News from the 84th Texas Legislature

Sen. Charles Schwertner • District 5Sen. Charles Schwertner • District 5


Recent activity:
SB 133, which relates to mental health first-aid training for school district employees, passed the Senate in March. The bill passed the House on May 26 and was sent to the governor’s office.
SB 239, which relates to student loan repayment assistance for certain mental health professionals, was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 3 and will take effect Sept. 1.

R-Georgetown, Elected: 2012, 512-463-0105
charles.schwertner@senate.state.tx.us

 

Sen. Kirk Watson • District 14Sen. Kirk Watson • District 14


Recent activity:
SB 3519 extends Medicaid reimbursement for home telemonitoring services for patients with certain conditions through 2019. The bill passed the Senate on May 24, and the House signed the bill May 31. It was sent to the governor June 1 and awaits his signature.
SB 1032 allows state employees to work flexible hours or work from home or an alternative worksite to ease rush-hour traffic congestion and enhance public safety. The bill passed the Senate on April 22 and the House on May 25. It was sent to the governor May 27 and awaits his signature.

D-Austin, Elected: 2006, 512-463-0114
kirk.watson@senate.state.tx.us

Sen. Donna Campbell • District 25Sen. Donna Campbell • District 25


Recent activity:
Campbell said her biggest accomplishments of the session are more funding for roads, stronger protection of water resources, increased funding for border security and $3.8 billion in tax cuts.
Campbell said her biggest disappointment was not passing legislation allowing parents to choose where to send their children to school.

R-New Braunfels • Elected: 2013, 512-463-0125
donna.campbell@senate.state.tx.us

Rep. Paul Workman • District 47Rep. Paul Workman • District 47


Recent activity:
HB 910 would allow individuals with a concealed handgun license to openly carry guns in public. It passed the House on April 20 and the Senate on May 29. The bill was sent to the governor June 1 and awaits his signature.
HB 32 reduces the state franchise tax from 1 percent of taxable margin to 0.75 percent. The Senate passed the bill May 24, and the House approved it May 28. The bill was sent to the governor June 1 and awaits his signature.

R-Austin • Elected: 2010, 512-463-0652
paul.workman@house.state.tx.us

Rep. Donna Howard • District 48Rep. Donna Howard • District 48


Recent activity:
Howard said her biggest accomplishments of the session are preventing large funding cuts to vital programs and preventing passage of any anti-LGBT bills.
Howard said she was disappointed to have not restored funding to the public and higher education budgets to pre-2011 levels, before the budgets were cut. She said she plans to continue to unify House members to address the budgets.

D-Austin • Elected: 2006, 512-463-0631
donna.howard@house.state.tx.us

Rep. Elliott Naishtat • District 49Rep. Elliott Naishtat • District 49


Recent activity:
HB 1807, which requires the state to list postsecondary educational programs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was sent to the governor May 29.
HB 1338, which by September 2017 establishes a training program for peace officers and first-responders for interacting with anyone who may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, was sent to the governor May 28.

D-Austin, Elected: 1990, 512-463-0668
elliott.naishtat@house.state.tx.us


MOST RECENT

The deaths bring Travis County's total fatalities during the pandemic to 88. (Community Impact staff)
Three new coronavirus deaths reported in Travis County May 26

The deaths bring Travis County's total fatalities during the pandemic to 88.

Austin-Travis County Health Authority Mark Escott gives a virtual coronavirus update to the Travis County Commissioners Court, led by interim Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe. (Courtesy Travis County)
Travis County sees renewed upward trend in recent coronavirus cases, indicating a possible second surge

Weeks after Texas loosened public health restrictions, local authorities are seeing increased COVID-19 cases in Travis County.

About 50 hospitals and more than 800 patient care sites fall under the Baylor Scott & White umbrella, including this hospital in Frisco. (Courtesy Baylor Scott & White)
Baylor Scott & White Health to lay off 1,200 after reporting 'drastic drop' in visits

The layoffs represent 3% of the health system’s workforce.

Starting May 19, water parks will be able to open up to 25% capacity. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott issues proclamation allowing water parks to open

Starting Friday, May 29, water parks will be allowed to open but must limit guests to 25% of their normal operating capacity.

In May, local nonprofit organization Friends of Austin Nature and Science Center kicked off its campaign to raise $250,000. The funding would go toward critical maintenance and landscaping needs as well as toward several new projects. (Courtesy Austin Nature and Science Center)
Austin nonprofit launches $25,000 campaign for Austin Nature & Science Center

In May, local nonprofit organization Friends of Austin Nature and Science Center kicked off its campaign to raise $250,000. The funding would go toward critical maintenance and landscaping needs as well as toward several new projects.

Project Connect, Capital Metro's public transportation expansion plan, would include three light-rail lines running through the city and underground train stations downtown. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Is now the right time to rethink transit in Austin? Local leaders respond to community questions about Project Connect

Austin City Council and the Capital Metro board of directors will decide June 10 on whether to adopt Project Connect—the plan to revamp public transportation in the area.

The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Texas schools may begin hosting sports workouts, band practices June 8

The University Interscholastic League released guidelines for allowing sports workouts and marching bands to practice.

Rollingwood officials approved the fiscal year 2020-21 budget and tax rate calendar during a May 20 council meeting. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Rollingwood officials approve budget and tax rate calendar for fiscal year 2020-21

The tentative calendar for approving the budget and fiscal year 2020-21 tax rate was set during a May 20 council meeting.

The practice is led by Drs. Steve and Angie Hernandez. (Courtesy Central Texas Pediatric Dentistry)
Central Texas Pediatric Dentistry coming soon to Lakeway area

The practice, led by husband and wife Drs. Steve and Angie Hernandez, is located at 1008 S. RM 620, Ste. 201, Lakeway, directly above Plains Capital Bank.

Virginia Waldrop watches her UT Dell Medical School graduation ceremony from her laptop on May 21. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact)
From academic to pandemic: UT Dell Medical School's inaugural class graduates into historic moment

The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin graduated its first class May 21.

May 25 specifically saw 86 new coronavirus cases, the single largest one-day jump in the county during the pandemic. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
172 new COVID-19 cases in Travis County, two new deaths over Memorial Day weekend

May 25 specifically saw 86 new coronavirus cases, the single largest one-day jump in the county during the pandemic.

Construction on Lake Travis ISD's Rough Hollow Elementary School is set finish in August. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Trustees review a list of 2020-21 bond projects at Lake Travis ISD

Calling it the last big push on the 2018 bond program, Johnny Hill assistant superintendent for business, financial and auxiliary services presented a list of upcoming projects during a May 20 board meeting.