Vote Notices

Vote Notice 5.23.22

May 23, 2023
TFR Staff
88th Legislative Session

Texas Senate

Subject: Anti-Free Enterprise, House Bill 3942 (HB 3942)

  • Author: State Rep. Salman Bhojani (D-Euless)
  • TFR Position: Oppose on Local and Uncontested Calendar
  • Background: HB 3942 seeks to require a health benefit plan to provide coverage for telemedicine medical services, teledentistry dental services, and telehealth services with an originating site or distant site located outside Texas on the same basis and to the same extent that coverage would be provided if such sites were located in Texas. This proposed requirement is antithetical to free enterprise. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 3942.

Subject: Alteration in the Way the No-New-Revenue Tax Rate is Calculated, House Bill 4456 (HB 4456)

  • Author: State Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine)
  • TFR Position: Oppose on Local and Uncontested Calendar
  • Background: HB 4456 seeks to clarify the process for determining a school district’s no-new-revenue tax rate by reference to the rate calculation in the Texas Education Code. This new calculation will result in a higher no-new-revenue rate and ultimately higher tax revenues due to the inclusion of both state and local funding as a part of the school finance formula. Changing the way the rate is calculated would potentially prolong the path to the elimination of the property tax altogether. For these reasons, TFR opposes HB 4456.

Subject: Anti-Taxpayer, House Bill 100 (HB 100)

  • Author: State Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian)
  • TFR Position: Oppose/Amend
  • Background: HB 100 seeks to increase public education funding, including through enrollment-based funding under the foundation school program and increasing and restructuring the minimum salary schedule for specified employees. This bill continues to overfund an already overfunded school system while giving very few concessions on school choice. It also seeks to empower parents of children who are enrolled in government schools and a limited amount of private school students. TFR supports ensuring that it is parents who come first when it comes to the decisions made for their child’s education. TFR recommends amending HB 100 to ensure that it is truly universal and all parents can benefit, as opposed to only those who have previously enrolled their children in government schools or other stipulations. TFR has long supported the idea of school choice, and continues to support Education-Savings Accounts (ESAs), but does not believe the true choice is provided if not everyone qualifies. We recommend amendments to remove the added funding towards government schools and install a true universal school choice provision.

Subject: Increased Transparency, House Bill 614 (HB 614)

  • Author: State Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 614 seeks to require a property owners’ association to establish a transparent policy regarding fines and related violations. Increased transparency for Texas taxpayers is beneficial. For this reason, TFR supports HB 614.

Subject: Transparency for Taxpayers, House Bill 1228 (HB 1228)

  • Author: State Rep. Will Metcalf (R-Montgomery)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 1228 seeks to require that the chief appraiser of a local appraisal district provide at the request of a property owner a copy of the records, supporting data, schedules, and other material and information without a fee that was used in determining the value of the property. This policy change would allow for increased transparency and accountability in an appraisal system that is currently stacked against the interests of Texas taxpayers. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 1228.

Subject: Restoring Penalty for Illegal Voting, House Bill 1243 (HB 1243)

  • Author: State Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 1243 seeks to restore the penalty for illegally voting to a state jail felony which was lowered from a Class A misdemeanor in the last legislative session. This is an important reform to secure our elections and make it hard to cheat. For this reason, TFR supports HB 1243

Subject: Increasing Market Competition in Healthcare, House Bill 2414 (HB 2414)

  • Author: State Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 2414 seeks to allow insurance companies to incentivize patients for choosing lower-cost providers. This is a step in the right direction to give more options to customers to lower their bottom line since current regulation stifles competition in this way. HB 2414 ultimately helps taxpayers by giving them more options such as modified deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing provisions. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 2414.

Subject: Appraisal District Burden of Proof in Certain Trial de Novo Appeals, House Bill 2488 (HB 2488)

  • Author: State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 2488 seeks to establish that the appraisal district has the burden of proof in certain trial de novo appeals of property values if the value of the property subject to the appeal was lowered in the preceding year. Although the best appraisal reform is to abolish property taxes altogether, HB 2488 advocates for the taxpayer and seeks to address problems in the appraisal system. For this reason, TFR supports HB 2488.

Subject: Medicaid Expansion for Telemonitoring Services, House Bill 2727 (HB 2727)

  • Author: State Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 2727 seeks to provide for telemonitoring services under Medicaid for certain high-risk pregnancies and certain other diagnosed medical conditions. Adding more Medicaid services results in negative fiscal impacts to Texas taxpayers. This is a Medicaid expansion and instead we favor a policy that provides a free enterprise solution to Medicaid, not growing taxpayer dependence on government healthcare. Lawmakers should spend their time reducing Medicaid and offering free market solutions by lowering regulation on the medical industry, not expanding socialist programs. For these reasons, TFR opposes HB 2727

Subject: Increased Transparency for Information Requests, House Bill 3033 (HB 3033)

  • Author: State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa)
  • TFR PositionSupport
  • Background: HB 3033 seeks to ensure a more timely release of information subject to public information law by implementing a number of safeguards, including requiring a governmental body to take action within 30 days after the issuance of an opinion by the attorney general following a request from the governmental body. HB 3033 seeks to provide additional transparency and accountability to taxpayers. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 3033.

Subject:  Hotel Occupancy Tax for Denton County Sports & Events Complex, House Bill 5105 (HB 5105)

  • Author: State Rep. Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger)
  • TFR Position: Oppose 
  • Background: HB 5105 seeks to allow Denton County the ability to use Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) revenue for the purpose of development, construction, maintenance, operation, improvement, and marketing and promotion of a multipurpose sports and events complex. 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 5105.

Texas House of Representatives

Subject: Transparency for Taxpayers, Senate Bill 767 (SB 767)

  • Author: State Sen. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 767 would require a fee schedule of new and increased fees to be included on a municipality’s budget page (similar to current requirements when proposing new property tax rates). SB 767 would require a separate vote by the city council to approve the use of the revenue raised by the new or increased fees and require the municipality to designate an individual who can provide a comprehensive list of all municipal fees to a person upon request. SB 767 would also for anyone to register for an email notification about proposed new or increased fees. All of the aforementioned requirements would increase transparency for Texas taxpayers. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 767.

Subject: Prohibition Expansion on Contract Discrimination, Senate Bill 936 (SB 936)

  • Author: State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 936 expands the prohibition on discriminating based on labor agreements for public contract work to include local government money, governmentally administered financial assistance, money from ratepayers, or money from user fees. Taxpayer money should be carefully allocated as efficiently and effectively as possible, regardless of group affiliation. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 936.

Subject: Anti-ESG, Senate Bill 833 (SB 833)

  • Author: State Sen. Phil King (R-Weatherford)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 833 seeks to prohibit any insurance company doing business in Texas from using ESG factors on the basis for rate making or in making a coverage decision. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 833.

Subject: Transparency for Parents in Sexual Education, Senate Bill 163 (SB 163)

  • Author: State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 163 seeks to repeal the expiration date of August 1, 2024, from the written notice opt-in requirement for students to receive sexual education, essentially making the policy of opting into sexual education permanent, a huge change from the old opt-out policy. When using tax dollars, especially with the latest epidemic of sexual misconduct and indoctrination, it is important parents are provided with transparency about how their children are taught about sexual practices. For this reason, TFR supports SB 163.

Subject: Socialized Healthcare Program for Texas Students, Senate Bill 1966 (SB 1966)

  • Author: State Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: SB 1966 seeks to create a socialized healthcare program for Texas students. The program is modeled after the California Health Alliance and claims to increase school attendance. The reality is that the more government gets involved in healthcare the worse and more inefficient it becomes. Texas should not be wasting tax dollars on socialized healthcare, but deregulating and trusting free enterprise. For these reasons, TFR opposes SB 1966.

Subject: Expanding the Cottage Food Industry, Senate Bill 829 (SB 829)

  • Author: State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 829 seeks to encourage food resiliency by advocating for Texans’ ability to provide for themselves and their communities. SB 829 would expand cottage food production operations lowering regulations. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 829.

Subject: Pro-Taxpayer, Senate Bill 1803 (SB 1803)

  • Author: State Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 1803 would establish an efficiency audit for state services provided to homeless individuals. Efficiency audits are a preferred way to ensure that taxpayer money is being used in a way that is not only efficient but most effective, which is in the best interest of taxpayers. For this reason, TFR supports SB 1803.

Subject: Informed Consent, Senate Bill 177 (SB 177)

  • Author: State Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 177 seeks to require healthcare providers to first obtain informed consent before administering a COVID-19 vaccination while also preventing penalties from being imposed against individuals who refuse to receive such a vaccination. SB 177 would also allow the Texas Attorney General to bring a suit against individuals who violate provisions of the legislation including in junction and the prevention of repeat violations. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 177.

Subject: Pro-Taxpayer, Senate Bill 369 (SB 369)

  • Author: State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 369 seeks to automatically disannex certain areas that are paying city property taxes without receiving full city services. SB 369 seeks to enforce existing law and protect residents who are unfairly taxed and establishes a deadline for those cities to be in compliance otherwise allowing the property owner to bring action against the city. Taxpayers should expect that the tax dollars they spend are used for the purposes by which the tax is levied. For this reason, TFR supports SB 369.

Subject: Scope of Government, Senate Bill 1546 (SB 1546)

  • Author: State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 1546 seeks to clarify the authority of certain special districts to ensure they do not exercise certain rights outside of the district boundaries. SB 1546 would ensure the scope of special governmental jurisdictions remains limited. For this reason, TFR supports SB 1546.

Subject: Election Integrity, Senate Bill 1039 (SB 1039)

  • Author: State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
  • TFR PositionSupport
  • Background: SB 1039 seeks to provide additional transparency in the electoral process by providing a vehicle for election judges, candidates, and proponents/opponents of a measure to inquire with the county election officials about identified irregularities and in return receive a rationale for the highlighted irregularity with a plan to improve the situation if justified. Elections should be as secure as possible. For this reason, TFR supports SB 1039.

Subject: Free Speech, Senate Bill 190 (SB190)

  • Author: State Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: SB 190 raises the civil penalty for signs placed on public roads for advertisement. This bill is anti-business and hurts new businesses and businesses of lower-income Texans who may not be able to afford to advertise. This is especially hypocritical from lawmakers that put out thousands of signs all over public roads to get themselves reelected every few years. TFR opposes this anti-business bill.

Subject: Emergency Powers Reform, Senate Bill 1104 (SB 1104)

  • Author: State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 1104 seeks to limit the disputed authority of the executive branch and acts as the enabling legislation for SJR 58. SB 1104 explicitly specifies that during a declared state of disaster, only the Legislature, or the representatives of the people, have the authority to restrict or impair the operation of businesses. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 1104.

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.