Vote Notices

Vote Notice 5.24.23

May 24, 2023
TFR Staff
88th Legislative Session

Texas Senate

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: Corporate Welfare Revival, House Bill 5 (HB 5)

  • Author: State Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi)
  • TFR PositionOppose
  • Background: HB 5 seeks to create a new program under the guise of economic development to attract jobs and investment to Texas through school district property tax abatements. In the 87th Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature sought fit to not continue the now-ended Chapter 313 tax abatement program, a system that lacked accountability and transparency. Tax abatements merely shift the tax burden to those who do not qualify for such abatements. If Texas lawmakers truly want to ensure that Texas’ economy remains strong, they would spend their efforts ensuring that all Texans benefit from a low regulation and low tax environment. Government should not be in the business of stealing from taxpayers to give corporate welfare in the form of tax abatements. This practice is antithetical to free enterprise and TFR opposes all subsidies and corporate welfare.

Subject: Harmful History of Communism Curriculum, House Bill 2273 (HB 2273)

  • Author: State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 2273 seeks to include in the state education curriculum standards that convey the harmful history of communism and totalitarianism as running contrary to core American principles of freedom and a democratic form of government. The horrors of a Communist form of government should absolutely be something that future generations are made aware of in order to further establish that a government that instead encourages individualism and free enterprise provides for better outcomes. For this reason, TFR supports HB 2273.

Subject: Raising Pensions of Lawmakers, While Ignoring Taxpayers, House Bill 2779 (HB 2779)

  • Author: State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Allen)
  • TFR PositionOppose
  • Background: HB 2779 seeks to increase the annual base salary for district judges to account for inflation. Although this bill and other bills have decoupled the pension increase associated with lawmakers, this still gives inflation bumps to the salaries of government employees. This bill also accepted an amendment that raises the pensions of lawmakers for inflation. TFR opposes inflation adjustments for Judges when taxpayers get no such adjustments on property tax relief. Taxpayers should have primacy, but HB 2779 seeks to help the “special class” of elected officials before taxpayers. TFR opposes HB 2779.

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

  • Author: State Rep. Salman Bhojani (D-Euless)
  • TFR Position: Oppose 
  • 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: Encouraging an Inequitable Tax System, House Bill 4433 (HB 4433)

  • Author: State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 4433 seeks to provide cities and counties with an optional program to support longtime “legacy” homeowners in designated reinvestment zone. Ultimately, HB 4433 would allow a board to dedicate, pledge, or provide the use of money in a tax increment fund to prevent homeowner displacement by providing annual payments on behalf of the legacy homeowner to offset the increase in property taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of those homeowners. A “legacy” homeowner is defined in HB 4433 as someone who is the owner of a residence homestead located in a reinvestment zone and who has continuously resided in the property for at least 7 years. Ultimately this will create exemptions and special classes that end up making the tax system inequitable. Taxes should be lowered for all equally and governments should avoid picking winners and losers. TFR opposes HB 4433.

Subject: Property Tax Exemption at Expense of Other Taxpayers, House Bill 4645 (HB 4645)

  • Author: State Rep. Lulu Flores (D-Austin)
  • TFR Position: Oppose on Local, Consent, and Resolutions Calendar
  • Background: HB 4645 seeks to expand an already existing property tax exemption available to certain charitable organizations developing housing to also include charitable organizations working in collaboration through a ground lease arrangement. Exempting one group from a tax only increases the burden on those who do not qualify for such an exemption, unless the spending of the local government levying the tax is simultaneously lowered, thereby lessening the burden. Texas taxpayers absolutely deserve property tax relief but providing an exemption for one group at the expense of another is not the right approach. For these reasons, TFR opposes HB 4645.

Texas House of Representatives

Subject: Allowing Parents to Pre-Register for College Courses, Senate Bill 459 (SB 459)

  • Author: State Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney)
  • TFR Position: Support on Local and Consent Calendar
  • Background: SB 459 would allow parents to be included in the pool of existing classes of individuals who can pre-register for college-level coursework. SB 459 would give families more options and make education more equitable. For these reasons, TFR supports SB 459.

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.