From the 86th - Bill Filing Deadline and the 7,000 Bills in the Hopper

Stop sign suggestions and chickens for everyone.

Ok, we will get to the chickens and “rolling stops” in a little bit.  But first, last Friday marked the 60th day of the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.  The significance of the 60-day mark is that it is the bill filing deadline.  The good news is that after last Friday, no new bills can be filed.  The bad news was that in the days leading up to the deadline there was a flood of last-minute bill filings.  To the tune of about 800+ bills per day for the last four days.

The final total was 7,067 bills filed.  That is a lot.  Second most in the past two decades.  For us it was a busy weekend as we combed through a couple thousand bills that came in just before the deadline.

We are tracking 282 bills.  We add bills to our tracking if we think they could have any possible impact on our industry.

Just to give you an example, in a companion article I put together a brief writeup on just a few of the landlord/tenant and manufactured home community bills filed this session that we are working. 

But we are also busy working on bills filed as a reaction to Hurricane Harvey (33 bills), city and county government authority bills (50 bills), finance and lending (21 bills), retailers (12 bills), and property taxes (29 bills) just to name a few.

With the remaining 80 days of the Session the pace quickens, tension and tempers can flare, and we really fire up the sausage making machine.  From here on out we will be working for and against bills as they hit committees, reach the floor, and pass to the other chamber. 

And for those still mildly interested in some of the more obscure or interesting bills, I’ll call your attention to HB 2596 and SB 86.  These two identical bills would tell cities to keep their fowl intentions to limit a half-dozen chickens to themselves because if these bills were to pass, the state would soar in and preempt local limits. Fun with puns aside, the bills’ captions read, “Relating to the regulation of raising or keeping six or fewer chickens by a political subdivision.”

For all us who approach a stop sign with no one else around and really don’t see the need to completely stop, our desire for a rolling stop has a champion in Sen. Buckingham.  She filed SB 2159, the caption reads, “Relating to allowing operators of motor vehicles to treat a stop sign as a yield sign at certain intersections.”

And finally, for everyone a little on the slow side this morning when the alarm went off with the loss of the hour that came with Daylight Savings Time, if you were wishing for that hour back, HB 49 is for you because it would end Daylight Saving Time in Texas. Of course, if you happen to have a rooster as one of your six allowed chickens in your back yard, I’ve been told those types of alarm clocks are a little tricky to hit the snooze button on.