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Monday, November 9, 2020

Ready or not, lawmakers began filing bills Monday for next meeting of Texas Legislature

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 12:53 PM

click to enlarge WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / DANIEL MAYER
  • Wikimedia Commons / Daniel Mayer
Texans may be tired of politics after a rough and rancorous election season. Just the same, the state's legislative season kicked off Monday with lawmakers filing a flurry of bills.

The Texas Legislature won't be gaveled in until January, but this marked the first day lawmakers could file bills for debate. By midmorning, they'd already done so 450 times, according to a Texas Tribune tally.



Here are some of the highlights, according to the Tribune's roundup:
  • State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, filed a bill known as the George Floyd Act, which includes a series of policing and criminal justice reforms.
  • State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, filed a measure that would make Texas' medical marijuana program accessible to a larger number of patients.
  • State Rep. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio, filed a proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility to some Texans under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The state is one of a a small number that hasn't expanded Medicaid coverage.
  • State Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, filed a proposal to ban abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy. Under current Texas law, abortions are prohibited after 20 weeks.
  • State Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, filed a measure that would prevent law enforcement departments from working with reality TV shows.
Thousands of bills are filed each legislative session, but by the end of 140 days, only a finite number actually make it to the governor's desk. Political observers expect survival rates this session to be slimmer than usual as the Lege struggles to work up a new budget amid dwindling revenue due to the pandemic.

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