Vote Notices

Vote Notice 4.28.23

April 27, 2023
TFR Staff
88th Legislative Session

Texas Senate


Texas House of Representatives

Subject: Further Entrenching the Role of the State in Mental Health, House Bill 400 (HB 400)

  • Author: State Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 400 seeks to create two grant programs. One grant program would be called the Psychiatric Specialty Innovation Grant Program and it would provide incentive payments to medical schools that administer innovative residency training programs designed to increase the number of physicians in the state who specialize in pediatric or adult psychiatric care. The other grant program would be called the Behavioral Health Innovation Grant Program and it would provide incentive payments to institutions of higher education that administer innovative recruitment, training, and retention programs designed to increase the number of mental health professionals or professionals in related fields. The establishment of these grant programs in an attempt to “incentivize” what the market could better provide if the government got out of the way continues to establish a terrible trend of the state involving itself more and more in the role of mental health. This is an extremely dangerous position, especially with the latest trend in “woke” science. The question is, would you trust your political opposition to run and fund mental health in this state? The government should stay completely out of mental health and leave that to families, churches, and the free market. For these reasons, TFR opposes HB 400.

Subject: Limiting “No-Knock” Warrants, House Bill 504 (HB 504)

  • Author: State Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 504 seeks to limit the conditions under which “no-knock” warrants can be issued. The use of these sorts of warrants is dangerous for not only Texans generally, but also law enforcement acting on such warrants. There are better ways to conduct law enforcement in our communities. For this reason, TFR supports HB 504.

Subject: Reforming Asset Forfeiture, House Bill 3659 (HB 3659)

  • Author: State Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 3659 seeks to exempt certain property below the total value of $2,500 from seizure under asset forfeiture and also seeks to raise the evidentiary standard for the state in certain asset forfeiture proceedings. Increasing the evidentiary standard would be a step in the right direction in ensuring that the rights of Texans are protected and the asset forfeiture system is not abused. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 3659.

Subject: Scholarship Program for Teachers, House Bill 4363 (HB 4363)

  • Author: State Rep. John Kuempel (R-Seguin)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 4363 seeks to create a scholarship program to aid in recruiting, preparing, and retaining teachers. A major cause of the existing issue with the current lack of teachers in Texas is lawmakers consistently refusing to allow the free market to work by enabling school choice. Pouring more taxpayer dollars into a broken system does not create jobs or solve problems. The best way to recruit teachers is to allow competition and the market to solve the problem. If lawmakers truly wanted more well-qualified teachers they would focus their efforts on supporting school choice. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 4363.

Subject: Collectivization of Rural Small Businesses, House Bill 1718 (HB 1718)

  • Author: State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 1718 seeks to establish a public-private investment program designed exclusively for rural small businesses and an annual insurance premium tax credit for certain investors. Using state dollars to subsidize rural districts and projects is a misuse of taxpayer dollars. People who have decided to live in rural communities enjoy many benefits including privacy, more land, and the freedom to do what they want with that land. One of the consequences of that is they do not have access to as much tax revenue and conveniences of the city. It is not the state’s job to give those benefits to them unless the state wants to give more urban areas the benefits of living in rural Texas. Let local communities implement fiscally responsible policies. It is not the job of the state to subsidize rural businesses. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 1718.

Subject: Cultivation of Hemp, House Bill 2818 (HB 2818)

  • Author: State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 2818 seeks to bring Texas in line with federal law allowing the cultivation of hemp and hemp products. Ultimately, HB2818 allows the cultivation of one of the most versatile textiles known to man. The fiscal note is neutral and the benefit to the market would be substantial. For this reason, TFR supports HB 2818.

Subject: Digital Identification, House Bill 71 (HB 71)

  • Author: State Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 71 seeks to provide for the establishment of a program for the issuance of digital identification, which would include digital driver’s licenses, personal identification certificates, handgun licenses, and hunting and fishing licenses. Outside of the potential privacy concerns that come with the implementation of such a program, there are examples of digital identification programs also being used in things like social credit score systems, like the one being built out in Communist China. When taken to its extreme, systems like this could enable or disable the full and free participation in society of everyday Texans. In a world in which we are becoming more and more connected digitally, we must advocate for the decentralization of our data and limited access to ensure our fundamental rights, including our right to privacy are secured. For all of these reasons, TFR opposes HB 71.

Subject: Loosening Regulations on Home Equity Loans, House Bill 264 (HB 264)

  • Author: State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 264 is the enabling legislation for HJR 20. HB 264 seeks to loosen regulations on home equity loans allowing for closings via virtual meetings. This is a good start in deregulating and helping the market more easily solve problems for homeowners in need of a lifeline. For this reason, TFR supports HB 264.

Subject: Repealing Onerous Regulation, House Bill 3419 (HB 3419)

  • Author: State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 3419 seeks to repeal unnecessary and burdensome regulation that restricts the transportation of horsemeat between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. The Texas Legislature should invest more time in repealing duplicative and burdensome regulations to ensure that law enforcement and regulatory agencies can better address more pressing public concerns. For this reason, TFR supports HB 3419.

Subject: Hotel Occupancy Tax for Wise County Courthouse & Fairgrounds, House Bill 1034 (HB 1034)

  • Author: State Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger)
  • TFR Position: Oppose on Local, Consent, and Resolutions Calendar
  • Background: HB 1034 seeks to allow Wise County the ability to use Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) revenue for the purpose of preservation and restoration efforts for the Wise County Courthouse and to promote, expand, and maintain the Wise County Fairgrounds. The continued use of HOT to finance projects is antithetical to free enterprise. The use of such things lacks accountability. There is no reason to create new taxes and grow the government to build buildings not crucial to infrastructure. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 1034.

Reminder: Vote Notices are provided to both Texas state lawmakers and the general public in advance of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility‚Äôs position on issues to be rated as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Index prior to votes being taken in each legislative chamber.

Disclaimer: We reserve the right to consider amendments to legislation that may be introduced without notice as a part of issues to be rated as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Index. We will make every effort to provide notice on amendments that are pre-filed.