Here are some priorities to follow during the 2019 legislative session

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During the 2019 legislative session, local Texas senators and representatives have already filed bills supporting property taxes, school funding and emergency relief.

Education

A day after the Texas House unveiled a proposal to pump more than $7 billion in new state funds into public schools, the Texas Senate answered with a budget that would boost the state’s share of public education spending by about $4.3 billion compared with the previous two-year budget cycle. A Senate bill would give schools $3.7 billion to provide $5,000 pay raises to all full-time classroom teachers.

Senate bills 117, 224 and 243 filed by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, would change the laws of school marshals storing handguns and expand the grounds of prosecuting weapons possessions in prohibited places.

Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, filed HB 1009 to change the prosecution of illegal weapon possession in prohibited places such as schools, and HBs 973, 976 and 974, also about school safety.

Property taxes

Abbott unveiled a plan to limit local governments’ annual property tax revenue growth to 2.5 percent. To increase revenue beyond that, governments would need approval from two-thirds of voters.

Metcalf filed HB 945, which would limit increases on appraised value of properties for ad valorem tax purposes, and HB 946, which does the same for residence homesteads.

Hurricane Harvey

New legislation would require sellers of residential properties to notify buyers if a property is located in a flood-prone area—and whether it has previously flooded.

Creighton filed SB 453, which changes the reappraisal for ad valorem tax purposes of property damaged in a disaster.

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Jules Rogers
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.
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