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Review of the 86th Legislative Session

The 86th Legislative Session kicked off the new year when it convened for its biennial session on January 8. Their discussions and debates lasted until May 27, and although thousands of bills were filed (10,877 bills, to be exact), not all of them made the cut. Governor Abbott’s last day to sign or veto bills was June 16. The House and Senate passed 4,581 bills; the Governor signed 1,323 of them but vetoed 58.

If you were not familiar with the process, here is a summary of how everything goes down:

  • Bills were proposed by the House and Senate. Each bill must have been approved by both chambers. Differences were reconciled by a conference committee.
  • The bills were then sent to the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott. The governor has the power to sign or veto a bill.
  • However, if Governor Abbott did not sign nor veto, then the law automatically went into effect.
  • Some measures failed before they got out of the Legislature.

Most new laws will take effect on September 1. Below is a list of some of a few important bills that were both signed and vetoed this legislative session.

SIGNED

  • HB 1: $250 billion two-year budget
  • SB 2: Property tax reform
  • HB 3: School finance reform
  • SB 7: Creating a state flood infrastructure fund
  • SB 11: School safety
  • SB 12: Teacher pensions fix
  • HB 16: “Born alive” act
  • SB 21: Raising the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21
  • SB 22: Defunding abortion providers
  • HB 1545: Rules governing alcohol sales
  • HB 1631: Banning red-light traffic cameras
  • SB 1978: Religious freedom aka the “save chickfila bill)
  • HB 2048: Repealing the Driver Responsibility Program
  • HB 3809: Extending statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits

Abbott vetoed dozens of bills which he described as “good bills gone bad”.

VETOED OR FAILED

  • HJR 3: Sales tax increase
  • SB 9: Elections
  • SB 13: Lobbying Ban
  • HB 63: Lessen marijuana penalties
  • HJR 117: Daylight saving time
  • SB 549: Scooter regulation
  • SB 1033: Ban on certain abortions
  • HB 1139: Intellectual disability and the death penalty
  • SB 1663: Confederate monuments
  • HB 2020: Bail reform
  • SB 2373: Social media

For those who wish to review the passed and failed legislation for themselves, the above information is available here: https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/BillNumber.aspx