Vote Notices

Vote Notice 5.21.23

May 20, 2023
TFR Staff
88th Legislative Session

Texas Senate

Subject: Medicaid Expansion for Post-Partum Women, House Bill 12 (HB 12)

  • Author: State Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas)
  • TFR Position: Oppose 
  • Background: HB 12 seeks to require that the Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) continue Medicaid coverage to women who were enrolled during pregnancy for at least 12 months, post-partum. HB 12 also requires that the Executive Commissioner of HHSC seek a state Medicaid plan amendment. Though it is claimed that the extension of these services would address maternal death cases and help prevent pregnancy-related deaths, the fiscal note for HB 12 estimates it will cost nearly $147 million through the next biennium and between $70 to $80 million every year thereafter, while expanding caseload. Instead of expanding Medicaid services, the Texas Legislature should be focused on creating an environment where Texans are not driven to these social safety nets, to begin with, and once on them, pathways off of them. For these reasons, TFR opposes HB 12.

Subject: Prescription Drug Importation Program, House Bill 25 (HB 25)

  • Author: State Rep. James Talarico (D-Austin)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 25 would require the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) to establish a wholesale prescription drug importation program and implement such a program with specific parameters. Many prescription drug prices are artificially high due to the lack of competition and a protected market by government regulation. HB 25 would allow for increased competition and thereby drive prices on many prescription drugs down. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 25.

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: READER Act, House Bill 900 (HB 900)

  • Author: State Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 900 seeks to provide standards for library collection development that, among other things, prohibit the purchase of sexually explicit library material and sets out standards for library material selection and removal. HB 900 also requires parental consent before a child is allowed to access material rated as sexually relevant and requires districts and schools to review and report the content of certain materials in their library catalog every other year. It is the appropriate role of government to ensure that tax dollars are not spent on pushing agendas, but rather on core education. For this reason, TFR supports HB 900.

Subject: Expanding Gambling, House Bill 1759 (HB 1759)

  • Author: State Rep. John Bucy III (D-Austin)
  • TFR Position: Oppose 
  • Background: HB 1759 seeks to help charitable foundations recuperate losses from diminished capacity and increase fundraising opportunities by authorizing a sports team charitable foundation to sell raffle tickets remotely through digital interactive media to individuals physically located in Texas. We do not need to expand gambling in Texas, even if it is for a charitable event. TFR opposes HB 1759.

Subject: Burdensome Regulation, House Bill 3837 (HB 3837)

  • Author: State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)
  • TFR Position: Oppose 
  • Background: HB 3837 seeks to make it so facilities must capture 90%, instead of 50%, of carbon emissions to qualify for a clean energy program. Making it more difficult for natural gas producers only helps with the environmental alarmist anti-oil agenda. Texas is blessed to have an economy that is abundant with energy and we should reject all green energy plans or hurdles that hurt natural gas and oil producers. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 3837.

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: Hotel Occupancy Tax for Nacogdoches County, House Bill 5178 (HB 5178)

  • Author: State Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 5178 seeks to allow Nacogdoches County the ability to use Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) revenue for the purpose of funding initiatives such as tourism development, historic preservation programs, and promotion of the arts. 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 5178.

Texas House of Representatives


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.