The Texas legislature convened on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 to begin its 83rd legislative session. Pre-filing of legislation began on November 12, 2012, so legislators have already had time to file many of their bills in advance of the legislative session. Listed below are just a handful of bills worth watching in the coming months, as well as one topic that seems to be ignored, at least so far:
Senate Bill 11, similar to the controversial Florida law that is currently stalled in federal court, would require Texans applying for financial assistance to undergo drug testing to receive benefits.
House Bill 29 proposes a fixed rate tuition plan that would require Texas state universities to offer a four-year fixed tuition rate that would allow each incoming class to pay the same tuition each year for four years, without increase.
One topic that the legislature has been silent on so far is immigration law reform. As of January 11, none of the bills filed in the 83rd session have addressed the topic of immigration law or immigration reform. Whether this is due to the statistically low numbers of undocumented immigrants entering Texas, or the perception that calls for immigration reform may be politically harmful, it will be interesting to see whether this issue is ignored altogether during the legislative session. To search for bills on topics that are interesting to you, visit the Texas Legislature Online and click on "bill search" to search for laws by subject area.