Senate Local Government Committee
The Senate Committee on Local Government met on Wednesday, April 20 to take up two interim charges—related to ballot language and bond elections. The committee discussed how to make ballot language more easily understood by voters, as well as voter participation in bond elections and accountability for local debt.

Watch the Senate's video archive of the hearing.

Also of interest might be some of the Texas local debt and school district debt data shared with the committee by the Texas Bond Review Board.
House Ways & Means Committee
The House Ways & Means Committee met on Thursday, April 21, 2022 to take up a number of interim charges, including the study and consideration of methods of providing additional property tax relief.

The committee focused primarily on the options for what the Comptroller previously estimated will be a $12 billion surplus and how much of that should be spent on additional property tax relief.

Christy Rome testified on behalf of the Coalition in support of property tax compression as a means to reduce recapture. She asked that committee members ensure tax relief is sustainable and can remain as permanent relief, so that rates don't bounce back up. And she asked that legislators strike the right balance when determining how surplus funds should be spent, noting the ever-increasing costs schools face due to inflation and the labor market. Schools need additional funds to hire and retain qualified teachers as well as keep up with increasing costs for fuel and supplies.

Watch the House's video archive of the hearing.

TEA Presentation slides for the committee

Texas Taxpayers & Research Association's report Relief from Rising Values
ESSER Supplemental Amounts Updated
If your district was one of the approximately 120 LEAs that received no or low ESSER funding, then your district qualified for ESSER Supplemental funds from the state. That award amount was based on estimated student enrollment and student assessment data, and TEA has recalculated the ESSER Supplemental Awards based on updated/actual enrollment and assessment information. You can see whether your district gained or lost revenue from that recalculation here: ESSER-SUP FY 2022 and 2023 Revised
If you are looking for more knowledge on topic of elections, we've got you covered! We're hosting a member update on Wednesday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m. focused on the topic of elections--bond elections and VATR elections. So if you are planning an election for November, contemplating an election for November, or just want to learn more in case you ever need to know about such elections one day, then this update is for you. We'll give you an overview, talk about things you need to be thinking about, and cover legal do's and don'ts. Click on the button below to register.
May 7 Election - early voting begins Monday
Most of you are well aware that Saturday, May 7 is Election Day. But just in case you're not, this is your reminder that early voting begins Monday, April 25 and continues through May 3. In addition to the many school board races that will be decided on May 7, there are at least 115 districts with bond propositions on the ballot.

In addition to those local measures, the state has two propositions on the ballot as well: two proposed constitutional amendments, related to property tax relief:

  • Proposition 1 would extend the property tax relief taxpayers received under HB 3 from 2019 to the elderly and disabled taxpayers on the "frozen levy." Because the levy is frozen, those 65 and older or disabled when HB 3 passed did not benefit from the relief as other taxpayers did, and this amendment would change that.

  • Proposition 2 would increase the residence homestead exemption for school taxes from $25,000 to $40,000. Hold harmless funding is provided by the state to protect districts from lost funding due to this change. The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association estimates that this change would result in a reduction of $185 for the average homeowner.

Here is a printable explanation of those two propositions from the Texas Secretary of State.
Committee, Commission, and Task Force Interim Activities
Here is latest information on the legislative committees, commissions and a task force that we are tracking.

This Commission will meet on Monday, April 25, at 10:00 a.m. They will hear from a panel of CFOs, a panel of Special Education program staff, and they will take up the topic of non-public residential funds. No public testimony will be taken at this hearing. See the hearing notice here. Watch live here.

The House Committee on Public Education will meet on Tuesday, April 26, at 10:00 a.m. They will take up their interim charge regarding the increase in the number of children crossing the Texas-Mexico border and its impact on schools. They will also review the impact on PSF investments that may be owned or controlled by Russia. Additionally, the Committee will hear an update on TEA and public education issues from Commissioner Mike Morath. Public testimony will be permitted on all topics. See the hearing notice here. Watch live here.

This Commission will meet next week, on Wednesday, April 27, at 10:00 a.m. They will hear testimony on out of state models. See the hearing notice here. Watch live here.

The Senate Committee on Finance will meet on Wednesday, May 4, at 10:00 a.m. to take up the topic of inflation, Russia, and state pension reforms (including TRS). See the hearing notice here.

TEA released an update detailing the teacher selection process. Over 1,500 nominations were received, and the Agency will review submissions, check references, and interview teachers to select the 24 who will serve as members of the Task Force. The Task Force will meet again on June 2.
Registration now open for June Workshop
We hope you can make plans to join us for our Legislative Planning Workshop coming up June 8-9 in Dallas. We will begin at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8, break late in the afternoon and then reconvene the following morning and conclude by 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 9. We'll assess the current state of affairs, make some projections about what to expect, and work to make plans and establish priorities. We hope you will make plans to join us!
A block of rooms are available at a discounted group rate at the DoubleTree for those who would like to make a room reservation. This discount has a deadline, and discounted reservations must be made by May 22.
Thank you to our annual sponsors!
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