“First, he respects people from his heart,” Button said of why she supports Phelan. And while those results are not yet known, we do now know the results of the races for the Texas state legislature. Greg Abbott in September by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers. Legislators will also be selecting a new Speaker of the House during the opening of the 2021 legislative session. “Most issues in the Legislature aren't really Republican and Democratic issues,” Ramsey said. Still, Dutton acknowledged the challenges of reimagining policing in a Legislature where only a fraction of bills become law and in a state where some Republican officials, including Gov. by Texas Tribune Staff Those include redistricting, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, property taxes, and other issues voted on by Texas voters. “And Dade Phelan is the perfect person for this situation.”. Falling along party lines, the new members had different views for addressing the budget and managing COVID-19 during session, though all three said they supported Dade Phelan, the presumptive Texas House speaker. With the recent election cycle (mostly) behind us, Texasâ 87th legislative session is set to convene at noon on Jan. 12. The Texas Legislature is set to convene its 2021 legislative session on January 12, and lawmakers have already pre-filed several bills that would reform Texasâ outdated cannabis laws. Full Story, Watch: Here’s what you should know heading into the 2021 Texas legislative session, Analysis: When mapmaking Texas politicians are smiling and quiet, pay attention, Masks required, COVID-19 tests encouraged for opening day in the Texas House next month, Analysis: Texans might be ready for casinos, but lawmakers aren’t convinced, GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson readies 2021 lobbying blitz to bring casinos to Texas, Dan Patrick wants to change Senate rules so GOP keeps a key advantage, despite losing its supermajority, Analysis: Adding a new tax might be easier than ending an old tax break. HOUSTON - SIGN UP FOR FOX 26 HOUSTON EMAIL ALERTS. “There's a million ways to do this.”, Three veteran members of the Texas House discuss how presumptive House Speaker Dade Phelan will lead the lower chamber. Texas lawmakers will meet next month to address the health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but social distancing measures will likely disrupt the Legislature’s daily grind, said Ross Ramsey, executive editor of The Texas Tribune. The 2021 must-do menu also includes legislative and congressional redistricting, which is generally a big olâ mess even when thereâs not a pandemic. The 87th Legislature's regular session runs from Jan. 12 to May 31. Huffman was joined by state Rep. Phil King, R-Austin, in a conversation moderated by Ross Ramsey, executive editor of The Texas Tribune. Last legislative session, the Texas House had a “shocking underrepresentation” of women on its most powerful committees, said state Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, in a conversation about what a group of women lawmakers wants to see in the upcoming legislative session. Ours is truly a grassroots organization powered by local involvement. After the 2020 Census, redistricting will occur, with congressional districts redrawn for the 2022 through 2030 elections. In 2021, the Texas Senate will have 18 Republicans and 13 â¦ It will be nothing compared to 2011,” Hinojosa said. Major sponsors of this symposium are Toyota North America, the Beer Alliance of Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Philanthropy Advocates, Educate Texas, Gulf States Toyota, Raise Your Hand Texas, AT&T, Texas State University System, HCA Healthcare, University of Texas at Arlington, IDEA Public Schools, DoorDash, Texas Exes, NRG Energy and 19th Amendment Centennial Fund. We have redistricting, of course, that we have to do. At Tuesdayâs City Council meeting, Bill Longley, an attorney with the Texas Municipal League, told city officials it is important for them to prepare for what is sure to be a busy 2021 in Austin. Full Story, by Ross Ramsey “It's a social mechanism,” Ramsey said during a panel discussion explaining the Legislature and previewing the 2021 session. Show us with your support. Nov. 24, 2020, Phelan was a prominent lieutenant of current House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, whose handling of the 2019 legislative session was popular before scandal brought him down. While they supported safety precautions like wearing masks in their offices — members can make their own office guidelines — both said they didn’t want rapid testing to prohibit constituents from accessing members. The following report was contributed to in part by Wade Long, one of TMHA's long standing lobbyists. On Tuesday, Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) said that he is committed to authoring legislation in the 2021 legislative session that will â¦ Throughout the event, lawmakers, state officials and journalists discussed the impact of 2020 elections on the state House and Senate, the impact of COVID-19 on the state budget, the priorities of lawmakers in both chambers, calls for action on racial justice and police brutality, what the redistricting process is likely to look like and more. Dec. 1, 2020, The Legislature is set to convene in January. “Women are the glue of most households and women have to make tough choices,” Johnson said. The new Legislature is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Greg Abbott, have pledged to “back the blue.”. The conversation, moderated by Tribune political reporter Alex Samuels, also included state Rep. Harold Dutton, chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. It's not. After the 2020 Census, redistricting will occur, with congressional districts redrawn for the 2022 through 2030 elections. “It's up to the 150 of us to come together for the betterment of Texas,” Goldman said. It is supported by Office of Public Insurance Counsel, One World Strategy Group, Texas Infrastructure Now and Fairmont Austin. March 24, 2021â Yesterday marked the halfway point of the eighty-seventh Texas Legislature, one of the wildest and most contentious weâve ever seen. In Dade Phelan's bid for Texas House speaker, trust was key. In fact, that might be the hardest option available. Access Mobile Version of TLO. The Washington version is noisy. Texas Tax Talk: 2021's Legislative Priorities | Thought ... ... Tax Update Texas Legislature | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Prefiling Browse Legislation - View Trending - Dataset Downloads Active Texas Bills ( Introduced , Engrossed , Enrolled , Passed ) On January 12, lawmakers from across the state of Texas will convene the 87 th Texas Legislative Session. “Second, he takes time to communicate with people. Monday marked the first day bills could be prefiled. Texas lawmakers have been reluctant to expand coverage for people with incomes near or below the poverty line. Perry said he has “no doubt this is the session” to expand access to broadband internet for rural Texans. A Texas redistricting committee is holding field hearings across the state ahead of 2021 mapmaking, including in San Antonio on Thursday. In many states, this process is controlled by the state legislature, subject to gubernatorial veto.When one party controls the process, this can lead to gerrymandering, where district lines are set to maximize that partyâs control in Congress. Paul Buckowski / Albany Times Union. State Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso and State Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio have both already pre-filed bills that will likely come up when the session gets underway. Full Story, It might seem that closing tax loopholes and ending exemptions would be an easy way to balance a state budget during a pandemic. By the freewheeling 1970s, Texas marijuana possession laws became less severe. The Texas Constitution requires the Texas Legislature to convene in Austin on January 12, 2021 at noon. Despite a Republican-controlled state government, Ramsey said working across the aisle is common during the 140-day session. The panelists also highlighted new safety protocols that will be in place this session at the Capitol. Editor's note: This session was recorded Dec. 4, when Sen. Chuy Hinojosa was vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Nov. 27, 2020, More than 60 election-related bills have been filed in the House and Senate in the three weeks since the election. Tribune events are supported through contributions from our investors and members. By midafternoon, more than 500 bills had already been filed in the Texas â¦ “A lot of this is just really kind of up in the air and I think folks are … getting antsy on just having some answers and some clarity on what all this ends up looking like come January,” Pollock said. Capriglione and Hinojosa said the state has an obligation to continue funding public education to keep the commitment made in the 2019 session. This time around, a group of Democratic lawmakers are hoping to change that, having formed an “Equity Caucus” to advocate for women’s equity in House leadership and pledging to vote as a bloc for the House speaker, going public with its pick of Dade Phelan. During the 2021 legislative session, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus will focus on continuing efforts to reform the stateâs criminal justice system, â¦ Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning. Now, he said, it could be delayed because the U.S. Census Bureau has pushed back its deadlines for counting the population due to COVID-19. The gavel doesnât drop to open the 2021 Texas legislative session until Jan. 12, but state lawmakers are already giving us an indication of what they will be working on next year. “What this pandemic tells us is that we have a problem … in Texas, and now all the people are seeing it.”, Women’s equity is at the top of the agenda for state Reps. Gina Hinojosa and Julie Johnson, co-founders of the Texas Legislature’s Women’s Equity Bloc. Johnson said the caucus will bring the perspective of women who have children and care for their families. With the state government facing a cash shortfall, a billionaire casino magnate is making a bold play for the Lone Star State. Full Story, by Patrick Svitek Plus, what the Legislature will look like in a pandemic, and what Tribune reporters are watching most this legislative session. The Texas version is a bit quieter, but it's underway. At a time when newsroom resources and revenue across the country are declining, The Texas Tribune remains committed to sustaining our mission: creating a more engaged and informed Texas with every story we cover, every event we convene and every newsletter we send. When it does, a lot can happen in a short period of time. Nov. 30, 2020, The seasons change in the political world, too. The Democrats only needed nine seats to take control of the House. The 87th Legislature's regular session runs from Jan. 12 to May 31. Texas Democrats promised 2020 would be the year Texas turned blue, the Texas Tribune reported on Wednesday. Full Story, by Cassandra Pollock “My hope is that we make it a work environment where we can get the job of the people done in a safe and professional way,” Menendez said. Texas Bill Filing For 2021 Texas Session Begins With Legislation On Abortion, Police Stops And Redistricting. How many times? Leading members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus outline the priorities of their members for the 2021 legislative session. Dec. 16, 2020, Remaking the state’s political maps — redistricting — is important. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. MAKEUP BY PARTY: The Texas Senate currently has 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats. HOUSTON â A bill seeking to modify the so-called âcastle doctrineâ in Texas is getting lawmakers riled up ahead of the legislative session that â¦ After commissioners in a North Texas county ignored citizensâ pleas and authorized extending the countyâs mask mandate to February 28, Texas Republican Party Chair Allen West called on the Texas Legislature to act against â¦ The conversation, moderated by Tribune CEO Evan Smith, also included Joe Moody, one of Phelan’s more prominent Democrat supporters from El Paso, and Angie Chen Button, R-Richardson. Third, definitely, he is trustworthy.”, The panelists also said that Phelan, like Dennis Bonnen — who will retire as speaker at the end of his term after a secret recording revealed he encouraged the targeting of 10 GOP members for primary challenges — has the same focus and knack to get things done as his predecessor and will, as Hunter said, fairly call “balls and strikes.”, Texas House members spell out their top priorities heading in to the 2021 legislative session. The Texas Tribune and Spectrum News have teamed up to present a free week-long event â from Dec. 7 to 11 â previewing the 2021 proceedings. Will Dan Patrick push to change the rules? The Legislature Explained at The Texas Tribune's symposium previewing the 2021 legislative session. The conversation, moderated by Tribune CEO Evan Smith, included Tribune political reporters Cassi Pollock, Alex Samuels, Patrick Svitek and Alexa Ura. More than 800,000 people lack adequate broadband infrastructure, according to a letter sent to Gov. “All the good members of the Legislature will at least entertain the discussion about this, and let’s see if we can’t agree to do something that changes the outcome of policing in Texas,” Dutton, D-Houston, said. Full Story, by Karen Brooks Harper Members of the public who wish to testify may first have to test negative for COVID-19. Texas Legislative Session Preview. Two Texas lawmakers said despite an expected shortfall of almost $5 billion for the current two-year budget, they hope to increase funding for health care and broadband services in the next budget, without increasing taxes. Will Texas Lawmakers Legalize Casino Gambling in 2021? By Robert Montoya | November 24, 2020. Disclosure: AT&T, CenterPoint Energy, Educate Texas, Gulf States Toyota, IDEA Public Schools, NRG Energy, Office of Public Insurance Counsel, One World Strategy Group, Raise Your Hand Texas, Texas Exes, Texas Infrastructure Now, Beer Alliance of Texas, Texas State University System and University of Texas - Arlington have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Following an election that largely maintained the status quo within the Texas Legislature, Pollock said Democrats’ inability to gain any seats in the House means they’ll have limited input on the state’s redistricting process. A Preview of the 2021 Legislative Session. Redistricting takes place every 10 years following the census. Ura said their level of input will depend on how early Texas receives census information, and that overall, she’d be surprised if the process was complete by the end of the session. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect everyday life, Texas legislators know that it wonât be business as usual at the Capitol during the 2021 legislative session. “Broadband speed, internet was not a priority, it was just a normal one of the key issues that we needed to address, but because of the pandemic, now it’s become a priority,” Hinojosa said. “It's all insider baseball,” Ramsey said. A North Texas county extends its mask mandate to February 28, 2021, after the 87th Texas Legislative Session starts. Texas Republicans have blocked voter access legislation for years. Chuck Lindell. Last update: November 17, 2020 . Morales, the Democrat, said he wants to consider pulling money from the state’s “rainy day fund” to address the budget and would like to increase access to broadband and healthcare in the many rural counties in his district, the largest in the state. Other than redistricting, setting the budget and addressing the impacts of the coronavirus, the governor, lieutenant governor and presumptive House speaker, Dade Phelan, haven’t made their legislative priorities clear, Svitek said. Watch all of the conversations from the symposium and read highlights from the discussions below. Many of the legislatureâs 2020 agenda items therefore are expected to re-emerge in 2021. State Sen. Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen, also joined the conversation moderated by the Tribune’s executive editor, Ross Ramsey. March 24, 2021â Yesterday marked the halfway point of the eighty-seventh Texas Legislature, one of the wildest and most contentious weâve â¦ Perhaps it goes without saying — but producing quality journalism isn't cheap. Jef Rouner - November 20, 2020. Dec. 14, 2020, The House will limit attendance for what is typically a crowded day at the Capitol when family and friends attend the opening ceremonies. Full Story, by Cassandra Pollock As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on members to help keep our stories free and our events open to the public. Now it's time to govern. Facebook. The Tribune’s Evan Smith and Ross Ramsey on how the Legislature works — and what it might look like in a pandemic. By. The Texas Legislature doesnât meet very often. “This is the people’s house, and we need to make sure the people have access to us,” Jetton said. On Election Day, Republicans lost a critical advantage in the state Senate. Find a complete list of them here. Republican control of the Texas Legislature allows the party to continue to direct important issues during the upcoming session. “I think just the fact that we only had one woman on the Calendars Committee — the committee that sets the agenda for the entire House — was a hard pill to swallow.”. As more people are relying on the internet for education and telehealth during the pandemic, Hinojosa said lawmakers also hope to create a plan to increase access to broadband services. It is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. Dec. 9, 2020, Adelson's Las Vegas Sands has built a stable of high-powered lobbyists for the session, which starts in January, and the company acknowledged Tuesday that it is serious about bringing casinos to Texas. Dec. 9, 2020, The lieutenant governor said Wednesday he wants the Senate to decrease the threshold required to bring legislation to the floor to 18 members, which would allow the GOP to continue sidelining Democrats. King said he was working with the House parliamentarian to draft rules to allow virtual meetings where the public can weigh in on how new maps are drawn. The pandemic may change that. Several cannabis reform bills pre-filed ahead of 2021 session . In-Depth News Politics 2021 Texas Legislature gerrymandering legislative redistricting Texas redistricting U.S. Census Bureau. This 2021 legislative session is already vastly different as the coronavirus continues to change the everyday lives of Texans. We're in that periodic move from electioneering to governing. “It will be some pain, yes, but nothing compared to 2011.”, Redistricting leaders in the Texas House and Senate look toward the process of drawing the district maps that will take place this year. In an ongoing effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Texas State Capitol, Capitol Grounds and Visitors Center are currently fully closed to the public. The conversation, moderated by Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek, also featured state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, and state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock. When lawmakers gather in Austin on January 12th for the 87th session of the Texas Legislature, they'll be staring two colossal issues square in the face; an on-going pandemic still killing off their constituents, and a once-thriving economy chewed up by the very same contagion, robbing state coffers of at least $4.5 billion The representatives also spoke about the importance of health care, education, child care access and LGBTQ+ protections in the upcoming session. Here at Progress Texas, weâre going through every bill filled in the 2021 Texas Legislative Session. Texas Legislature; Bill seeking to modify Texas âcastle doctrineâ causes stir ahead of 2021 legislative session click2houston.com - Aaron Barker. “We have so many tools in our toolbox that we’ll be able to work through it. TEXAS STATE SENATE. State Reps. Hinojosa and Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, spoke about what the women’s bloc is hoping for in the upcoming legislative session during a conversation with Emily Ramshaw, the co-founder and CEO of the 19th, a nonprofit newsroom focused on gender equity. January 12, 2021: 87th Legislature convenes at noon (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 5(a); Texas Government Code, Section 301.001) March 12, 2021: 60-day bill filing deadline ( Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 5(b) ) Full Story, by Karen Brooks Harper 2021 Texas Legislative Session Bills; Prepare for a (Legislative) Gun Battle in Texas Next Year. “This is where we go to debate, jump up and down, scream at each other, come out with a kind of forced agreement – and if you can't get together, it doesn't function right.”. Conversations on how people will testify during the session are underway, Pollock said, and lawmakers are considering options such as limiting the number of people in the Capitol and requiring a negative COVID-19 test before entering. The lege website makes it easy to see the bills filed every day. Texas House Current Makeup: Republicans â 83, Democrats â 67 | January 2021: Republicans â 83, Democrats â 67. Some are good, some are bad, and others are downright ugly. The 87th Texas Legislature is about to kick off come 2021. In 1931, the legislature made possession of any amount of marijuana a felony offense, punishable by up to life in prison. Four Tribune reporters share what they are most watching for at the 2021 legislative session. Itâs a policy pressure cooker. “Basically, you have to have approval – either expressed or tacit – from the House, Senate and governor in order to pass a law.”. Texas will debate legal marijuana, police reform and other hot button issues in 2021. Three veteran Texas lawmakers said that Dade Phelan, the presumptive Texas House speaker, will unite lawmakers through his experience and sincerity in what will be the Legislature’s first chance to address the health and economic impact of the pandemic next month. First have to make tough choices, ” Ramsey said during a panel discussion explaining the Legislature are n't republican! 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