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Is it law yet? See how far some of the top bills have made it in the Texas Legislature

🕐 5 min read

by Carla Astudillo and Texas Tribune Staff, The Texas Tribune.

In the works

Voting restrictions

SB 7: Sent to conference committee on May 7

The GOP’s priority elections bill would add new restrictions on voting in Texas. Lawmakers are ironing out major differences in the versions of the bill that passed the House and Senate, but the measure includes a prohibition on counties sending unsolicited applications to vote by mail. The legislation could also restrict early-voting rules, restrict schedules to do away with extended hours, ban drive-thru voting, and require large counties to redistribute polling places under a formula that could move sites away from areas with more Hispanic and Black residents. Read more

Permitless carry of handguns

HB 1927: Sent to conference committee on May 12

This measure, which has failed in past sessions, would allow people to carry handguns in Texas without a concealed handgun license. Read more

State budget

SB 1: Sent to conference committee on April 27

The one must-pass piece of legislation this session, Senate Bill 1 is the state budget for the 2022-23 biennium. Lawmakers entered the session expecting to make major cuts, but financial forecasts have improved in recent months. Read more

Transgender students and school sports

SB 29: Passed the Senate on April 15

This bill would prevent transgender Texas children from joining school sports teams that match their gender identity. Read more

Gender-affirming medical care made child abuse

SB 1311: Passed the Senate on May 17

This measure would prohibit health care providers and physicians from performing gender-confirmation surgery or prescribing, administering or supplying puberty blockers or hormone treatment to anyone younger than 18. Read more

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Power plant weatherization

HB 2000: Passed the House on May 4

House Bill 2000 is the plan to help finance what will likely become mandatory power plant upgrades so they can withstand more-severe weather. Modeled after Texas’ water infrastructure fund, HB 2000 and the corresponding House Joint Resolution 2 would allocate $2 billion from the state to a newly created fund that would provide electricity generators with access to grants and low-cost loans for weatherizing projects. The plan will need to be approved by voters because it alters the state’s Constitution. Read more

Winter storm response

SB 3: Passed the Senate on March 29

Senate Bill 3 is the upper chamber’s sweeping legislation stemming from February’s deadly winter storm. The legislation would create a statewide emergency system to alert Texans if power outages are expected, target renewable energy sources by protecting the natural gas industry, and require all power generators, transmission lines, natural gas facilities and pipelines to make upgrades for extreme weather — a process known as weatherization. Read more

Critical race theory in schools

SB 2202: Passed the Senate on April 28

This bill would ban the teaching of critical race theory in Texas schools and limit what public school students can be taught about the United States’ history of subjugating people of color. A similar measure introduced in the House is also moving in the Legislature. Read more

Critical race theory in schools

HB 3979: Passed the House on May 11

This bill would ban the teaching of critical race theory in Texas schools and limit what public school students can be taught about the United States’ history of subjugating people of color. A similar measure introduced in the Senate is also moving in the Legislature. Read more

National anthem bill

SB 4: Passed the Senate on April 8

This conservative-backed bill would require any professional sports teams with contracts with the state government to play the national anthem before the start of a game. Read more

Broadband expansion

HB 5: Sent to conference committee on May 6

This measure would aim to incentivize the expansion of broadband internet access to areas across the state through the creation of the State Broadband Development Office, which would award grants, low-­interest loans and other incentives to build out broadband access. Read more

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Ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned

SB 9: Passed the Senate on March 30

This measure would ban abortion in Texas if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Read more

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

SB 10: Passed the Senate on April 15

A conservative priority, this bill would ban local governments from using taxpayer dollars to lobby the state. Read more

Social media expression bill

SB 12: Passed the Senate on April 1

Pushed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in response to the perception that social media companies are discriminating against conservatives, this bill would prohibit social media companies with at least 100 million monthly users from blocking, banning, demonetizing or discriminating against users based on their viewpoint or their location within Texas. Read more

Statewide appeals court

SB 1529: Passed the Senate on April 29

This measure would create a new statewide court of appeals that would hear cases that have statewide significance — including ones that challenge state laws or the Constitution, or when the state or its agencies are sued. Currently, those cases are heard by the 3rd Court of Appeals based in Austin, whose judges are Democrats. Read more

Changes to bail

HB 20: Passed the House on May 4

The House’s priority bail bill was recently overhauled to match the Senate’s version. The legislation would keep more people accused or previously convicted of violent crimes in jail before trial unless they can post cash bonds. It would also bar many charitable organizations — which paid for the release of anti-police brutality protesters last year — from posting bond for those accused or previously convicted of violent crimes. Read more

Protecting churches from closure during disasters

SB 26: Passed the Senate on March 25

This measure would ban public officials from closing churches or other places of worship during a disaster declaration. Read more

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Governor’s pandemic powers

HB 3: Passed the House on May 11

This measure would give lawmakers more oversight of the governor’s emergency powers during a pandemic and carves out future pandemics from how the state responds to other disasters, like hurricanes. It would affirm the governor’s power to suspend state laws and override local orders during a pandemic but would require the Legislature to convene if a governor’s order lasts more than 90 days. Read more

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