See what bills local legislators have filed as they prepare for the 2017 Legislative Session

The Texas Legislature convenes Jan. 10 in Austin.

The Texas Legislature convenes Jan. 10 in Austin.

Although the Texas Legislature does not convene for its 85th session until Jan. 10, the prefiling period for bills began Monday, Nov. 14. Legislators in the Spring and Klein area have filed 11 bills so far. The 140-day session ends May 29. 

As of Tuesday, Dec. 6 no bills had yet been filed by Rep. Kevin Roberts, R-Spring, or Rep. Valoree Swanson, R-Spring.

Here are a few of the bills filed by state Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, since Monday, Nov. 14:


House Bill 377

The bill would amend the state Transportation Code to allow the surviving spouse of certain military veterans—including distinguished flying cross medal recipients, World War II veterans, veterans recognized for extraordinary service, legion or merit medal recipients and defense superior service medal recipients—to register one vehicle for the specialty license plate that the veteran is otherwise eligible for, as long as the spouse remains unmarried. If passed, the law would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

House Bill 378
The bill would require that online admission application forms for public institutions of higher education include a prominent link to the Texas Consumer Resource for Education and Workforce Statistics report on gainful employment. If passed with the support of two-thirds of state legislators, the act would take effect immediately. If passed with less than two-thirds support, it would take effect Sept. 1, 2017. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the governing boards of public university systems would be required to comply no later than Jan. 1, 2018.

Here are a few of the bills filed by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, since Monday, Nov. 14:

Senate Bill 2

This bill relates to ad valorem taxation and includes several amendments to the Tax Code, including lowering the rollback tax rate and creating a Property Tax Administration Advisory Board in the Comptroller’s office. It is also referred to as the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017. Except for several provisions, the Act will take effect Jan. 1, 2018, if passed.

Senate Bill 7

The bill relates to improper relationships between educators and students and creates a criminal offense, expanding the applicability of an existing offense. If passed, the law would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 25

This bill would eliminate the wrongful birth cause of action, which means that damages may not be awarded based on a claim that but for an act or the omission of another a person would not have been permitted to have been born alive but would have been aborted. If passed, the law would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 151
The bill would require voter approval for a municipality to issue an obligation to fund all or part of an unfunded liability related to public pensions. If passed with the support of two-thirds of state legislators, the act would take effect immediately. If passed with less than two-thirds support, it would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 152
The bill relates to municipal control of certain public retirement systems established for the benefit of municipal employees. It would allow a municipality that is the sponsoring authority of a public retirement system created under state statute—but is not a part of a statewide public retirement system—to adopt provisions that supplement or supersede the system’s existing provisions. New provisions can relate to the source or amount of funding, benefit/participation/eligibility requirements and the administration of the system. New provisions would only apply to people who become eligible for membership in the system after Dec. 31, 2017. If passed with support of two-thirds of state legislators, the act would take effect immediately. If passed with less than two-thirds support, it would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 153
The bill would allow a person of 70 years of age or older to use an expired form of identification to vote if the identification is otherwise valid and is one of the following:
• Driver’s license
• Election identification certificate
• Personal identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety
• U.S. military ID with photo
• U.S. citizenship certificate with photo
• U.S. passport
• License to carry handgun issued by the Department of Public Safety

If passed, the law would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Here are a few of the bills filed by state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, since Monday, Nov. 14:
Senate Bill 165

This bill would prohibit certain discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. If passed, the law would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 166

This bill would repeal the section of the Texas Penal Code which defines homosexual conduct as a misdemeanor and would amend the language in the Health and Safety Code, removing the section that states “homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense” from educational materials intended for persons under 18 years of age. If passed with support of two-thirds of state legislators, the act would take effect immediately. If passed with less than two-thirds support, it would take effect Sept. 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 167

This bill proposes a constitutional amendment to repeal the constitutional provision in Texas defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting the state or a political subdivision of the state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage. If passed, the proposed constitutional amendment will go before voters on Nov. 7, 2017.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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