With just a few weeks left in the 86th Session, we can expect the long marathon to become a fast-paced race to the finish.
We have several issues moving through the legislature that we are watching closely. Specifically, HB 233, our school-start-date bill filed by Rep. Matt Krause. Our state trade association, TTIA, has taken the lead on this issue and has been negotiating a compromise with key school and ISD partners. Accordingly, HB 233 was voted out of the House Education Committee on a 7-5-1 vote.
The vote count for HB 233 is as follows:
- Ayes (7): Chairman Huberty; Vice Chairman Diego Bernal; Representatives Steve Allison; Keith Bell; Mary González; Morgan Meyer; Scott Sanford.
- Nays (5): Representatives Allen; Trent Ashby; Ken King; James Talarico; Gary VanDeaver.
- Present, Not Voting (1): Representative Harold Dutton
We strongly encourage you to reach out to the Committee Members who voted in our favor to thank them for their ongoing support. From the Bexar County delegation, we want to thank Vice Chairman Diego Bernal, who was instrumental in bringing the various ISDs to the table for negotiation, as well as Representative Steve Allison.
From here, HB 233 will go to Calendars Committee, which will determine if our bill will get a hearing on the House Floor. TTIA is leading an effort to have its members contact their State Representatives who sit on Calendars Committee to encourage them to bring the bill for a floor vote.
We are also watching quite a few other bills in Austin, including HB 281, which would prohibit CVBs who are a department within a municipality from using Hotel Occupancy Tax to pay for membership to TTIA and other critical support organizations.
In early April, we participated in Destination Capitol Hill (DCH) in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association. This important trip is a time for us to meet directly with our legislators to discuss critical travel issues. During DCH, we were able to meet directly with Senator Cruz, who shared with the Texas delegation his vision for transportation infrastructure bills and the current legislative outlook. The team was also able to meet with staff members from Congressman Chip Roy and Lloyd Doggett, as well as Senator John Cornyn.
Our Government Affairs team will be hosting a What’s Next in Austin update in mid-May. This presentation will provide an overview of bills that made it through Committee after the May 6 deadline, as well as what to expect for the final weeks of Session. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any questions on these or any other bills.