Updates from your local legislators

Here is an overview of activity from  your area elected officials on various legislation so far this session.

Charles SchwertnerSen. Charles Schwertner

R-Georgetown • Elected: 2012 • [email protected]

Budget, health care focus

Schwertner voted for Senate Bill 1, the Senate’s version of the budget, which passed unanimously. Schwertner has been focusing on lowering the cost of health care.

Kirk WatsonSen. Kirk Watson

D-Austin • Elected: 2006 • [email protected]

Increased transparency

Watson’s Senate bills 407 and 408, which aim to open public information laws so government can be more transparent, both passed the Senate with an overwhelming majority.

Dawnna DukesRep. Dawnna Dukes

D-Austin • Elected: 1994 • [email protected]

Latest news

Dukes has been absent for more than 100 votes in the House, the most of any House member. This constitutes 64 percent of the votes, including votes taken on amendments and bills.

Paul WorkmanRep. Paul Workman

R-Austin • Elected: 2010 • [email protected]

School choice programs

On the budget bill, Workman tried to vote down an amendment that would prevent any money from going to school choice programs, which he appears to support.

Donna HowardRep. Donna Howard

D-Austin • Elected: 2006 • [email protected]

Women’s health

Howard’s HB 279 to continue the Women’s Health Advisory Committee passed out of the House Public Health Committee. It will face floor debate next.

Gina HinojosaRep. Gina Hinojosa

D-Austin • Elected: 2016 • [email protected]

Firearms restrictions

Hinojosa filed HB 1827 to prohibit the carrying of firearms when intoxicated. This bill stands in contrast to HB 375, which would abolish gun-free zones.

Celia IsraelRep. Celia Israel

D-Austin • Elected: 2013 • [email protected]

Voter ID law

Israel, who sits on the House Elections Committee, heard testimony on bills that would alter the voter ID law in Texas. The bills were left pending in committee.

Tony DaleRep. Tony Dale

R-Cedar Park • Elected: 2012 • [email protected]

Peace officer eligibility

Dale’s HB 1780 to expand eligibility requirements to become a peace officer passed the House and will move onto the Senate. The bill was voted out unanimously.

3 things to know about Senate-approved ‘bathroom bill’

1. The bill regulates bathroom usage based on the gender printed on an individual’s birth certificate. The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, said individuals can change their birth certificate if they want to use a different bathroom.

2. The bill, which was approved March 15 by the state Senate but awaits action by a state House committee, imposes penalties on entities where bathroom violations occur and not on individuals who violate the law. Penalties total as much as $10,500 for each violation.

3. Per the law, exceptions can be made for custodial staff, children age 10 and younger and for medical assistance. Those testifying against the bill questioned whether someone could dress up as a custodian to illegally enter the bathroom of a different gender.