As of Friday, the deadline for bill filing, 7,067 bills have been introduced for the 2019 Texas legislative session. This is the highest number of bills filed during a regular session since 2009.
We’ve compiled a list of priority items in the Senate — legislation filed with bill numbers under 30 — that students should watch this session.
Senate Bill 10, filed by Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would create the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium which would work with universities across the state and create a network of providers. The bill has all 31 senators’ support.
Senate Bill 16, filed by Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, would create a student loan repayment assistance program for people who become full-time peace officers.
Senate Bill 18, filed by Joan Huffman, R-Houston, would broaden parameters for students’ free speech rights at public universities.
Senate Bill 21, filed by Joan Huffman, would raise the age to legally purchase and consume tobacco products in Texas from 18 to 21.
Senate Bill 23, filed by Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, would protect infants that survive an abortion or an attempted abortion. Coined as the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act by its supporters, it would make it a criminal offense for a doctor to fail to provide appropriate care to that infant, making it a third degree felony that carries two to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine.
Senate Bill 24, filed by Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, would require doctors to inform women seeking abortions of other options in advance of their scheduled abortion. Republicans have named this bill the Alternatives to Abortion Information Act.
Senate Bill 25, filed by Royce West, D-Dallas, would mandate universities identify lower-division institutions that at least 20 percent of their transfer students come from and ensure those students receive a certain amount of transfer credit. It would also establish a 24-semester-hour core curriculum at universities.