Legislative Update, December 2022

Bill pre-filing is underway, and THLA is preparing for the 2023 Texas legislative session

As of December 21st, 1,457 bills have been filed, which is already a sharp increase from two years ago. The 2023 session will officially start on January 10, 2023 and ends on May 29, 2023.

It is widely believed that the House of Representatives will re-elect Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, for a second term as House Speaker on the first day of the session, and Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will round out the other two top leadership positions.  

Of particular interest for 2023, lawmakers will have an extra $27 billion in revenue to spend due to inflation driving up state sales tax revenues.

Lt. Governor Patrick released his list of priorities for the 2023 Session:

Property Tax Relief

  • Raise the homestead exemption
  • Cut taxes for businesses by expanding personal property tax exemption

Electric Grid Reliability

  • Build more natural gas power plants to add needed megawatts
  • Level playing field between renewables and dispatchable energy to ensure reliability

Border Security and Law Enforcement

  • Rural law enforcement fund
  • Sheriff pay enhancement
  • 10-year mandatory minimum sentence to criminals who use firearm during crime
  • Recall DAs and judges who refuse to follow state law
  • Continue border security funding

Education and School Security

  • New fund for non-Permanent University Fund (PUF) schools. The PUF currently supports only the UT and TAMU systems.
  • Expand teacher and law enforcement scholarship programs
  • Increase teacher pay13th check or COLA for retired teachers
  • School choice
  • School safety funding
  • Higher Education tenure reform

While Speaker Phelan has not released his priorities for the 2023 Session, he has mentioned the following items at public events:

  • Property tax reductions
  • Health Care Reform (created the House Committee on Health Care Reform this interim)
  • Mental Health
  • Improving quality and safety for the state’s foster care system
  • Alleviating the state’s growing infrastructure demands
  • Criminal Justice

THLA’s Legislative Agenda:

We will be hard at work on issues of top importance to the lodging industry, such as full funding for tourism promotion, ensuring local hotel tax revenue remains dedicated for tourism-related purposes, support for the major events reimbursement program and events trust fund, ensuring no burdensome regulations are enacted that would affect hotels, and more. You can read more about our issues here.

Important dates:

January 10, 2023:  First day of the Session

February 16, 2023:  THLA’s Converge on the Capitol Day

March 10, 2023:  Bill filing deadline

May 29, 2023:  Final day of the Session (Sine Die)

THLA Legislative Updates

THLA is hard at work this legislative session offering bills, tracking legislation, and advocating for our issues.  You can follow along. We maintain active web pages about our issues and the bills we are tracking.  And, we will be sending out legislative news via Industry Update and in separate email alerts.

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