Vote Notices

Vote Notice 5.16.23

May 15, 2023
TFR Staff
88th Legislative Session

Texas Senate

Subject: Repealing Onerous Regulation, House Bill 1277 (HB 1277)

  • Author: State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 1277 seeks to repeal the requirement that a pedestrian walk on the left side of a roadway or shoulder of a highway facing oncoming traffic if a sidewalk is not provided. TFR supporters the repeal of onerous regulations, especially those constituting offenses.

Subject: Removing Barriers to Work, House Bill 1859 (HB 1859)

  • Author: State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 1859 seeks to remove barriers to entry for HVAC workers by creating an opportunity for both high school and community college students to receive their licenses, after taking the required classes and passing a licensing exam. The current requirements do not allow for this. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 1859.

Subject: Expansion of Rural Veterinarian Incentive Program, House Bill 2026 (HB 2026)

  • Author: State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo)
  • TFR PositionOppose
  • Background: HB 2026 seeks to expand the already existing rural veterinarian incentive program enacted in the previous legislative session. HB 2026 specifically changes the entity with which program participants must enter into an agreement from a university system to that of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), extends the program eligibility to out-of-state students, and expands the number of counties that could qualify by increasing the population threshold from 100k to 150k. Put simply, HB 2026 expands the subsidy for rural veterinarians and ultimately is a perfect example of the problematic nature of all corporate welfare and government incentive schemes. No programs ever get smaller, only larger. TFR opposes the expansion of this subsidy program just as we opposed its creation of it in the last legislative session.

Subject: Creation of a Grant Program, House Bill 4005 (HB 4005)

  • Author: State Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 4005 seeks to create the Texas Competency-Based Education Grant Program to “fill the gap” between federal funds and the total tuition needs of learners in Competency-based education degree programs. HB 4005 has a negative fiscal note of $2.7 million through the biennium and an increasing negative fiscal note every year thereafter. This is not the proper role of government. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 4005.

Subject: Eliminating the Position of Galveston Co. Treasurer, House Joint Resolution 134 (HJR 134)

  • Author: State Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HJR 134 seeks to abolish the office of the County Treasurer in Galveston County. The currently elected County Treasurer ran on the platform of abolishing the office and the duties of the office can be absorbed by other offices that already exist within county government. SJR 28 would shrink the size of the government by eliminating a superfluous office. For all of these reasons, TFR supports HJR 134.

Texas House of Representatives

Subject: Banning CRT in Higher Education, Senate Bill 16 (SB 16)

  • Author: State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 16 seeks to ban the use of Critical-Race Theory (CRT) from institutions of higher education by prohibiting faculty from compelling or attempting to compel students to adopt a belief that any race, sex, ethnicity, or social, political, or religious belief is inherently superior to any other race, sex, ethnicity, or belief. Public institutions of higher education should be focused on creating environments where students are equipped for participation in the workforce and society while also respecting intellectual diversity. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 16.

Subject: Anti-Taxpayer, Senate Bill 1057 (SB 1057)

  • Author: State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: SB 1057 seeks to amend current law relating to the use of certain tax revenue to enhance and upgrade qualified projects and project-associated infrastructure. SB 1057 would essentially use Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) money to build “infrastructure”. SB 1057 defines infrastructure as the George R. Brown convention center in the City of Houston. Convention centers are not infrastructure, and we should not be using infrastructure money to help Houston build convention centers. This is a bad use of tax dollars that does not comport with the core functions of state government. For these reasons, TFR opposes SB 1057.

Subject: Election Integrity, Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070)

  • Author: State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 1070 seeks to expand the factors by which a system can compare with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) as a part of the interstate voter registration crosscheck program. The integrity of the voting electorate is paramount, secure elections are the cornerstone of a Constitutional Republic. For this reason, TFR supports SB 1070.

Subject: Removes Barriers to Entry for School Counselors, Senate Bill 798 (SB 798)

  • Author: State Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 798 seeks to eliminate the requirement that school counselors have classroom teaching experience. SB 798 removes barriers for qualified school counselors. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 798.

Subject: Transparency for Taxpayers, Senate Bill 821 (SB 821)

  • Author: State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 821 seeks to require the Sunset Advisory Commission to evaluate whether a state agency sells personal data, to whom it is sold, the purpose for which it is sold, the dollar amount the agency receives for the sale, and the statute that authorizes the agency to sell the data. In turn, SB 821 would require the Sunset Advisory Commission to then recommend prohibiting the practice unless the commission identifies a compelling state interest justifying the sale. SB 821 would increase transparency for Texas taxpayers. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 821.

Subject: Burdensome Regulation on Business, Senate Bill 812 (SB 812)

  • Author: State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: SB 812 seeks to require food service businesses to display a standardized poster containing information about food allergies as well as require food training programs as well as food manager certification exams to include food allergies as a subject. These requirements would be burdensome for businesses. For these reasons, TFR opposed SB 812.

Subject: Corporate Welfare, Senate Bill 627 (SB 627)

  • Author: State Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: SB 627 seeks to allow for the subsidization of convention center projects in certain cities. Corporate welfare is opposed to the idea of free market enterprise and the philosophy should be abandoned and replaced with instead with lowering regulation and taxes. The government picking winners and losers through “incentives” only hurt free enterprise and stifles competition. For this reason, TFR opposes SB 627.

Reminder: Vote Notices are provided to both Texas state lawmakers and the general public in advance of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s 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.