August 18, 2017

Texas Legislature – Public Education Bills in Committee

“There is money to be made on new education products when education shifts from Reading, Writing and Arithmetic to Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships- Just sayin’……..”- Alice Linahan 
I CAN SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO MY CHILD
Texas Legislature
Public Education
84th Legislature Regular Session
Report Date: 3/9/2015

Number of Bills: 164Bills In Committee (164):

HB 4 Author: Huberty | Deshotel | King, Ken | Giddings | Ashby
Last Action: 03/10/2015 H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to a high quality prekindergarten program provided by public school districts.
HB 18 Author: Aycock
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to college and career readiness training for certain public school counselors.
HB 43 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the creation of a task force to evaluate state assessment instruments administered to public school students with significant cognitive disabilities.
HB 47 Author: Martinez, “Mando”
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the salary paid to certain professional employees of public schools.
HB 49 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to a requirement for school districts to report class size to the Texas Education Agency.
HB 51 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to limits on the size of certain classes in public schools.
HB 54 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to termination or suspension without pay of certain school district employees.
HB 56 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the creation of a task force to evaluate the English language proficiency standards used in public schools.
HB 57 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the review by a school district board of trustees of a hearing examiner’s determination regarding good cause to suspend a teacher without pay or terminate the teacher’s contract.
HB 66 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably as substituted
Caption: Relating to the consideration of the performance of certain students of limited English proficiency on state assessment instruments.
HB 70 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to prevention of discrimination and harassment in public schools.
HB 73 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to academic assessment of public school students with significant disabilities.
HB 78 Author: González, Mary | Howard | Farrar
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to human sexuality education in public schools.
HB 124 Author: Martinez Fischer
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to the availability of free prekindergarten programs in public schools.
HB 125 Author: Martinez Fischer
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to studying the cost of education index.
HB 135 Author: Flynn
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to inclusion of a course on the United States Constitution in the curriculum requirements for public high school students.
HB 138 Author: Flynn
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.
HB 171 Author: Alvarado
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to limits on the size of fifth grade classes in public schools.
HB 173 Author: Alvarado
Last Action: 03/10/2015 H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to information reported by a public school district regarding prekindergarten classes.
HB 181 Author: Bell | Krause
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably w/o amendment(s)
Caption: Relating to information printed by school districts on high school diplomas.
HB 182 Author: Dale
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to censure of a member of a school district board of trustees.
HB 186 Author: Thompson, Senfronia
Last Action: 02/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 9 2015 2:57PM
Caption: Relating to the availability of free prekindergarten programs in public schools.
HB 198 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the carrying of concealed handguns by certain persons attending a school board meeting.
HB 204 Author: Leach | Villalba | Howard
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to the first day of instruction at a public school.
HB 205 Author: Leach | Huberty | Bohac
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to the provision of human sexuality and family planning instruction in public schools.
HB 218 Author: Márquez
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to certification requirements for teachers in bilingual education.
HB 223 Author: Guillen
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to acceptable conduct of students in kindergarten through grade five.
HB 228 Author: Guillen
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to the optional flexible school day program provided by school districts.
HB 233 Author: Farrar
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to school social work services in public schools.
HB 238 Author: Springer | Burrows
Last Action: 02/10/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 10 2015 11:34AM
Caption: Relating to the first day of instruction in certain school districts.
HB 243 Author: Longoria
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to the route a school bus takes when transporting a public school student.
HB 256 Author: Howard
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably as substituted
Caption: Relating to use of compensatory education allotment funding to provide assistance with child care to students at risk of dropping out of school.
HB 279 Author: Simmons
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to eligibility for a public education grant of certain students receiving special education services.
HB 289 Author: Thompson, Senfronia
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to the composition of the board of trustees of certain independent school districts.
HB 296 Author: Wu
Last Action: 03/10/2015 H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to certain prekindergarten programs offered by a school district.
HB 313 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to employment of certified school counselors by school districts.
HB 338 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the evaluation of an internal auditor employed by a school district.
HB 340 Author: Dutton
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the receipt of an exemption or waiver for a school district or campus that is academically unacceptable.
HB 345 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the creation of a task force to study the standards of the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test administered to bilingual educators in public schools.
HB 347 Author: Dutton | Frank | Leach | Villalba | Huberty
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to equal opportunity for access by home-schooled students to University Interscholastic League sponsored activities; authorizing a fee.
HB 355 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the creation of a task force to evaluate class size limits in public schools.
HB 356 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to a federal waiver to exempt public school students with significant cognitive disabilities from annual assessment requirements imposed by federal law.
HB 357 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the responsibilities of public school counselors.
HB 370 Author: Villalba
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably w/o amendment(s)
Caption: Relating to notifying a parent or guardian whether an employee of a school is appointed school marshal and the confidentiality of information submitted to or collected by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement in connection with a certification for appointment as school marshal.
HB 374 Author: Simmons
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to requiring State Board of Education approval to offer advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses in public high schools.
HB 379 Author: White, James
Last Action: 02/12/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 12 2015 11:31AM
Caption: Relating to the failure to attend school for part of a day.
HB 391 Author: Muñoz, Jr.
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to providing free full-day prekindergarten for certain children.
HB 405 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to the creation of a task force to evaluate training provided to members of a school district board of trustees.
HB 406 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to the creation of a task force to determine alternative methods of assessing the performance of public school students and school districts.
HB 407 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to school district selection of an alternative assessment method in place of state-administered assessment instruments.
HB 424 Author: Dutton
Last Action: 03/10/2015 H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to providing free full-day prekindergarten for certain children.
HB 435 Author: Raymond
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to the instruction of American Sign Language in public high schools.
HB 440 Author: Gonzales, Larry
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably as substituted
Caption: Relating to adapting the public school physical education curriculum to accommodate the needs of students with mental disabilities.
HB 456 Author: Gutierrez
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably as substituted
Caption: Relating to a prohibition on the use and possession of vapor products on school property.
HB 462 Author: Goldman
Last Action: 02/11/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 11 2015 11:25AM
Caption: Relating to successful completion of dual credit courses as an alternative to compliance with end-of-course assessment requirements.
HB 505 Author: Rodriguez, Eddie | Workman
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Reported favorably w/o amendment(s)
Caption: Relating to a prohibition of limitations on the number of dual credit courses or hours in which a public high school student may enroll.
HB 506 Author: Rodriguez, Eddie
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to the issuance of tax-supported bonds by certain school districts and increasing the tax rate limitation on the issuance of those bonds.
HB 513 Author: Moody
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to educator financial incentives and salary contingencies based on student performance on certain assessment instruments.
HB 514 Author: Moody
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to the creation of an advisory council to research and make recommendations on the use of assessment instruments in public schools.
HB 515 Author: Moody
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to the notice to the parent or other person having lawful control of a public school student concerning the student’s class performance.
HB 522 Author: Raymond
Last Action: 02/16/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 16 2015 2:50PM
Caption: Relating to establishing a pilot program in designated public high schools in certain municipalities for placement of students in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs as an alternative to placement in disciplinary or juvenile justice alternative education programs.
HB 544 Author: Dutton
Last Action: 02/18/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 18 2015 12:06PM
Caption: Relating to payment by a school district of the costs of developmental coursework provided by an institution of higher education under the success initiative.
HB 566 Author: Herrero | White, James
Last Action: 02/18/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 18 2015 12:06PM
Caption: Relating to the use of epinephrine auto-injectors on public and open-enrollment charter school campuses and at off-campus school-sanctioned events.
HB 567 Author: Allen
Last Action: 02/18/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 18 2015 12:06PM
Caption: Relating to corporal punishment in public schools.
HB 568 Author: Allen
Last Action: 02/18/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 18 2015 12:06PM
Caption: Relating to a review by the commissioner of education of state law regarding student suspension, expulsion, or other disciplinary action and the implementation of that law by school districts.
HB 588 Author: Hernandez
Last Action: 02/18/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 18 2015 12:06PM
Caption: Relating to restricting certain state and school district assessments of public school students in prekindergarten and kindergarten.
HB 596 Author: Goldman
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to the scheduling of the last day of school for students by public school districts.
HB 645 Author: Ashby | Cook | Guillen | Farney | VanDeaver
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the small-sized district adjustment under the Foundation School Program.
HB 654 Author: Aycock
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to public school finance and the formation of school finance districts.
HB 657 Author: Aycock
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to the training requirements for a member of the board of trustees of a public school district.
HB 662 Author: Dutton
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to public school students evaluated for purposes of accountability ratings.
HB 664 Author: King, Ken | Farney | VanDeaver
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to funding for career and technology programs in public schools.
HB 666 Author: King, Ken
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to the small and mid-sized district adjustments under the Foundation School Program.
HB 667 Author: King, Ken
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to permissible uses of the bilingual education allotment provided under the foundation school program.
HB 676 Author: Longoria
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to School Bus Safety Week in public schools.
HB 677 Author: Turner, Sylvester
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to cardiac assessments of participants in extracurricular athletic activities sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League.
HB 680 Author: Gutierrez
Last Action: 02/19/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 19 2015 11:53AM
Caption: Relating to the rulemaking authority of the State Board for Educator Certification.
HB 717 Author: Reynolds
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the election of trustees of certain school districts from single-member trustee districts.
HB 718 Author: Keough
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the number of charters the State Board of Education may grant for open-enrollment charter schools.
HB 719 Author: King, Ken
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the small and mid-sized district adjustments under the Foundation School Program.
HB 720 Author: Frank | Springer
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the small-sized district adjustment under the Foundation School Program.
HB 724 Author: Galindo
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to operation of public schools on certain election days.
HB 726 Author: Hernandez
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to outreach materials to foster awareness of recent public school curriculum changes.
HB 729 Author: Lucio III
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the employment of certified school counselors by school districts.
HB 730 Author: Lucio III
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the use of public school counselors’ work time.
HB 731 Author: Lucio III
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to participation of certain school districts in the three-year high school diploma plan pilot program.
HB 741 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the administration to public school students in certain grades of state-administered assessment instruments.
HB 742 Author: Huberty | Galindo | Metcalf
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to eliminating certain state-required assessment instruments and certain end-of-course assessment instruments administered to public school students in certain grades.
HB 743 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the essential knowledge and skills of the required public school curriculum and to certain state-adopted or state-developed assessment instruments for public school students.
HB 744 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the purchase of certain insurance by public school districts.
HB 767 Author: Smith | Turner, Sylvester
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to cardiac assessments of participants in extracurricular athletic activities sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League.
HB 771 Author: Deshotel
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to funding for the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities.
HB 774 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to eliminating certain state-required assessment instruments administered to public school students in certain grades.
HB 775 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to removing the requirement of satisfactory performance on state assessment instruments for public school grade-level promotion and providing alternative compliance for the requirement of satisfactory performance on state assessment instruments for graduation.
HB 779 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to cardiac assessments of participants in extracurricular athletic activities sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League.
HB 802 Author: King, Ken | Harless | Springer
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to the provision of a transportation allotment under the foundation school program based on the price of gasoline.
HB 810 Author: White, James | Springer | Isaac
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to employment of persons with professional qualifications as public school teachers.
HB 811 Author: González, Mary
Last Action: 02/23/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 23 2015 3:22PM
Caption: Relating to administering certain assessment instruments to public school students in certain grades for diagnostic purposes only.
HB 829 Author: Zedler
Last Action: 02/26/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 26 2015 4:54PM
Caption: Relating to inclusion of a civics test in the graduation requirements for public high school students.
HB 842 Author: Naishtat
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to review of public school instructional materials for compliance with accessibility standards.
HB 868 Author: Flynn
Last Action: 03/04/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 4 2015 5:45PM
Caption: Relating to a defense to prosecution for and civil liability of an educator who uses force or deadly force to protect the educator’s person, students of the school, or property of the school, and suspension of a student who assaults an employee of a school.
HB 874 Author: Sanford
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to employment of persons with advanced degrees as public school teachers.
HB 879 Author: Farney
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to evaluating the performance of dropout recovery schools.
HB 917 Author: Villalba
Last Action: 02/25/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 25 2015 11:46AM
Caption: Relating to school marshals for private schools, notifying a parent or guardian whether an employee of a public or private school is appointed school marshal, and the confidentiality of information submitted to or collected by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement in connection with a certification for appointment as school marshal.
HB 919 Author: Flynn
Last Action: 02/25/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 25 2015 11:46AM
Caption: Relating to provisional special education funding for certain students in public schools.
HB 925 Author: Guillen
Last Action: 02/25/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 25 2015 11:46AM
Caption: Relating to the balance maintained in a school district’s general fund and associated requirements regarding the general fund.
HB 929 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 02/25/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Feb 25 2015 11:46AM
Caption: Relating to exclusion of certain public school student disciplinary actions from reports required by state or federal law.
HB 945 Author: Rinaldi | Keough
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to the repeal of provisions requiring school districts to reduce their wealth per student to the equalized wealth level.
HB 948 Author: Rinaldi | Villalba | Krause | Fallon
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.
HB 959 Author: Menéndez
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to limiting certain state-required assessment instruments administered to public school students in certain grades to assessments required by federal law.
HB 980 Author: Hernandez
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to a personal financial literacy component in a statistics course offered for public high school graduation.
HB 985 Author: Villalba
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to mental health screening for public school students who may be a danger to self or others and to suspension or educational placement of those students; creating an offense.
HB 1013 Author: Canales
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to requirements regarding electronic access to instructional materials provided in printed book format purchased for public schools.
HB 1023 Author: Stickland
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to public school class size limits.
HB 1033 Author: Leach
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to the placement of video cameras in self-contained classrooms providing special education services.
HB 1060 Author: Rodriguez, Justin
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to reporting of teacher turnover information by public schools.
HB 1067 Author: Koop
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to the first day of the school year for public schools.
HB 1070 Author: Smith
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to a reduction in the cost of attendance credits for certain school districts that purchase windstorm and hail insurance.
HB 1100 Author: Johnson | Farney | Thompson, Senfronia | Zerwas | González, Mary
Last Action: 03/10/2015 H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to a gold standard full-day prekindergarten program provided by public school districts.
HB 1135 Author: Muñoz, Jr.
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to a transportation allotment for a school district transporting students to dual credit courses.
HB 1139 Author: Fallon
Last Action: 03/02/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 2 2015 3:50PM
Caption: Relating to inclusion of a civics test in the graduation requirements for public high school students.
HB 1142 Author: Dukes
Last Action: 03/04/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 4 2015 5:45PM
Caption: Relating to the establishment of a workgroup to examine the implementation of dating violence awareness and education programs in public schools.
HB 1157 Author: Alvarado
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to funding for public school career and technology education programs.
HB 1162 Author: VanDeaver
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to eliminating satisfactory performance requirements for public school end-of-course assessment instruments as a criterion for promotion or graduation.
HB 1163 Author: VanDeaver
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to the percentage of the annual distribution from the permanent school fund set aside for the state instructional materials fund.
HB 1164 Author: VanDeaver
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to the assessment of public school students in writing and English language arts.
HB 1170 Author: Farney
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to the applicability to open-enrollment charter schools of certain laws regarding local governments and political subdivisions.
HB 1171 Author: Farney
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to the applicability of certain immunity and liability laws to open-enrollment charter schools.
HB 1172 Author: Alvarado
Last Action: 03/04/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 4 2015 5:45PM
Caption: Relating to creating a program to recognize before-school and after-school programs that promote healthy eating and physical activity.
HB 1188 Author: Deshotel
Last Action: 03/10/2015 H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .
Caption: Relating to the creation of a joint interim committee to study and make recommendations regarding early childhood education.
HB 1197 Author: Bohac
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to allowing certain extracurricular activities required by public school classes for agriculture, food, and natural resources.
HB 1218 Author: Capriglione
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to course content requirements for human sexuality instruction provided by a public school.
HB 1227 Author: Anderson, Rodney
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to eliminating the requirement that a school district assess the physical fitness of students.
HB 1231 Author: Fletcher
Last Action: 03/03/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 3 2015 1:59PM
Caption: Relating to the membership of school district and open-enrollment charter school concussion oversight teams.
HB 1300 Author: Capriglione
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the required qualifications of persons admitted to educator preparation programs.
HB 1304 Author: Guillen
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the use of school committees to make determinations regarding graduation for certain public high school students who fail to perform satisfactorily on end-of-course assessment instruments.
HB 1305 Author: Bonnen, Greg | Paul
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 5:44PM
Caption: Relating to a program to provide a free or reduced-price breakfast to eligible students attending a public school and the method of determining the number of educationally disadvantaged students.
HB 1341 Author: Aycock
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 5:44PM
Caption: Relating to review and modification of the essential knowledge and skills of the required public school curriculum.
HB 1347 Author: Howard
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 5:44PM
Caption: Relating to a study on the performance and operations of public schools that operate on a year-round system.
HB 1351 Author: Turner, Chris
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 5:44PM
Caption: Relating to health education curriculum and instruction in public schools.
HB 1366 Author: Herrero
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to student eligibility for Foundation School Program benefits.
HB 1373 Author: Giddings
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the assignment of a public school student to an inexperienced or uncertified teacher.
HB 1383 Author: Allen
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the salary paid to classroom teachers employed by public schools.
HB 1451 Author: Fallon
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the availability of certain school district financial information on certain districts’ Internet websites.
HB 1461 Author: Lucio III
Last Action: 03/04/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 4 2015 5:45PM
Caption: Relating to the bilingual education allotment provided under the public school finance system.
HB 1468 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the assessment of fourth and seventh grade public school students in writing and English language arts.
HB 1469 Author: Huberty
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the assessment of public school students in writing and English language arts.
HB 1474 Author: VanDeaver
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the placement of money in the state instructional materials fund for public schools to use to purchase instructional materials.
HB 1477 Author: Meyer
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the cost of an attendance credit under the public school finance system.
HB 1478 Author: Meyer
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to a limitation on the amount of school property tax revenue that is subject to recapture under the public school finance system.
HB 1479 Author: Meyer
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to the equalized wealth level and the guaranteed yield under the school finance system.
HB 1486 Author: Galindo
Last Action: 03/05/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 5 2015 2:59PM
Caption: Relating to a prohibition on vendor contact with a member of the board of trustees of an independent school district during the procurement process.
HB 1559 Author: Parker
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to public school Internet website information concerning local programs and services available to assist homeless students.
HB 1593 Author: Blanco
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to notification of parents regarding the immunization status of students enrolled at a public school.
HB 1597 Author: Blanco
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to state assistance for school employees uniform group health coverage.
HB 1599 Author: King, Ken
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to grants for school districts and campuses providing blended and individualized learning staff development activities.
HB 1600 Author: King, Ken
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the establishment of a grant program to assist school districts in developing or implementing innovative blended learning initiatives.
HB 1601 Author: Raymond
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to eligibility of certain school district employees for certification as a principal.
HB 1614 Author: Guillen
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to reporting of teacher turnover information by public schools.
HB 1664 Author: Leach
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the authority of a school district to excuse from school attendance a student who is exempt from a final examination.
HB 1673 Author: VanDeaver
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to eliminating certain state-required assessment instruments and certain end-of-course assessment instruments not required by federal law.
HB 1676 Author: Aycock
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to authority of public and open-enrollment charter school campuses to maintain a supply of and administer anaphylaxis medicine.
HB 1677 Author: Aycock
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the public school finance system.
HB 1682 Author: Bohac
Last Action: 03/09/2015 H Referred to Public Education: Mar 9 2015 3:35PM
Caption: Relating to the salary paid to certain professional employees of public schools.

Join the Movement- Take a #Stand4Life

By Donna Garner

photoPLEASE TAKE A #STAND4LIFE: Monday, July 8, 2013, 9:00 A. M., Austin, Texas wear blue, bring water and snacks

This coming Monday, July 8, 2013, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hear SB 1 (authored by Sen. Glen Hegar)  at 10:00 A. M.  SB 1 is the companion bill to pro-life bill HB 2 that passed the House State Affairs Committee last Tuesday night. 

Sen. Jane Nelson is the chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and has a strong conservative record. Her committee is to meet at 10:00 A. M. in Room E1.036 in the Capitol extension with witness registration to begin at 9:00 A. M. outside Room E1.036.

The time allotted to each witness will be limited to 2 minutes. Written testimony may be turned into the clerk to be distributed to the members of the committee. If submitting written testimony, please provide 20 copies with your name on each copy. (Parking information is posted at the bottom of this e-mail.)

These are the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee:

Chair: Sen. Jane Nelson

Members:  Senators Bob Deuell, Joan Huffman, Robert Nichols, Charles Schwertner, Larry Taylor, Carlos Uresti, Royce West, Zaffirini

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Also, please come to the Rally for Life at 7:00 P. M. on Monday, July 8, 2013, at the Capitol Grounds, Austin Texas. Because the state and national news media will undoubtedly cover this rally, it will be important to have as many pro-life/pro-family people as possible to let this nation know that Texans care about the unborn and about making sure that abortions are not performed on babies past the 20 weeks mark when they most certainly can feel pain.

We pro-life/pro-family Texans also want our nation to know that we believe in protecting women by making sure that abortion facilities meet strict surgical standards of care.  We  do not want a Kermit Gosnell “House of Horrors” nor the type of abortion facilities in Houston, Texas, that are being investigated for similar atrocities. 

The Harris County D. A.’s Office is investigating Dr. Douglas Karpen, Houston abortionist,  because three informants have provided cell phone photos and have given testimony saying that Karpen “goes one shocking step further” than Dr. Kermit Gosnell.  “Karpen kills the babies with his bare hands by twisting their necks execution style…” 

One of Karpen’s surgical assistants who worked for him for 15 years has stated, “When he did an abortion, especially an over 20 week abortion, most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus, in order to kill the fetus….I thought, well, it’s an abortion you know, that’s what he does, but I wasn’t aware that it was illegal…Most of the time we would see him where the fetus would come completely out and of course, the fetus would still be alive.”

Partial-birth abortion (as reported above) has been illegal in the United States since 2003 and is defined as “the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother…then kills the baby.”  

When passed and signed into law, SB 1 and HB 2 will prohibit the atrocities as committed by Gosnell in Philadelphia and purportedly by Karpen in Houston.

To learn more:

5.17.13 – “Douglas Karpen, Who Kills Babies Born Alive” – by Steven Ertelt —  http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/17/new-web-site-exposes-douglas-karpen-who-kills-babies-born-alive/

5.17.13 – “Houston doctor accused of illegal abortions” – by Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle –http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-doctor-accused-of-illegal-abortions-4519565.php

7.3.13 – YouTube video — “A Tale of Two Texas Senators: Wendy Davis and Donna Campbell” – 6-minute video produced by WomenOnTheWall.org #Stand4Life — 

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PARKING – WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE 

· Capitol Visitor Parking Lot* – 1201 San Jacinto Blvd, east of the Capitol. Seehttp://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/Parking.htm 

· Meter parking* – meters are limited around the Capitol and you must move your car after 3 hours.

*Double Tree Suites – 303 W. 15th Street, west of the Capitol.

*Bob Bullock Museum – 1800 N. Congress, north of the Capitol.

*Wells Fargo Garage, 400 W 15th St., west of the Capitol.

*Fees apply

TURNCOATS among us? Part II

TURNCOATS among us?  

 Part II in a series leading up to the most important vote Texas House members will cast this Legislative Session

 

As we move closer towards the opening of the 83rd Texas legislative session on January 8, 2013 it is time for the gloves to come off!

Amazingly, some of the “Texas 15″ who stood on PRINCIPLE in 2011 and voted against the MODERATE Joe Straus for House Speaker seem to have lost their way and have made all sorts of excuses as to why  in 2013  Joe Straus is now the champion of true CONSERVATIVE values.

My most favorite of the absurd excuses is the one about Straus dangling committee chairmanships in front of their noses and the reasoning that with such power they will be able to get their conservative legislation passed.  Really people?   It seems some  have forgotten about a little thing called the “Calendars Committee” which Joe Straus will NEVER give up control of via his favorite moderate leaning liberal lieutenants.   So no matter what legislation any of the “Turncoats” may get through their committees – the Calendars Committee Chair really controls the ball and in their heart of hearts they know that truth.   The Reps who use that excuse are either delusional, void of common sense, or flat out lying to themselves and their constituents.

For those who are apparently suffering from amnesia, it is time they are reminded how a REAL conservative (like Rep. David Simpson) speaks and acts when it comes to issues that are important to us.

In case they’ve forgotten, those issues include things such as LIFE, ending TSA groping, illegal immigration, the Budget Compact,  and now we can add law enforcement molestation of travelers on Texas highways!   You know –  the issues many of the wavering CONSERVATIVE Reps led their constituents to believe they would fight tooth and nail for if they were re-elected.

For instance,  now some say Straus is REALLY pro-life since he didn’t kill the sonogram legislation in 2011.  Of course he really had no choice after Sen. Dan Patrick put him on the spot at the 2011 Texas Rally for Life when he made the comment about the great Texas pro-life leadership (Perry and Dewhurst) then almost choked on his tongue when he realized he had to mention  Straus too!

Now, in less than two short years Straus made the following comments in the recent 12/12/12 Texas Tribune Article:

“Asked about a so-called fetal pain measure to ban abortions after 20 weeks, legislation touted on Tuesday by Gov. Rick Perry, Straus declined to say whether he would support it, but strongly implied that he doesn’t view the proposal as a priority.” 

NOT A PRIORITY – really Joe?

Then we have the big CONSERVATIVE (??) Joe Straus speaking out on the extremely important TSA anti-groping bill that Rep. Simpson introduced and championed throughout the 82nd session.  Read the stark differences between how these two men view the groping of our children, our elderly (and often very ill) parents, our citizens in general and then tell me who has moral clarity when it comes to protecting the INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS of Texans:

Excerpts from Houston Chronicle article quoting remarks from Speaker Straus on Rep. Simpson’s TSA anti-groping bill:  “House Speaker Joe Straus on Friday called an “anti-groping” bill favored by Gov. Rick Perry a “publicity stunt” and said he would not allow it to come up for a vote as written.

The legislation, which would criminalize invasive airport security pat-downs, would turn Texas “into a laughingstock,” said Straus, R-San Antonio, after abruptly adjourning the House for lack of a quorum for the second time this week.”

PUBLICITY STUNT?  Turn Texas into a laughingstock? 

For any intelligent human who is not on the take for the goodies Speaker Straus is handing out, those remarks (to say the least) are insulting.  Maybe Joe doesn’t mind his fellow Texans (young, elderly and sick) being humiliated and groped but several of his fellow elected officials understand the severity of this growing assault on the rights of Texans and they are willing speak out.

Then we have the remarks of Rep. David Simpson featured in this KCENTV.com article:

“The author of House Bill 41, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), says it was never his intent to create a publicity stunt.

‘This is about freedom. It’s about dignity. It’s about the people being able to travel freely without being humiliated. This bill being struck down makes a mockery of those people,’ Simpson said.”

So, who do you trust to protect our individual freedoms, the prosperity of future generations of Texans, the unborn who are murdered daily because people like Joe Straus don’t consider them “worthy” in HIS list of priorities for protection?

One can only imagine how unconcerned he will be about the newest threat to the dignity and constitutional rights of women traveling Texas highways now that the Texas DPS has decided that body cavity searches on the side of the road are their latest tool of intimidation for travelers guilty of the “crime” of throwing cigarettes out their car windows.

For those who ran as CONSERVATIVES during the last election,  if they cast their vote for Straus as House Speaker in 2013 they are really going to have a hard time putting lipstick on that pig come GOP primary time. 

You know what they say, “In November We Will Remember.”  Of course,  they are hearing that from the Straus’  big money circles as well so I’d say they have some serious soul searching to do.

When they cast that vote on January 8th, they can either go down as a person who stood on principle with honor for what is right OR they can go down in flames as a Turncoat who helped destroy the once Great State of Texas.

Looks like the ball is in their court BUT we will be there with boots on the ground to shine a bright light on the outcome of the most important vote in the 83rd session of the Texas legislature!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TURNCOATS among us?

TURNCOATS among us?

 Part I in a series leading up to the most important vote Texas House members will cast this Legislative Session 
 

 

 
 As the 83rd Texas Legislative Session looms on the horizon, the Showdown for the Texas House Speaker begins to take form.

The 2011 session gave Texas Tea Party conservatives a glimpse of the past.   A time when elected leaders were actually guided by moral clarity and PRINCIPLE – what a concept!

On January 11, 2011,  15 Texas Representatives were guided more by their heart than by their campaign coffers OR their egos.   For that conviction they were honored by their fellow conservatives and Texas Tea Party supporters.    How refreshing it was that day to believe that at least in the Great State of Texas, 15 elected Representatives took a stand for what was BEST for future generations of Texans and not their own personal gain.

The “Texas 15 – Hall Courage” was launched by WomenOnTheWall.Org in 2011 to signify a step towards ending the corruption in the Texas House.    Many true conservatives were proud to honor those who took a stand.     That day – that vote,  showed Texans  that there were still men and women in office who believed in Judeo-Christian principles, the Constitution, LIFE,  the rule-of-law, and  responsible/accountable/transparent government.   With their votes, the “Texas 15″ were no longer just politicians.   On that day, they represented the fighting spirit of the Texas Tea Party by taking a stand to draw a line in the sand against power and corruption. 

The “Texas 15″ and the rest of the Republican House members (a/k/a  RINOS) who cast those memorable votes for Texas House Speaker in 2011 will live on for decades in the history of the Texas Legislature.

Odd,  what a difference a few years can have on one’s view of reality.   How quickly people in  power forget how they got where they are OR where their loyalty should rest!  How easily they lose sight of the fact that their constituents elected them to do what will keep Texas strong and prosperous  for future generations and not what might make THEM more important for the moment.

Straus will NEVER forgive  anyone who voted against him in 2011 – EVER!   Sure, he may “make nice” by granting coveted committee appointments to some but that is as far as it will go.  

As we now know, talk is cheap – especially the talk of  Texas House Speaker Joe Straus!   Given the recent Texas redistricting retribution against key Texas conservative Representatives (like Rep.  Wayne Christian, Rep. Jim Landtroop, and Rep. Erwin Cain) it is hard to understand why ANY of the 2011 “Texas 15″ would ever even entertain the thought of supporting a man like Straus.   

Amazing how the Speaker referenced retribution as unacceptable behavior as he took to the microphone to gloat about his re-election in 2011.    It appears retribution is only unacceptable behavior when it comes from the grassroots who oppose him.  Emails prove that different rules seem to apply to the Speaker’s team and his cronies.   The recent article in The Dallas Morning News by Bob Garrett, stated that three (3) of the “Texas 15″  were defeated which is not entirely accurate.  All of the referenced defeats were  due to REDISTRICTING RETRIBUTION by Joe Straus – payback for their votes against him in 2011.   Specifically, Rep. Erin Cain decided not to run against his fellow House member Dan Flynn once they were paired in redistricting.

Speaking of redistricting retribution (and don’t forget legislation woes) – it seems the Democrats have a similar tunes they are singing about their old friend Joe.   Texans from both sides of the aisle seem to desire reform and transparency in the people’s House.

Even if  Straus attempted to lure his 2011 defectors back to his camp with key committee chair positions, could any of the “Texas 15″ possibly believe for one moment that he would allow them to successfully pass ANY vital conservative legislation that they truly care about?   To simplify things, the answer is NO and if any think otherwise they should be booted out of office.

While many will hold up the 2011 Sonogram legislation passage as an example of how far Straus has come in his “pro-life walk,” The Texas Tribune a few days ago referenced his response when he was asked about the passage of a “fetal pain measure” Gov. Perry has been touting.  The Tribune reported,  “… Straus declined to say whether he would support it, but strongly implied that he doesn’t view the proposal as a priority.”   REALLY – not a priority!!   Legislation which would ban abortions after 20 weeks isn’t considered a “priority” by our “pro-life” Speaker who was endorsed by the main pro-life groups in Texas?  Something doesn’t pass the smell test here folks.  On that note, for all of the other members of  the Texas House who ran as pro-life candidates – a serious gut check best be in order before casting a vote for Joe as House Speaker.  Much more on this subject in the Part 2 so check back for more exciting examples.  

I suppose some will speculate as to how Straus might treat any “Turncoat” of  the “Texas 15″ who cast their vote for him as Speaker in 2013.   There is no speculation as to how the Texas Tea Party nation and true conservatives across Texas would react to any such “Turncoat” – rest assured they would move to a priority position in the list of legislators to unseat in 2014.

You see, it is really pretty simple!    A candidate can’t claim to be a true conservative one year while electioneering and then decide after they are elected that everything they professed was ingrained in their heart (and ours) was really not important or worth fighting for after all.

The Texas Legislature did not arrive at its current state of corruption in one session … or two – it will not be corrected in one or two.    It will be a long slug fest but well worth the fight and Texas Representatives have been given a real warrior to lead the troops in 2013.  Voting for Straus clearly is not an option for any of the “Texas 15.”

Again, Texas Representatives are faced with the 2011 battle cry, “Conservative Speaker OR Your Seat.”   They should  seriously take that promise to heart.

Frankly speaking, to true conservatives – “Turncoats” are far worse that RINOS could ever be!

(Updated: 12/14/12)

 

Battle to control Parrie Haynes Ranch generates interest, creates questions

Debate over the intended use and future of the Parrie Haynes Ranch continues to concern a variety of Texas interest groups.  The 4,500 acre central Texas property provides outdoor learning and other recreational opportunities to assorted children from orphans and other “at risk” youth to school and military-sponsored organizations to groups like 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Its fate will likely be decided based on the passage or defeat of House Bill 244, a bill which transfers control of the property from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Department of Family and Protective Services.  The bill also provides for lease or sale of the ranch.

Fifteen months ago, per the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission’s recommendation, TPWD assumed formal responsibility of the Parrie Haynes Ranch and began working on a management plan as per the Commission’s directive.  Since the 1960s, Texas Youth Commission (or its predecessors) had operated the ranch but with mixed results.  In the early ’90s, official control remained with TYC, but a lease agreement with TPWD was brokered.

Under the lease the department not only took on management duties, but began hosting outdoor learning and recreational opportunities for all ages with an emphasis on youth programs.  The management change also allowed this central Texas wilderness with its unique outdoor learning and recreational environment to become accessible to more than 2 million people within the locale’s 75 mile radius.

In November 2008, the Sunset Advisory Commission noted judicial action as the state-mandated process for transferring control of the trust containing the 4,500 acre property from the Texas Youth Commission to the Parks and Wildlife Department.  As an estate bequest to the state, the Commission cited TPWD as “well positioned to operate the Ranch in accordance with Parrie Haynes’ wishes” and subsequently ordered TYC and TPWD to work jointly with the Attorney General’s office and appropriate courts in executing the transfer.  This process was underway yet stopped when Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, filed HB 244 which appears to contradict the Sunset Commission’s recommendation both by calling for the legislature, not the courts, to authorize the management change as well as by ordering a transfer of ranch control not to TPWD, but instead to the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Parrie Haynes’ estate was designated “for the use and benefit of orphan children.”  Haynes’ 1954 will directed her residuary estate to help orphans, however with her 1957 death, the Killeen Independent School District receiving an additional bequest of $100,000 for scholarships suggests Haynes’ interests extended to assorted youth benevolence efforts.  Ranch lore tells of Haynes’ unsuccessful attempt in giving land to the Girl Scouts – an additional indicator, some say, of an openness for her land to benefit a variety of children.

The care of orphans is much different today than during Parrie Haynes’ life.  Orphans are far more integrated into mainstream society.  Parrie Haynes likely never imagined how a breakdown of traditional family structures would create additional categories of children in need classified using new terms like “at risk.”  Her actions, however, did seem to indicate a non-exclusionary interest in both children and the use of her land and other resources.

Such considerations provide a reasonable position that an updated approach in using the Parrie Haynes Ranch is neither an affront nor comes at the expense of today’s orphans – it merely provides available opportunities to a wider youth population.  The Sunset Advisory Commission took a similar position directing TPWD to “expand its operations of the Ranch to provide services to Texas orphans in addition to the youth programs already in existence at the Ranch, to ensure that Ranch operations are aligned as closely as possible to the Haynes will in the future.”

The mere filing of House Bill 244 presents another point of dispute in this matter.  The Sunset Commission clearly stated:

Since the Ranch is held in trust, the Legislature cannot transfer the property outright; the State would need to get judicial approval of the transfer and a modification authorizing TPWD to use the Trust for purposes approved by the Court.

Such a transfer would include all properties, investments, and rights associated with the Haynes Trust, as determined by the court. In doing so, it would be incumbent upon TPWD to show the Court that its use of the property is more closely aligned with the intended use of the property as outlined in the Haynes will than other potential uses of the property by the State. Although a court may modify the terms of the trust in the future, while still coming as close as possible to fulfilling the wishes of the Haynes will, this recommendation is based on the findings that TPWD’s current activities on the Ranch are already more closely aligned with the intent of the will than other uses.

It is curious that the Department of Family and Protective Services, an agency seemingly far less prepared to manage a 4,500 acre facility compared to TPWD, would not be subject to the same process and criteria.  And with this deviation, would a transfer based on the passage of House Bill 244 be a valid act?

Nonetheless, the parties on both sides are lining up.  Hartnett says the Center for Public Policy Priorities, came to him seeking the agency change.  Per the organization’s web site:

The center was born from faith and a vision of social justice in 1985 when the Congregation of Benedictine Sisters in Boerne, Texas founded the center to improve health care access for the poor.

Over the years, the center slowly grew in size and in scope. By the time it became an independent research organization in 1999, its focus had expanded to ensure not just health care, but good nutrition, jobs, and education and protection for Texas children.

Today’s priorities include six major areas:

•Creating economic opportunity to strengthen families and grow the middle class;
•Increasing access to quality, affordable health insurance;
•Helping families meet basic needs;
•Enhancing child well-being and child protection;
•Ensuring effective public administration; and
•Security fair and adequate taxation to pay for critical public investments in Texas.

On the other side, the Friends of the Parrie Haynes Ranch helped initially broker the lease between TYC and TPWD and their mission statement confirms the group’s continuing TPWD support:

Friends of the Parrie Haynes Ranch,Inc. is a Citizen Volunteer Support Organization whose purpose is to provide support that enables Parrie Haynes Ranch to contribute to the mission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by providing outdoor learning and recreational opportunities to Texans, especially the youth of Texas, while preserving and protecting the natural and cultural resources of the Ranch.

Rep. Ralph Sheffield, R-Temple, whose district includes the ranch, has expressed opposition to HB 244.  Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, has spoken of being “acutely aware” of community concerns.  Fears of DFPS-control bringing a selloff of the land – a clear provision of HB 244 – are a special concern also routinely voiced on the Save Parrie Haynes Ranch Facebook page.

The Bell County Commissioners as well as the Coryell County Commissioners have issued resolutions supporting TPWD management of the ranch.  Further support by the Greater Houston Horse Council, users of the 30+ miles of ranch trails, illustrates how TPWD also brings leadership adept at creating and managing income-generating opportunities to help offset other facility-related costs.

House Bill 244 has been assigned to the Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence although no public hearing has yet been scheduled.  Whenever it happens, the intent of Parrie Haynes’ final wishes, the fulfillment of those wishes, the protection of Texas orphans’ interests plus the process and motivation for transferring property control are all topics likely to be addressed.

In talking with The Texas Tribune, Hartnett recently characterized potential loser-pays legislation as an “uphill battle this session, given all the other pressing items that the Legislature has to deal with.”  Ironically, one might expect the Parrie Haynes Ranch to also fall into this category.  That it doesn’t is why the timing and motivation of HB 244 continues generating interest and creating questions.

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture.  She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com, a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation and a Director of Women on the Wall.  Lou Ann may be contacted at [email protected].

Poaching personal liberty, property creates demands for probate system reform

An aging population, longevity, economic uncertainty and liberal definitions of “incapacitation” are factors creating an environment in which people of all ages find their individual liberties and assets being threatened.  Probate instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney) are becoming choice tools in these efforts.  Mounting pressure has states like Texas and Arizona addressing probate abuse with resulting policy battles positioning lawmakers between a public demanding meaningful probate reform and a legal industry seeking to maintain its lucrative status quo viewed by many as predatory in nature.

Probate reform is about protecting people from a legal venue that has become a growth industry for unscrupulous Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) perpetrators adept at using probate courts and instruments to hijack personal liberties as well as to loot private assets.  These actions often negatively impact taxpayers as IRA actions can lead to people never before eligible or inclined to also end up on public welfare rolls.

Senate Bill 286, recently left pending before the Texas’ Senate Jurisprudence Committee, illustrates a growing tension between legislators and those adamantly seeking reform.  If passed, this bill allows judges in guardianship proceedings to assess costs, including attorney’s fees, “among the parties as the court finds is fair and just.”

At a recent hearing, Sen. Chris Harris (R-Arlington), the bill’s author, said he’s trying to preserve wards’ estates – currently the main source from which guardianship-related legal costs are deducted – by providing a vehicle to hold initiators of non-meritorious cases financially responsible.

Guy Herman, Presiding Judge of the Statutory Probate Courts of Texas, spoke in favor of the bill attributing certain probate disputes to sibling rivalry or long-standing family grudges.  While this bill and SB 220, another bill featuring a similar provision, are theoretically sound, advocates with probate court experience rightfully fear a different use of such legislation.

Probate judges, often in conjunction with probate lawyers, are routinely cited as sources of estate abuse.  Growing media scrutiny supports this trend though criminal or professional consequences rarely occur.  And if they can afford participation in the pay-to-play civil court system, targeted parties still often suffer unresolved, sometimes irreparable, harm.

The legal industry comprises lawyers, judges and other court-associated personnel and its talking points promote a “blame the disgruntled families” position.  Limited legitimacy to this point exists.  Interested parties responding to unnecessarily aggressive guardianships or other estate looting actions also legitimately occurs – a point these insiders rarely acknowledge.  And with this, tension over prospective legislation endures.

Targets of abusive probate actions know how theoretical public safeguards built into the probate system can in fact be executed in a manner harmful to the public and beneficial to IRA perpetrators.  Opponents of SB 286 see the bill as giving judges a new retaliatory power against families fighting questionable probate actions.  This power could additionally serve as a deterrent for those seeking to further address probate corruption.

Taxpayer-funded entities using taxpayer funds to lobby for government-friendly legislation that doesn’t necessarily serve taxpayer interests is a troubling trend in and of itself.  This recently published Dallas County legislative priority shows how taxpayer-funded lobbying can work as well as gives new perspective to potential uses of SB 286:

Exempt the county from paying the fees of a poor ward in probate court if the ward’s family is affluent. The probate judge would charge the fee to the family in these cases.

SB 286 says the court may allocate costs “among the parties as the court finds is fair and just.”  While the bill may righteously intend to protect against frivolous probate actions, might a Dallas County probate judge use its non-specific language for the “fair and just” assessment of probate court costs because families appear “affluent”?  This could be especially dangerous at a time when overextended counties are urgently looking for cost-shifting opportunities.

Stranger things happen in probate courts on a daily basis.

While Sen. Harris appeared quite earnest in speaking about SB 286, experience fosters extreme caution and skepticism in those having lived through probate system abuse so the tension continues.  Opportunity exists, however, if this measure were part of a reform package.

The Arizona legislature is currently looking at HB 2424 which provides an important starting point for key probate reform measures.  The bill:

  • requires probate law training for judges.
  • establishes an accountability panel with private citizens.
  • eliminates hearsay from evidence.
  • enforces the rights of personal directives.
  • keeps families involved in their loved one’s care.
  • demands a written accounting of expenses from the ward’s estate.
  • allows for a change of fiduciary.

HB 2424 was created in response to experiences documented by a growing state-level grassroots reform movement that includes probate abuse victims.  As in Texas, Arizona lawmakers find themselves between citizens demanding reform of a corrupt system and the system’s caretakers who advocate measures viewed by many as self-serving and “feel good” rather than substantive.

Legal and financial interests that strongly oppose HB 2424 are instead supporting SB 1499 which provides few public protection remedies and was written largely by those who control – and often profit from – Arizona’s probate system.

Despite opposition efforts from four different lobbying houses, HB 2424 continues to make its way through the Arizona legislature due to lawmakers so far connecting more with public reform demands than with legal and financial interests controlling the state’s probate system.

With all the 82nd Texas Legislature is facing, probate reform was never expected to be a hot-button issue.  At the same time, however, vigilance is required.  Stopping unintended but potentially harmful legislation can be as important as passing good.  An Arizona-style probate reform package incorporating SB 286 or similar language is needed in Texas.  And if strongly opposed by the legal industry, that’s a good signal the bill is likely to provide the public true protections from the otherwise predatory culture surrounding the probate system.

For more information:

Disney grandson at forefront of Arizona reform (March 4, 2011)

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture.  She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com, a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation and a Director of Women on the Wall.  Lou Ann may be contacted at [email protected].


Parrie Haynes Ranch bill seeks control of property left for orphans’ use

The Parrie Haynes Ranch is a 4,500 acre property located in Bell County just south of Fort Hood and not far from the new Texas A&M University-Central Texas campus.  It was left in a will to the state of Texas for “the use and benefit of orphan children” and in recent years has fulfilled this directive plus more.  Though 45 minutes north of the Texas State Capitol, few legislators have probably visited the facility whose future is now in question and fate may be decided through House Bill 244.

On Nov. 12, Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, pre-filed House Bill 244 which requests control of the trust containing the Parrie Haynes Ranch to be transferred from the Texas Youth Commission to the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Rep. Ralph Sheffield, R-Temple, has also been advocating a transfer of the trust, but believes the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is the appropriate designee, a point with which the Sunset Advisory Commission agreed and the transfer would have been completed except for the filing of Hartnett’s bill.

In a November 2008 report, the Sunset Advisory Commission recommended that “TPWD and TYC jointly seek representation by the Attorney General to pursue a modification of the Trust terms and purpose of the Parrie Haynes Trust that would designate TPWD as the state agency responsible for the Ranch and Trust.”  The Commission also directed TPWD to increase its use of the Parrie Haynes Ranch to be as consistent as possible with the will’s intent.

Other Commission key findings included that not only was TPWD well positioned to operate the ranch in accordance with Parrie Haynes’ wishes, but that in keeping the ranch at TYC, “Texas misses an opportunity to provide improved outdoor access to the state’s youth.”

The Commission found that as the ranch is held in trust, the Legislature cannot simply transfer the property to TPWD.  The Commission, citing the Texas Property Code, said the court can modify a trust to ensure that it conforms as closely as possible to the original intent.  Intervention by the Attorney General is appropriate both as that office has the primary duty of representing state agencies in civil cases and because state law also authorizes the Attorney General to intervene in a proceeding involving a charitable trust, on the behalf of the interest of the general public of the State.

The Parrie Haynes Ranch was left to the State Orphan Home of Texas upon Haynes’ death in 1957.  Haynes’ will was probated in 1962 and probate documents specified the following with regard to her residuary estate (which included the ranch):

To Have and to Hold above described residuary estate unto the said State of Texas for the use and benefit of orphan children as provided in the Parrie Haynes will, and its assigns forever.

While first assigned to the Corsicana State Home (originally known as the State Orphans’ Home), the Parrie Haynes Ranch was then placed under control of the Texas Youth Development Council which later became the Texas Youth Commission.

TYC operated various programs at the ranch throughout the years with mixed results.  In the early ’90s, an agreement with TPWD was brokered and the department assumed management of the ranch as well as the responsibility to host outdoor learning and recreational opportunities for all ages, but with an emphasis on youth programs.

Friends of the Parrie Haynes Ranch, a citizens volunteer support organization, helped facilitate this arrangement.  The group continues to support TPWD’s management saying the department provides both good stewardship of the land and strong program development capabilities.

The combination of these two factors appears to not just fulfill Parrie Haynes’ wishes regarding the “use and benefit” of her ranch for orphaned children, but perhaps would even have exceeded her wishes due to the wide range of young people impacted under TPWD leadership.

TPWD works with the Texas Game Warden Association to provide year-round adventure activities and educational programs for Texas’ youth. The Parrie Haynes Ranch Equestrian Center is routinely used by the Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association for trail rides as well as youth outreach activities.

The Parrie Haynes Ranch hosts camps sponsored by the C5 Youth Foundation, formerly known as Camp Coca-Cola.  The C5 program provides selected youth five years of intensive leadership experiences in a summer camp setting, year-round leadership development programs and community service, and preparation for continuing education and career development.  With the Parrie Haynes Ranch as one of the summer camp settings, the Foundation invested $2.1 million in the property with the building of nine bunkhouses, two lodges along with a dining hall, office building and pool.

TPWD has also coordinated use of the ranch with Boy Scout troops as well as with the Killeen Independent School District.  A Temple Daily Telegram report indicated Gold Star families from Fort Hood as potential future users of the ranch.

Members of the Friends of the Parrie Haynes Ranch group are concerned that a transfer to the DFPS could lead to a sale of the property.  The land is believed to be worth perhaps $20 million and HB 244 clearly offers sale as an option.  The bill also lists transfers of functions, activities and property between DFPS and TYC while TPWD responsibilities cease.

The Temple Daily Telegram quoted Hartnett explaining the bill:

“it basically takes it away from Parks and Wildlife. We don’t need a state agency turning the trust into a state park.  Parks and Wildlife cares about parks, not orphans.”

Per the Telegram, filing of the bill was prompted upon the Center for Public Policy Priorities contacting Hartnett because of Hartnett’s background as “a successful trust attorney.”  “I’m the House member most knowledgeable about state trust law,” Hartnett said.

F. Scott McCown, Center for Public Policy Priorities executive director, is quoted saying “there is nothing in the legislation that says the property must be sold.”  He further says the property could be leased for significantly more than the $45,000 paid annually by Texas Parks and Wildlife.  And while also suggesting that anyone wanting the Parrie Haynes Ranch for a park should buy it for that purpose, McCown insists no buyers for the property have been identified.  Should the property be sold, however, McCown says its proceeds “could help orphans pay for things like summer camps, college, class rings, graduation announcements or proms.”

Hartnett says the Legislature is the proper venue for seeking the HB 244 transfer:

“What this bill is about is whether the state is going to honor its own laws and obligations or try to turn this property into a park,” Hartnett said.  “If the state does not handle this by the book, there will be no other charitable contributions like this to the state again.”

And regarding the Parrie Haynes Ranch issue:

“They need to look at this as if it was owned by the Salvation Army,” Hartnett said.  “It’s not the states’ money, and it’s not their money.  It’s the orphans’ money. If somebody wants to trample orphans’ rights, let’s do it in the public arena. I’ll take that debate any day.”

The Bell County Commissioners have weighed in with a resolution that supports keeping the ranch under management of TPWD.  Commissioner John Fisher termed the potential of selling off the property as “a travesty to the youth of Texas” while Commissioner Richard Cortese described TPWD’s oversight of the ranch as “a natural fit.”

The merits of House Bill 244 remain something of a mystery unlike the plan for TPWD control of the Parrie Haynes Ranch which was statutorily-based, fiscally responsible and practical in its assignment and utilization of resources.  It was a sensible approach to providing benefit for Texas youth while honoring Parrie Haynes’ final wishes.

Transfer of the Parrie Haynes Ranch away from TPWD and its successful operational model would be a blow to the many who enjoy and learn from the wilderness experience the ranch offers.  It would likely end up as an additional blow to rights Parrie Haynes believed she had in determining the final distribution of her assets.

Probate disputes are receiving increasing media attention and the battle over the Parrie Haynes Ranch is no exception.  Estate of Denial™ follows Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) cases in which probate venues and/or probate instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships, powers of attorney) are used to loot assets of the dead, disabled or incapacitated.  These cases often involve use – or abuse – of the legal system to divert assets from intended heirs or beneficiaries.  The Parrie Haynes Ranch provides important opportunity to highlight the unanticipated developments or challenges to one’s wishes that can occur with even the most properly prepared estate plans.

Rep. Hartnett talked of debating “any day” in a public arena those who would “trample orphans’ rights.”  House Bill 244 has been assigned to the Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence and and presumably, a public hearing is ahead.  Supporters of the Parrie Haynes Ranch likely join Rep. Hartnett in looking forward to that public discussion.

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture.  She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com, a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation and a Director of Women on the Wall.  Lou Ann may be contacted at [email protected].

The Texas Race for LIFE

There are so many reasons why conservative activists in Texas refuse to accept Joe Straus as Texas House Speaker during the 2011 Texas legislative session.    The man simply does not have the fighting spirit and goes to extremes to avoid conflict.  Not a very good combination given the HUGE battles facing the Texas legislature on issues most true conservatives consider worthy of all out war.     

If you doubt me, consider Straus’ quotes from several Evan Smith interviews (Texas Monthly & Texas Tribune) concerning the the 2009 “do nothing” legislative session. 

In the January 16, 2009 Texas Monthly interview, Smith pressed Straus on important issues to the “right” saying, “On abortion you are often described as a pro-choice Republican — True or False?”  Straus responded with what I consider a truly astonishing statement: 

“Oh, I kinda get tired of the pro-choice / pro-life thing.  I take issues one at a time. … What I do reject though is this intense negative campaigning over wedge issues and I really — I’m a pass the budget and go home conservative (not to label myself again).  I really don’t enjoy the endless debate over things that are meant for campaign fodder.” 

WHAT —  did he really just equate important LIFE issues (abortion in particular) to “campaign fodder”? 

While most of us are not surprised that candidates are often deceptive while campaigning, it amazes me that he continues to try to convince true pro-life conservatives that he’s on our side AFTER receiving a 100% NARAL rating.   

Then there is the clever way Straus tries to cover this tail by praising Planned Parenthood for all the great work they do on “women’s health issues” while TOTALLY discounting the fact that a big part of their “family planning” services result in aborting babies.   Excuse me … are there really not other organizations that Straus and his wife could support that provide health services to women WITHOUT providing abortions? 

Straus really puts the “Mac” in Machiavelli!

Texas finally has a super majority of Republicans serving in the House and many of those Republicans campaigned as pro-life conservatives.  This session may well be our last chance to get an ultrasound bill passed in Texas and true conservatives simply are not willing to take a chance on Joe Straus based on his own words and his disturbing nature to avoid conflict. 

MILLIONS of lives can be saved with the passage of a good Texas ultrasound bill.  While we truly are NOW THE MAJORITY in the Texas House, we need someone who will be a strong leader and fight for us. 

If history repeats itself (and it will) Republicans will manage to mess up the overwhelming victory they’ve been given and in all likihood the margins will shift again in 2012.    Time is not on our side and we don’t have the luxury of HOPING for CHANGE in the Straus style of leadership. 

Texans are DEMANDING a true conservative who understands the stakes and is willing to take risks to deliver victories on the most imporant issues of our time. 

Time to say goodbye to the “good ‘old boy”  backroom deals in Austin and the Speaker bribes of sessions past!   If House members are smart, they will take the path of Rep. Randy Weber and survive the next Republican primary season.   Based on this past election, I think all members would be wise to reconsider the nonsense about “honoring their pledge to the Speaker” and remember the people who brought them to the dance in the first place!