Greetings from your Texas Capitol! Yes, the 88th legislative session has officially adjourned sine die, and I have already been back in Austin after the Governor called us into a special session at 9:00pm last Monday night, hours after the legislature adjourned sine die. With both property taxes and border security on the Governor’s call my team and I will get right back to work. Unlike a regular session, special sessions are so compressed—both in time and in content—and we may only work on what is germane to the Governor’s call.
On top of the work the special session provides, my team and I are hard at work on our post-session newsletter that is mailed to all registered voters in the district. This multi-page document will cover all the major activities that took place during the session, what legislative issues we tackled, and much more. It’s impossible to communicate in-person with each one of the nearly one million constituents I serve, so our newsletter serves as an excellent tool to help us reach the overwhelming majority of you. Look for the newsletter in early fall! In the mean time, let me walk you through some final notes from the 88th regular legislative session.
The Biennial Texas Budget
Of all the actions taken by the Texas Legislature in any given session, the most critical is the crafting of the biennial state budget. Indeed, our state constitution mandates the passage of a budget as the sole requirement of the legislature at its regular convening every other year. Though many people were involved in the extremely rigorous budget-writing process, I applaud my friend and colleague, Senate Finance Chair Joan Huffman (R-Houston), for her steady leadership in her first session as chair. Working with the House Appropriations Committee, we passed a responsible budget (HB 1) for FY 2024-25 and made appropriations to the key functions and needs of our state—transportation, public education, health care, public safety, and more. HB 1 and SB 30 (the supplemental budget) were ultimately passed by both chambers and are well within the population and inflation growth metric for a fiscally responsible budget for our state. Of note, they include the following:
- Provides $17.6 billion for property tax relief, including $12.3 billion above amounts required by current law, contingent on enactment of legislation which is a part of the current special session call.
- Fully funds the Foundation School Program (FSP) under current law, including increases of $3.2 billion to fund projected enrollment growth, $2.4 billion for increases in the “golden penny” yield, which provide school districts maintenance and operations (M&O) tax revenue that aren’t subject to recapture under Texas’ Robin Hood school finance system, and $60.0 million for the New Instructional Facilities Allotment. HB1 also increases funding to districts and charter schools for technology and instructional materials by $307 million.
- Includes $5.0 billion in additional funding for Public Education, including pay raises for public school educators, the operation of public schools, and the public school finance system basic allotment, contingent on enactment of legislation.
- Increases funding for school safety measures by $1.4 billion ($300.0 million in HB 1 and $1.1 billion in SB 30), including grants to districts and charter schools and new statewide initiatives.
- Includes $1.6 billion for a onetime supplemental annuity payment for certain TRS retirees and $3.4 billion to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to eligible TRS retirees.
- Provides $588.5 million to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) to maintain health insurance premium increases below 10 percent each year for TRS-ActiveCare participants.
- Provides a state focus on student affordability for general academic universities and a revamped public junior college state finance program –HB1 provides $9.9 billion, which is a $1.1 billion increase to the current biennium, to fund the formulas at our higher education institutions:
- $4.8 billion to General Academic Institutions, Lamar State Colleges and Texas State Technical Colleges; $2.9 billion to Health Related Institutions and $2.2 billion to Community Colleges.
- Provides for long-term investments in higher education through the establishment of the Texas University Fund ($3.0 billion corpus in SB 30) and the Permanent Instruction in Manufacturing and Technical Workforce Operations Funds ($1.05 billion corpus in HB1).
- Bolsters Texas’ healthcare workforce with $233.1 million for graduate medical education to help keep graduating doctors in Texas; $280.5 million for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium; and $124.8 million for other related workforce programs.
- Includes $1.54 billion for financial aid programs:
- $950.3 million for TEXAS Grants program, $195.8 million for Tuition Equalization Grants program, $222 million for Texas Educational Opportunity Grants (TEOG) –Public Community Colleges, $22.2 million for TEOG –State and Technical Colleges, $149.3 million for Student Financial Aid.
Health & Human Services
- Strengthens commitment to mental health services by providing $9.4 billion in HB 1 and $2.2 billion in SB 30 for behavioral health.
- In HB 1, $302 million for mental health community hospitals, $199.4 million for mental health state hospital operations, and $83 million for community mental health grant programs; and
- In SB 30, $1.6 billion for new construction of mental health state hospitals, $500 million for new construction at mental health community facilities, and $100 million for maintenance and information technology projects related to mental health services.
- This includes $8 million for expansion of Central Texas community mental health beds and crisis services within the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network which is based in Waco and serves Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan Counties
- Includes $447.2 million for women’s health programs, an increase of $160.1 million over current spending.
- Provides a total of $80.8 billion across all three Health and Human Services agencies for Medicaid, including:
- $2.0 billion to support community attendant services and raise the base wage to $10.60 an hour; and
- $206.8 million to increase rates for pediatric services, non-abortion women’s health related surgeries, private duty nursing, and ground ambulances.
- Provides an additional $178.2 million for rural hospitals, including increased funding for rural labor and delivery add on, and a new rural hospital grant program.
- Increases funding for the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) by $548 million in All Funds, including $97.1 million to expand Community-based Care into new regions and stages, and $219.7 million for Foster Care rate modernization which is the project to define the foster care service continuum, the methodology that goes into calculating the cost of foster care, and collectively establishing a new foster care system in Texas..
- Provides $5.106 billion for border security efforts coordinated through thirteen state agencies, including the Texas Military Department ($2.266 billion), Office of the Governor ($1.389 billion) and the Department of Public Safety ($1.195 billion).
- Includes $381.5 million to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to expand the Williamson County Training Academy facility, funding for 50 additional officers ($31.1 million), and a total of six recruit schools along with graduation recruitment bonus payments ($35.0 million), expansion of statewide intelligence and analytics ($27.1 million), and communication radio infrastructure improvements ($23.7 million).
- Includes $126.2 million in new funding for local adult probation departments at the Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), along with additional body scanners and metal detectors ($8.4 million), video surveillance upgrades ($6.3 million), additional protective gear for correctional staff ($4 million), and expanded resources to the TDCJ-OIG ($3 million) to pursue parole absconders.
- Includes $200 million for new state secure facilities for the Juvenile Justice Department and $142.5 million in additional funding for local juvenile probation departments.
- Provides $330.8 million for county law enforcement to establish grant programs to provide financial assistance to qualified sheriff, constable, and prosecutors’ offices in rural counties.
- Provides $1.8 billion for a 5.0 percent increase to state employee salaries, with a minimum of $3,000 per year in fiscal year 2024, followed by another 5.0 percent increase with a minimum of $3,000 per year in fiscal year 2025. (SB 30 includes funding necessary to begin the FY 2024 increase two months early, in July 2023). Additional targeted salary increases were provided to agencies with significant staff turnover.
- Includes $931.2 million to the Employees Retirement System to address unfunded liabilities and cover the normal costs of the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officer Supplemental Retirement Plan and the Judicial Retirement System Plan II. Additionally, in SB 30, $900.0 million was provided to ERS for a onetime legacy payment toward the retirement system’s unfunded actuarial liabilities.
- Provides $243.8 million in SB 30 to fully fund all remaining obligations with the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan.
- Includes $700 million for the Semiconductor Innovation Fund (in SB30), $1.5 billion for broadband development and telecommunications services, and $350 million to establish the Texas Space Commission, each of which are contingent on enactments of legislation.
- Provides the Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) $1 billion to capitalize the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund for the purpose of establishing state parks, contingent on enactment of legislation.
- Provides the General Land Office (GLO) $550 million to provide funds to the Gulf Coast Protection District and $60 million to administer the Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act program to expand erosion response projects studies.
- Includes $400 million in additional General Revenue to complete remaining Alamo Plan construction and restoration projects.
- Provides (in SB 30) to the Water Development Board (TWDB) $1 billion to capitalize the Texas Water Fund, contingent on enactment of legislation, for financing water projects in the state and $625 million to be transferred to the Flood Infrastructure Fund to increase funding for flood control, drainage, and mitigation projects.
- Includes $10 million for the Leaking Water Wells Fund for addressing leaking P-13 wells. This was an issue that was raised during one of the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee interim hearings. This fund was established by HB 4256 (Murr/Blanco).
- Establishes the Texas Energy Fund, appropriates $5 billion to support the construction, maintenance, and modernization of dispatchable electric generating facilities. This was enacted through SB 2627 (See description below).
- Increases funding to the Texas Department of Transportation for highway planning and design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction and maintenance by approximately $5 billion that includes $2.5 billion in Federal Funds and $2.5 billion in the State Highway Fund.
School Safety Reform (HB 3)
House Bill 3 sponsored by Senator Robert Nichols provides essential reforms to our school safety system. Public schools in Texas have unfortunately seen violence due to poor safety procedures, lack of communication among agencies responsible for emergency response, and outdated or unenforced emergency operation standards. HB 3 provides schools in Texas with a new standard of emergency preparedness and response while also ensuring adequate state funding is provided to school districts through the school safety allotment to ensure that schools are able to be defended and new emergency operation standards can be implemented. The bill also provides for routine school safety audits to ensure that the updated standards are being followed and schools are better prepared for any future emergency events.
Increased Punishments for Fentanyl-Related Crimes (HB 6)
In recent years, overdoses in the United States have seen an alarming increase due to the increased production and smuggling of fentanyl, an incredibly potent synthetic opioid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the 12-month period ending in November 2022, more than 75,000 Americans died from an overdose of synthetic opioids, mainly from fentanyl. In Texas, the Department of Public Safety has seized over 353 million lethal doses of fentanyl since the beginning of Operation Lone Star in March 2021, according to the governor’s office.
House Bill 6 sponsored by Sen. Joan Huffman increases the penalty for manufacturing or delivering less than one gram of fentanyl from a state jail felony to a third-degree felony. Furthermore, if an individual dies from fentanyl overdose, the penalty would be enhanced to a second-degree felony. Additionally, this bill includes possession of fentanyl with the intent to deliver in the organized crime activity statute and clarifies penalty levels for drug offenses to ensure that more efficient prosecution of these crimes.
Children’s Gender Protection (SB 14)
Senate Bill 14 by Sen. Donna Campbell would prevent children and adolescents from being harmed by treatments and procedures intended to change their sex, including surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers. Gender reassignment surgeries are irreversible, and hormonal treatments can also lead to permanent physiological changes, including unwanted side effects. Children and adolescents are not able to give fully informed consent for such serious treatment, and in many cases adolescent gender dysphoria resolves itself over time.
Physicians who facilitate physical gender transitions for minors without solid, scientific evidence and justification are effectively experimenting on minors. SB 14 prohibits medical professionals from providing life altering puberty-inhibiting drugs, cross-sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone), and prevents surgical interventions to children under 18 for the purpose of altering a child’s biological characteristics to align with their perceived gender identity.
Supplemental Funding for Retired Educators (SB 10)
In 2019, the Legislature made sweeping changes to the TRS pension fund in hopes that it would put the fund on a path toward actuarial soundness, pay down the unfunded liability, and eventually enable the Legislature to grant TRS retirees a much-needed cost-of-living adjustment.
Senate Bill 10 by Senator Joan Huffman provides for an additional one-time $7,500 stipend to eligible retirees that are 75 years of age and older and a $2,400 stipend to eligible retirees that are between 70 and 75 years of age. We have heard for years that our most vulnerable retirees are struggling to pay bills, and this targeted payment brings immediate financial relief.
Additionally, this plan provides a 2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to eligible retirees that retired between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2020, a 4% COLA to eligible retirees that retired between September 1, 2001 and August 31, 2013, and a 6% COLA to eligible retirees that retired prior to September 1, 2001. This COLA would take effect in January of 2024, contingent on approval by the voters of the associated constitutional amendment (HJR 2).
SB 10 achieves all of this while still keeping the retiree pension fund actuarially sound. The Legislature appropriated nearly $5 billion to pay for these benefit enhancements.
Operation Lone Star Deployed Texas Military Members Death Benefits; “The Bishop Evans Act” (HB 90)
House Bill 90 sponsored by Sen. Joan Huffman would grant Texas military members on state active duty the same workers’ compensation and death benefits as Department of Public Safety officers killed in the line of duty. The bill is named in honor of the Texas National Guard member, SGT Bishop Evans of Arlington, who was deployed to the border as part of Operation Lone Star and paid the ultimate sacrifice during a heroic rescue trying to save two individuals illegally crossing the Rio Grande from drowning.
Creating New Scholarships for Nursing Students (SB 25)
Senate Bill 25 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst grants authority to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish programs to help with student loan repayment and scholarships for registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses as well as nurses who are seeking or have already achieved advanced degrees to become nursing faculty.
The Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment Program (NFLRP) and the Nursing Innovation Grant Program (NIGP) are two key programs that were created to help address this shortage. The NFLRP improves access to nursing education programs by encouraging qualified nurses to serve as faculty at eligible Texas institutions of higher education through loan repayment assistance. The NIGP was established to provide grants to higher education institutions to promote the education, recruitment, and retention of nursing students and qualified faculty.
SB 25 is part of a comprehensive package to dramatically increase funding and resources to nursing education and training programs.
Other Key Bills That Made it to the Governor’s Desk
- HB 12 – Expanding Postpartum Medicaid Coverage (Rose/Kolkohrst). Congress enacted legislation in 2021 giving states the option to provide 12 months of coverage through a state Medicaid plan amendment. To address maternal mortality and morbidity rates, this bill expands on legislation set forth in the 87th Legislative Session by providing 12 months of postpartum Medicaid coverage for women in Texas.
- HB 17 – Removal of Rouge Prosecuting Attorneys (Cook/Huffman). Prosecuting attorneys should not be able to decide which laws are important to follow and which are not. HB 17 fortifies law and order in Texas by addressing misconduct by district attorneys, criminal district attorneys, and county attorneys, by providing an avenue for their removal. Article 2.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that the primary duty of a district attorney is “to see that justice is done.” Local discretion is vested with prosecutors to accomplish this by evaluating the merits of each alleged crime on a case-by-case basis, namely prosecutorial discretion. However, refusal to prosecute entire classes of crimes not only usurps the legislature’s policymaking authority, but endangers public safety as well. Once HB 17 goes into effect, elected prosecutors can be removed only after the filing of a removal petition that accuses them of “incompetency, official misconduct or intoxication.” If they are found guilty by a jury, a district judge can order them removed from office. The removal petition can be filed by anyone who has lived in the county for at least six months and who is not currently charged with a criminal offense other than a Class C misdemeanor in that county. The case would then be handled by a judge from a nearby county rather than the county where it was filed.
- HB 25 – Wholesale Importation of Prescription Drugs in Texas (Talarico/Kolkorhst). Every year, per-capita prescription drug spending is higher in the United States than its peer nations. Canadian consumers pay just half of what US consumers pay for patented prescription drugs, despite the fact that the two countries share an equivalent regulatory system for prescribed medications. In 2020, the Trump Administration established a pathway for states to import prescription drugs from Canada after finding that it would result in significant cost savings for patients and could be done safely. The Biden Administration later ordered the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help states implement programs. House Bill 25 would create a Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Program in Texas, requiring the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to work with state drug wholesalers to import safe, eligible prescription drugs from Canada. If passed, Texas would have to obtain federal approval from the FDA by submitting a proposal that proves the program would generate significant cost savings for consumers and not pose additional risks to health and safety.
- SB 15 – Protecting Women’s College Sports (Middleton/Swanson) . The Legislature passed a bill last session protecting girls’ sports in K-12, and this bill expands these protections to college sports. Senate Bill 15 requires collegiate athletes to compete on the team according to their biological sex, as stated on the birth certificate.
- SB 22 – Assisting Rural Law Enforcement Funding; Increasing Pay and Needed Equipment (Springer/Guillen). SB 22 establishes the Rural Sheriff’s Office Salary Assistance Grant Program and the Rural Prosecutor’s Office Salary Assistance Grant Program. These programs are available to sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices located in the 236 Texas counties with a population of less than 300,000. SB 22 provides $330.8 million to help increase sheriff, deputy, jailer, and prosecutor pay, hire their backups, and purchase much-needed vehicles, firearms, and safety equipment.
Small, usually rural, communities have the same problems that their counterparts in large communities have, including substance abuse, violent crime, and homelessness. Small communities have small tax bases, which results in less funding for personnel, training, equipment, technology, and other resources that law enforcement need to prevent crime and maintain public safety. Recognizing the need to provide consistent quality law enforcement across Texas, SB 22 ensures quality law enforcement across the State, regardless of the county’s size.
- SB 29 – Ban on COVID-19 Restrictions Ban (Birdwell/Lozano). Senate Bill 29 prohibits any state entity, state agency, or local governmental entity from implementing, ordering, or otherwise imposing a mandate to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that would require an individual to wear a mask or other face covering, require a person to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or requires the closure of a private business, public or private school, or open-enrollment charter school.
- SB 224 – Increasing Catalytic Convertor Theft Penalties (Alvarado/ Leach). This legislation came from interim hearings Sen. Whitmire and I held in our respective committees this interim (Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development). SB 224 creates a presumption of illegal possession for those who possess two or more catalytic converters, adds a specific theft offense in the Penal Code for catalytic converter theft, and creates a penalty enhancement for those who possess a firearm while committing the theft.
- SB 1900 – Defining and Creating Criminal Penalties for Foreign Terrorist Organizations (Birdwell/Guillen). SB 1900 would add foreign terrorist organizations to the organized crime designation and create new criminal offenses relating to their operations. In addition, law enforcement agencies will be able to build stronger cases against them with access to more resources and the addition of foreign terrorist organizations to intelligence databases. Additionally the House added two amendments to the bill that addresses the dangers posed by criminal organizations by adding a punishment enhancement for using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during organized criminal activity and expands current law relating to the prosecution of the offenses of sedition to increase the punishment for conspiracy to commit an offense to the same as committing the offense. Both of these amendments were part of SB 1709 by Sen. Phil King, which passed the Senate 31-0.
- SB 2627 – Texas Energy Fund (Schwertner/Hunter) Winter Storm Uri in 2021 revealed failures in the state’s electricity market, specifically the lack of reliability. While reforms from SB 3 from the 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, addressed many critical system issues, there remained a need for increased reliability related specifically to dispatchable generation. Senate Bill 2627, by Sen. Charles Schwertner, provides $7.2 billion in low-interest loans to build up to 10,000 megawatts of dispatchable power generation to shore up our grid. SB 2627 also provides $1.8 billion for backup power generation for critical infrastructure and $1 billion for non-Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) resiliency.
Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Economic Development & Border Security
During the 88th Legislative Session, I had the pleasure of serving as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development as well as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Border Security. Being a Chairman of two committees was a lot of work, but I enjoyed diving into the subject matter in both! Both Committees met once per week during the earlier months of session, and toward the end met as many as three times a week to evaluate and vote on legislation. This session the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee had 253 pieces of legislation referred to it and the Border Security Committee had 31 pieces of legislation referred. Both Committees had the opportunity to consider a number of high-priority bills from both chambers, a number of which I authored or sponsored.
House Bill 5 (Hunter/ Schwertner) The Texas Jobs, Energy, Technology, and Innovation Act
We’ve received a lot of communication about the previous, now expired, Chapter 313 property tax abatement program and HB 5 which looked to be a replacement of that program. I wanted to take a minute to explain this bill and why I ultimately voted for it.
Firstly, I was a large proponent of allowing the 313 Program to expire last session. There were many issues with 313 agreements with the primary issues being;
- They allowed renewable energy to apply, which contributed few jobs and decreased the reliability of the electric grid.
- There was a low number of jobs required to apply, and little enforcement of maintain those jobs.
- The school districts had too large of an influence over the which applicants could qualify, and the terms of the tax abatement, as well as the ability to require payments in lieu of taxes.
- Companies could receive the benefits of the 313 program without enough oversight to prove they would not have built in Texas without the 313 Program.
I voted for the Senate version of HB 5 after it was amended on the Senate floor because it excludes many of the issues of the previous, now expired, 313 program, and guardrails have been put in place to only incentivize industries that bring a large number of jobs, increases the dispatchable power of the electric grid, and advances the state in technology or research. I believe that the Senate’s version has much more stringent controls then the version of HB 5 that came out of the House. The Senate version included gubernatorial and legislative oversight all of which I believe creates a significantly better approval and oversight process.
The Senate version of HB 5 specifically prohibits battery storage facilities as well as wind and solar from participating in these agreements. Additionally, I offered an amendment that was accepted on the Senate floor to increase the amount of transparency on these agreements and allow for the public’s participation in the approval process of these agreements prior to a school board adopting one. This included a detailed public notice that must be posted 15 days in advance to give citizens ample time to make plans if they wish to participate in the public meeting. Some additional differences in the Senate version of HB 5 are:
- Limiting the abatement to up to fifty percent of the market value of the property of the local school maintenance and operation (M&O) taxes owed and up to seventy-five percent for projects located in opportunity zones which are federally defined as economically distressed communities that are in need of investment and revitalization.
- Requires a project to create new, full-time, permanent jobs. The required number of jobs is determined by county population and minimum investment in the community. Project construction and temporary jobs would not be counted.
- For the job to count towards meeting the requirement, it must pay 110% of the average annual wage for all jobs in the industry during the most recent four quarters and offer a health benefit plan.
- Someone who is transferred by the applicant from an existing facility or location does not count towards the job requirement.
- Additionally, the job requirements cannot be waived as they were in the now expired 313 program and there is a penalty in the amount of two and half times of the average annual wage prescribed by the agreement per job not created.
- Does not allow for the supplemental payments in lieu of taxes by the industry to the host school district.
- Each year, the State Auditor would review 10% of active projects based on risk of noncompliance identified in the biennial compliance reports submitted to the Comptroller.
Finally, these agreements bring in new improvements on properties which, even if partially abated, increases the tax base value rolls of the county and lowers the amount the State’s taxpayers pay into local school M&O taxes.
Update on New District Office in Arlington
As stated in previous Capitol Updates from this session, with the changes from the redistricting process to Senate District 22, we opened an additional office in Arlington. With six new Senators and all of the Senate Districts changing, the Senate Support Services crew, who provide the furniture, phones, and help set up the offices, have been very busy setting up offices all across the State, with first priority to the new Senators.
The office is located at 3900 Arlington Highland Blvd., Suite 265, Arlington, TX 76018 and the phone number is (817) 466-7327.. My Senior District Manager & Special Projects Coordinator, Shelly Verlander, will be operating out of this office as well as spending part of her time in my Granbury Office. She will be in the Granbury office on Mondays from 8-5 and in the Arlington office Tuesday through Friday with the same hours. While walk-ins are always welcome, it is always best to call ahead to set up an appointment. These are the standard hours for each office, but from time to time, both Shelly and Robyn in the Waco office, may be out of the office for meetings and events in the district.
Before we close out this sine die edition of the Capitol Update, I want to thank the members of my staff—“Team Birdwell”—who help me in serving the constituents of this district. I answer to the citizens of 12 counties and more than 100 communities, and doing so would be far more difficult without the dedicated team I have in place. I’m proud of the work they do for you each day.
Pictured here for the annual end of session team photo. Proud of the work we’ve done the past 140 days.
From left to right (back row) myself, Hunter Hinton, Carter Byrum, Clint Harned, MaKayla Arthur, Robyn Morrison, Ryan Hogan, Gatlin Moncla, David Estrada, (front row) Shelly Verlander, Allie Barnet, Shelby Sterling, JW Galloway, Jenna Trevino, Kirstee Bock, and Madeline Condor.
As always, I hope our Capitol Update is informative and that you’ll share it with your friends, family and colleagues in Senate District 22, who may subscribe to the Capitol Update by clicking here. If you missed any of my previous Capitol Updates and want to read them too, you can find them here! You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or keep in touch with legislative happenings via www.capitol.state.tx.us or via my Senate website.
State Senator, District 22