about someone’s immigration status during a traffic stop or arrest.
Blanco says his bill would protect officers from allegations, by having proper documentation of the immigration status questions, and protect motorists’ constitutional rights.
Rep. Mary González, who represents East El Paso County, filed House Bill 25.
She wants to decrease maternal mortality by providing transportation statewide, so mothers can bring their children along with them to their prenatal and postpartum appointments.
Here is a list of all the bills they filed:
- H.B. 80 (health care workforce study): As Texas’ population continues to grow, it is possible that our existing healthcare programs are inadequate to meet the state’s future health care needs. H.B.80 would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct a study that would identify statewide and regional shortages in health professions, with an emphasis on shortages in doctoral-level training. The Board will also develop an overview of existing doctoral-level health-related degree programs and note the enrollment capacity of each. Some of these fields include medicine, nursing, and pharmacy.
- H.B. 60 (women’s health care programs notification):State-run women’s health care programs continue to have low enrollment,specifically in our community. In order to increase enrollment, we need new and different ways to reach Texas women. H.B. 60 requires all public higher education institutions to notify all students through email about state-run women’s health care programs and provide links to the Health and Human Services Commission’s website for eligibility requirements and ways to enroll. This bill comes directly from the Frontera Roundtable event in March, where health care professionals, community organizations, and state health agency officials gathered to discuss how to improve health outcomes for women in the El Paso community.
- H.B. 90 (wrap-lending regulation): Wrap mortgage loan scams victimize Texas homebuyers and homeowners, resulting in defaults on first-lien mortgage loans, big hits to sellers’ credit ratings, and the loss of tens of thousands of buyers’ dollars. H.B. 90 protects consumers by helping the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending to detect wrap lenders who abuse licensing exemptions, holding wrap payments in trust,enforcing discloser requirements, and requiring wrap sales to be completed with the consent of the senior lien holder.
- H.B. 36 (expedited court proceedings for dangerous buildings): El Paso is in the midst of revitalizing the downtown area. But as in other urban cities, one of the things our community has to address is substandard buildings that pose a health and safety risk to the community. H.B. 36 expedites any court proceedings relating to substandard buildings in order to prioritize cases that are detrimental to the public and economic health of our communities.
- H.B. 280 (allow more receivers to rehabilitate dangerous buildings): In certain cases, local governments may appoint a receiver to rehabilitate properties that are in violation of city ordinances. Current law only allows individuals with previous history of rehabilitating properties to be appointed. The City of El Paso has found it difficult to find people with previous experience to take on these projects. H.B. 280 expands those who are eligible to be receivers by no longer requiring them to have previous experience.
- H.B. 255- The Every Texan Counts Act- relating to efforts to encourage full participation in the 2020 federal decennial census by the residents of this state, including the establishment of the Complete Count Commission.
- H.B. 257- relating to a policy requiring public and private primary and secondary schools and public junior colleges to provide local law enforcement agencies certain information regarding certain individuals authorized to carry a handgun on a campus.
- H.B. 258- relating to the abolition of student loan default or breach of a student loan repayment or scholarship contract as a ground for non renewal or other disciplinary action in relation to a professional or occupational license.
- H.B. 260- relating to the creation of a cross-border motor vehicle traffic congestion web portal.
- H.B. 264- relating to a report by the Department of Public Safety of certain information on border crime and other criminal activity related to border security.
- H.B. 265- relating to the collection and reporting of information from motor vehicle stops made by law enforcement.
- H.B. 103 – Relating to the disposal of pesticides.
- H.B. 200 – Relating to the creation of a commission to recommend improvements to the public school finance system.
- H.B. 258 – Relating to the public school finance system.
- H.B. 306 – Relating to an annual adjustment to the basic allotment under the foundation school program to reflect inflation.
- H.B. 283 – Relating to an application for a writ of habeas corpus based on certain relevant scientific evidence that was not available at the applicant’s trial.
- H.B. 309 – Relating to the creation of the offense of indecent assault, to judicial protection for victims of that offense, and to certain criminal acts committed in relation to that offense.
- H.B. 334 – Relating to the civil and criminal penalties for possession of certain small amounts of marihuana and an exception to prosecution for possession of associated drug paraphernalia; creating a criminal offense.
- H.J.R. 54 – Proposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting the governor or a specific-purpose committee for supporting or assisting the governor from accepting political contributions during a special legislative session.
- HB 161 – Relating to the authority of a county to end a low-income vehicle repair assistance, retrofit, and accelerated vehicle retirement program in the county.
- HB 199 – Relating to the authority of an electric utility to impose a rate or charge on an owner of solar or wind electric generation.
- HB 205 – Relating to a review of the motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program to vehicles of certain model years.
- HB 221 – Relating to motor vehicle size and weight limitations.
The legislative session kicks off January 8th, 2019.