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.


Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
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School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

Photo of a building with solar panels on the roof
Austin Habitat for Humanity's ReStore uses discount home improvement to build communities

The store sells sustainable construction materials, clothes, appliances, jewelry, furniture and the odd novelty item.

Photo of the Sobering Center
Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.

Baylor Scott & White Pflugerville
Ascension, Baylor Scott & White to require all employees be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by fall

Ascension and Baylor Scott & White have announced all eligible employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

Photo of an egg dish
Kerbey Lane Cafe serves the Austin community with 'family feeling'

Since 1980, the cafe has served up breakfast, lunch and dinner at locations around the Capital City.

Austin City Council will convene for a regular meeting July 29, its first since mid-June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The first regular council meeting since mid-June features a packed agenda and opportunity for resident feedback on Austin's proposed budget.

Photo of a hand holding a vaccine vial
As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.

Photo of a woman holding a Pride flag
Austin July and August events: Bat Fest, monster trucks and Pride

A variety of in-person and virtual events are happening around Austin this summer.

Photo of a house with a "for sale" sign in the front yard
A seller’s market in Southwest Austin continues to challenge homebuyers

Local experts say a "perfect storm" of construction obstacles continue to restrict home supply.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.