• San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

87th Legislature Recap


The Texas Legislature adjourned Sine Die on May 31, 2021, and your Chamber is breaking down the big takeaways. The 87th Legislative Session was like no other, kicking off in the midst of the pandemic, followed by an unprecedented winter storm that left Texans in the dark and without water. Both events resulted in state leaders getting a late start to address the business community’s top priorities, such as relief and recovery legislation. However, your Chamber worked tirelessly to make sure the needs of the business community were heard in Austin, and we are proud to report a few big wins. The Chamber will publish a full report on the 87th Legislative Session by June 21, 2021. In the meantime, please see below for the bills that passed and those key priorities that did not make it through in the regular session.

SB 2 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Restructuring the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

  • SB 2 passed and was signed by the Governor on June 8, 2021.

SB 3 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Mandates weatherization of natural gas facilities and adds them to the list of critical infrastructures and relates to preparing, preventing, and responding to weather emergencies and power outages.

  • SB 3 passed and was signed by the Governor on June 8, 2021.

HB 1195 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Allows Texas businesses to avoid paying franchise taxes of forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

  • HB 1195 was signed by the Governor and was effective immediately beginning May 8, 2021.

HB 3399 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Allows TxDOT to provide road services on federal military property.

  • HB 3399 passed and was signed by the Governor on May 28, 2021. HB 3399 will be effective beginning September 1, 2021.

SB 780 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Allows Texas Counties to enter into Intergovernmental Support Agreements (IGSAs) with Military Installations.

  • SB 780 passed and was effective immediately beginning May 10, 2021.

HB 999 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Authorizes individual graduation committees to determine a high school senior’s eligibility for graduation without the end-of-year test scores.

  • HB 999 passed and was effective beginning May 31, 2021.

HB 33 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Establishes grant programs by the Texas Workforce Commission to facilitate the participation of veterans and military personnel in apprenticeship training program.

  • HB 33 passed and was signed by the Governor on May 26, 2021. HB 33 will be effective beginning September 1, 2021.

HB 139 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Expedites the processing of professional certifications of military spouses and veterans.

  • HB 139 passed and was signed by the Governor on May 18, 2021. HB 139 will be effective beginning September 1, 2021.

HB 1147 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Relating to military readiness for purposes of the college, career, or military readiness outcomes bonus under the Foundation School Program.

  • HB 1147 passed and was signed by the Governor on June 3, 2021. HB 1147 will be effective beginning September 1, 2021.

SB 337 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Establishes grant program by the Texas Workforce Commission to facilitate the participation of veterans and military personnel in apprenticeship training programs.

  • SB 337 passed and was signed by the Governor on May 30, 2021. SB 337 will be effective beginning September 1, 2021.

SB 10 – The Chamber was opposed to the passage of this bill

  • Bans local government from contracting with a lobbyist.

  • SB 10 failed to pass.

Governor Abbott has until June 20, 2021, to either sign the bills awaiting his signature into law or veto the bills. Your Chamber will continue to monitor the following bills. Please see our Watch List below:


General Business


SB 6 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Protecting businesses and employers from most COVID related litigation if acting in good faith with guidelines.

  • SB 6 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

HB 5 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Broadband expansion to rural and underserved areas of the state.

  • HB 5 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.


Education & Workforce Development


HB 3932 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Establishes a State Advisory Council on Educational Opportunity for military children.

  • HB 3932 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

HB 1525 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Addresses unintentional oversights and necessary additions related to the school finance reform bill passed during the 86th session, HB 3.

  • HB 1525 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.


Healthcare & Bioscience


HB 4 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Expansion of tele-health programs put in place during the pandemic to now be permanent.

  • HB 4 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.


Military Affairs


HB 2365 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Helps safeguard a vital program within our military medical community, specifically the level 1 Trauma Center at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), which provides the highest level of care for our military services members, families, veterans, and civilian patients who find themselves in need of well trained and ready trauma assistance.

  • HB 2365 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

HB 3452 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Adds Special Agents of US Army Criminal Investigation Division and US Air Force Office of Special Investigations to the Texas Criminal Code.

  • HB 3452 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

HB 3932 – The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Establishes a statewide council to address education issues facing military children.

  • HB 3932 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.


Transportation


HB 2219 - The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Reopens the Texas Mobility Fund. HB 2219 has the potential to generate an additional $3 billion in highway, transit, and other eligible projects across the state – with no tax increase or tolls.

  • HB 2219 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.


Water


SB 1441 - The Chamber supported the passage of this bill

  • Relates to withdrawals of water from the Edwards Aquifer to supply a military installation.

  • SB 1441 passed and is at the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.


Special Session


Governor Abbott has already announced that he will call a special session in the fall for redistricting. He has also pledged to add appropriating $16 billion in federal relief dollars to the Special Session call. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has urged for his priorities that did not pass this regular session be added to the special session.

The Governor is the only one who can call for a Special Session and will typically do so if any of his or her top priorities did not get passed. To call a Special Session, the Governor must issue an official proclamation with any items he or she wants the legislature to address. The Governor can pick the number of topics they want to tackle, and there is no limit. The Governor has full authority to call as many special sessions as he or she likes and set the agendas for those sessions. The sessions can be as long as 30 days, and legislators are not allowed to take up any other business than what is on the Governor's agenda. When the session expires, the Governor can call another if he wishes.


Count on your Chamber to keep you updated. For more information, contact Stephanie Reyes, VP of Public Policy at sreyes@sachamber.org or by phone at 210-299-2162.

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