Below are a list of bills that I’m proud the 84th Texas Legislature passed this session. You can read about some of the bills below.

HB 40 – Clarifies how oil and natural gas development is regulated in Texas – by the state of Texas. This includes explicitly listing a city’s powers to regulate the industry. This bill also ensures that regulation cannot deny a private property owners constitutional right to use his or her own land.

SCR 13 – Urges Congress and the President of the United States to recognize that crude oil exports and free trade are in our national interest and to take the necessary steps to eliminate the ban on crude oil exports.

SB 149 – Establishes an individual graduation committee (IGC) for each student who fails to pass an end-of-course assessment by the 12th grade, but passes all of his or her coursework. This means that a student could fail one or two end-of-course exams and still graduate on time. But there are some added requirements – including review and approval by an individual graduation committee. Lastly, This bill allows proficient performance on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment to substitute for the Algebra I or English II end-of-course exam. This bill only applies to students who have failed one or two of the five end-of-course exams required for graduation.

SB 1025 – Authorized a pay raise for county judges who are eligible to receive an annual supplement when their workload consists of 40 percent or more of judicial functions.

SB 1928 – Gives rule-making authority to the Health and Human Services Commission in order to allow public participation and local input into the rules developed around the placement of refugees. This is a big deal for the city of Amarillo because they have a disproportionate number of refugees sent there for resettlement each year. This bill ensures that the local community’s voice is heard and considered during the annual process to determine how many refugees will be placed there by the federal government.

SB 2041 - Honors the service of fallen police officer Michael Naylor, a Sergeant with the Midland County Sheriff’s Office. This bill will name a portion of State Highway 191 in Midland County as the “Sergeant Michael Naylor Memorial Highway.”

HB 100 - University Capitol Construction will provide vital new buildings for the significant increase in student population in Texas. These buildings will help ensure that Texas students have access to quality and affordable education. The following institutions in our district benefit:

  • West Texas A&M – $7.2 M for the Amarillo Center
  • West Texas A&M – $38.16 M for the Agriculture Science Complex
  • University of Texas of the Permian Basin – $48 M to construct the Engineering and Kinesiology Buildings

HB 743 – Also known as the “Testing Time-Limits” bill. This bill puts restrictions on the duration of any state assessment. The bill aims to prevent students from having to participate in long durations of testing, while also giving every student the opportunity to finish an exam without facing pressure from their peers who have already completed the exam. The bill requires that, in grades three through five, 85% of students must finish an assessment within 120 minutes. In grades six through eight, 85% of students must finish an assessment within 180 minutes.

HB 1621 – Protects access to prescription drugs during an insurance appeal.