Vote Notices

Vote Notice 5.4.23

May 3, 2023
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TFR Staff
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88th Legislative Session

Texas Senate


Subject: Closing the Disaster Loophole, Senate Bill 1251 (SB 1251)

  • Author: State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 1251 seeks to ensure that if voters reject a taxpayer ratification election (TRE), the Independent School District will only be able to adopt the voter-approval tax rate in relation to the property tax. Multiple school districts across Texas have previously ignored the will of the voters, exploiting a disaster loophole, and adopted a tax rate greater than the voter-approval tax rate. SB 1251 would ensure this loophole could no longer be exploited. For this reason, TFR supports SB 1251.

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: Preemption of Local Climate Charter Efforts, Senate Bill 1860 (SB 1860)

  • Author: State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: SB 1860 seeks to enable the Texas Legislature to review and approve a proposed climate charter or amendment to an existing climate charter before a municipality can hold a local election on the proposed climate charter. SB 1860 will stifle an ongoing and growing phenomenon where activist groups originating outside the state of Texas successfully infiltrate the state and oppose local referendums that ultimately lead to the detriment of Texas communities. For this reason, TFR supports SB 1860.

Texas House of Representatives


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

  • Author: State Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • 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: Corporate Welfare Revival, House Bill 5 (HB 5)

  • Author: State Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi)
  • TFR Position:
    • Opposed to Specific Amendments
      • Background: Amendments that obscure transparency and accountability or extend the window between implementation and a sunset review of the program.
    • Supportive of Specific Amendments
      • Background: Amendments that seek to increase the transparency and accountability of a given abatement as well as amendments ensuring a shorter window between implementation and a sunset review of the program

Subject: Legislative Primacy, House Bill 2139 (HB 2139)

  • Author: State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: Ultimately, HB 2139 seeks to establish legislative primacy, and directs the judiciary to interpret the words “must” and “shall” literally, as a requirement, as opposed to also taking into account perceived legislative intent when attempting to interpret statute. Notably, HB 2139 would also preclude courts from taking into account statements from lawmakers, which includes the authors of the legislation, the contents of committee reports, and any comments made during both committee hearings and floor discussion. HB 2139 would seek to end the nefarious parliamentary practice of lawmakers inserting “trojan horses” into the legislative record, knowing that a judiciary element would and could later use it to stifle the implementation of legislation. For these reasons, TFR supports HB 2139.

Subject: Creation of the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium, House Bill 5174 (HB 5174)

  • Author: State Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 5174 seeks to establish the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium (TSIC) and the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund (TSIF). TSIC would be used to leverage the expertise and capacity of institutions of higher education, industry, and non-profit “stakeholders” to develop a strategic plan to ensure ongoing semiconductor innovation, sustain Texas’ leadership in semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing; attract public and private investment in Texas related to semiconductors; identify and expand opportunities for workforce training and development related to semiconductors; and establish a forum for public and private stakeholders across the semiconductor manufacturing industry with Texas to focus on education, research, and commercial production. The TSIF would be utilized to provide appropriations to state entities and institutions of higher education as matches for semiconductor manufacturing and design projects, and award grants to business entities with an established presence within the state of Texas to encourage economic development related to semiconductor manufacturing and design. HB 5174 is estimated to have a negative impact of $1.7 million through the biennium and about $830k every year thereafter. Though Texas should absolutely be concerned about ensuring they maintain hegemony in producing semiconductors, instituting a corporate welfare program to do something the free market can do better, is not the right answer. For this reason, TFR opposes, HB 5174

Subject: Establishment of a Vehicle Mileage User Fee Pilot Program, House Bill 3418 (HB 3418)

  • Author: State Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 3418 seeks to establish a vehicle mileage user fee pilot program. Ultimately, HB 3418 is the beginning of what will eventually be proposed as a new source of revenue for the state, a charge to drive your vehicle on roads in the state of Texas. Texas does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 3418.

Subject: Elimination of the Vehicle Safety Inspection Program, House Bill 3297 (HB 3297)

  • Author: State Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 3297 seeks to eliminate the Vehicle Safety Inspection Program for non-commercial vehicles and establish an equivalent vehicle inspection replacement fee to be paid at the time of vehicle registration.

Subject: State Sovereignty to Regulate Oil and Gas Operations, House Bill 33 (HB 33)

  • Author: State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 33 seeks to prohibit Texas state agencies and officials from assisting any federal agency or official with the enforcement of any federal act that purports to regulate oil and gas operations and imposes a regulation that does not exist under state law.

Subject: Duplicative Regulation Preemption, House Bill 2350 (HB 2350)

  • Author: State Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine)
  • TFR Position: Support
  • Background: HB 2350 seeks to lessen the economic and logistical burden of duplicative requirements that are placed on many Texas professionals by both state and local regulations. HB 2350 would preempt those licensing requirements that affect professions already regulated by the state, without preempting any municipal occupational licensing requirement for professions not licensed by the state. Ultimately, this lessens the burden on Texans. For this reason, TFR supports HB 2350.

Subject: Creation of a License for Wage Access Service Providers, House Bill 3827 (HB 3827)

  • Author: State Rep. Stan Lambert (R-Abilene)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 3827 seeks to create a new chapter in the Finance Code regulating earned wage access services and the providers of such services with respect to both business-to-business and business-to-consumer interactions. HB 3827 seeks to create a new licensing scheme. Licensing schemes serve as barriers to entry for Texans seeking to participate in a system of free enterprise. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 3827.

Subject: Minor Access to Home Visiting Program, House Bill 1680 (HB 1680)

  • Author: State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin)
  • TFR Position: Oppose
  • Background: HB 1680 seeks to allow a minor who is eligible for a home visiting program to content to enrollment in and receive services from a home visiting program. This sets a dangerous precedent for minors girls that have given birth to a child. The fact that they have a child does not change the fact they are a minor, and still under the custody of a parent or guardian. Allowing minors to consent to decisions without the express consent of parents is a path that ends nowhere good. For this reason, TFR opposes HB 1680.

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.