News from the 84th Texas Legislature

Sen. Kirk WatsonSenator Kirk Watson, District 14

D-Austin • Elected: 2006
512-463-0114 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• SB 1032 would allow state employees to work flexible hours or to work from home in order to ease rush-hour traffic congestion. The bill passed the Senate on April 22, and it was released from the House State Affairs Committee on May 15. The bill awaits a vote in the House.

• HB 1510 would protect landlords from liability when they rent to tenants with criminal records. The bill passed the House on May 5 and was released from the Senate State Affairs Committee on May 19. It awaits a vote in the Senate.

Sen. Judith Zaffirini • District 21Senator Judith Zaffirini, District 21

D-Laredo, Elected: 1987
512-463-0121 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• SB 33, which would provide more stringent punishments for hazing on college campuses, was passed by the Senate on April 30. The bill had a public hearing in the House on May 21.

• SB 234, which would allow Hays County residents to hold an election to create a recreational district along the San Marcos River, was approved by the Senate on May 11. The bill was voted out of the House Committee on Special Purpose Districts on May 20.

Sen. Donna Campbell Sen. Donna Campbell[/caption]

Senator Donna Campbell, District 25

R-New Braunfels • Elected: 2013
512-463-0125 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

Three of Campbell’s sponsored bills received Senate public hearings:

• HB 168 creates a specialty license plate and parking privileges for recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross award.

• HB 416 requires abortion providers to train their staff how to identify victims of human or sex trafficking.

• HB 830 creates a specialty license plate to honor the Alamo and raise funds to preserve the landmark.

Rep. Jason Isaac Rep. Jason Isaac[/caption]

Representative Jason Isaac, District 45

R-Dripping Springs • Elected: 2010
512-463-0647 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• HB 2558 would limit the billing period of propane gas customers to 31 days. Passed by the House on May 17, the bill was sent to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.

• HB 3405, relating to groundwater regulation in Hays County, would give the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District authority over groundwater not regulated by the Edwards Aquifer Authority. Referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs, the bill was voted out of committee May 18.

Rep. Paul Workman Rep. Paul Workman[/caption]

Representative Paul Workman, District 47

R-Austin • Elected: 2010
512-463-0652 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• HB 910 would allow Texans with a concealed handgun license to openly carry guns. It passed the House in April and was released from the Senate State Affairs Committee on May 19. It awaits a vote in the Senate.

• HB 984 would allow adults born in Texas and adopted as minors to obtain their original birth certificate without a court order. The bill passed the House on April 15, and it was released from the Senate State Affairs Committee on May 18. It awaits a vote in the Senate.

Rep. Donna Howard Rep. Donna Howard[/caption]

Representative Donna Howard, District 48

D-Austin • Elected: 2006
512-463-0631 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• The Senate passed HB 426 on May 20. The bill reconfigures the Work in Texas website for easier usage for applicants.

• The House passed HB 964 on May 17. The bill amends the tax code relating to the calculation of the rollback tax rate for school districts.

• The Senate passed HB 1902 on May 20. The bill address the regulation and use of gray water.

Rep. Elliott Naishtat Rep. Elliott Naishtat[/caption]

Representative Elliott Naishtat, District 49

D-Austin • Elected: 1990
512-463-0668 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• A public hearing was held May 20 for HB 1807, which requires the state to list all postsecondary educational programs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

• HB 3183, an advance directive and do-not-resuscitate order of a pregnant patient—also known as Marlise’s Law—was left pending in a committee despite an April 15 public hearing.

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez Rep. Eddie Rodriguez[/caption]

Representative Eddie Rodriguez, District 51

D-Austin • Elected: 2002
512-463-0674 • [email protected]

Recent activity:

• Eligible high school students can take as many dual-credit courses as they want under HB 505, a bill that will become law pending the governor’s signature.

• The House approved HB 1891, which would allow struggling schools to adopt a community schools system.


Austin, Travis County and Austin ISD officials gathered Sept. 24 to discuss local resilience planning. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin, Travis County, AISD look to build collaboration on community disaster hubs

The governments and school district are looking to grow a network of facilities that can provide resources to residents amid weather emergencies.

Screen shot of Desmar Walkes speaking at a press conference
Austin Public Health eyes possible shift to Stage 4 guidelines

Local health leaders said they want to see the current downward trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations persist before making any changes.

Kyle City Council voted 6-1 and approved the new citywide trail master plan that will utilize 2020 bond election funds for trails that will help connect Austin to San Antonio. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI Nation roundup: Perfect Game coming to Cedar Park; Kyle City Council approves trail master plan to connect Austin to San Antonio and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 24.

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Sept. 23 though the district has been awarded emergency funding, it has only had access to a fraction of it. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD superintendent lays out barriers to receiving emergency funding

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said while it seems that the district has received "millions and millions," it has been able to use a fraction of granted emergency funds.

Austin is one of five cities worldwide included in the company's new integration. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Electric scooter company Bird will now show available Capital Metro bikes in its app

Riding a scooter this weekend? Keep an eye out for Bird’s new integration with Capital Metro’s bikeshare.

Kevin Foster, an Austin ISD board trustee, alerted the board Sept. 23 to his concern about a police response at LBJ Early College High School last week. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD trustee questions police response after hoax 911 call

After a large police response to a falsely reported school shooting last week, one member of the Austin ISD board of trustees is concerned about police scaring students.

The Dripping Springs City Council voted to approve the budget and the ad valorem tax rate Sept. 21. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs' FY 2021-22 budget increases about $1 million over last year

With about an 8% increase in property tax revenue and more in sales tax revenue, Dripping Springs increased its fiscal year 2021-22 budget by about $1 million over last year's.

Darin Dement, owner of Hillside Liquor, works in front of a poster of Austin's 1980s skyline. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rapid development closes the gap between south, South Congress corridor and downtown

The 2-mile stretch of South Congress Avenue from William Cannon Drive to Slaughter Lane has changed dramatically in the last decade, with development accelerating since 2019.

The Far Out Lounge owner Pedro Corvhalo spends many days at the restaurant
with his puppy Billie. (Photos by Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Far Out Lounge: Owner of venue with history hopes to keep South Austin spirit alive

The building that now houses The Far Out Lounge has been “something” since 1908, owner Pedro Carvalho said.

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.

Flights between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and London-Heathrow will resume Oct. 13 for the first time in 17 months. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
British Airways to resume service from Austin to London in October

The flights will run three days per week and include COVID-19 safety measures for passengers.