Austin, TX - Today, State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. (Magnolia) gave a brief overview of bills he authored that passed during the 84th Regular Session, which ended June 1. Rep. Bell offered this statement: "The 84th Session proved to be extremely productive for House District 3. Eighteen of my bills were passed into law with several of those directly benefitting the local community. You never expect everything to pass. I am already working on some of those failed bills to address concerns I heard during session and look forward to the next one."
This session, the House and Senate filed a total of 6,276 bills. Of those, 1,323 bills were sent to the governor. Sunday, June 21 was the last day Gov. Abbott could sign or veto bills passed during the regular legislative session. Gov. Abbott vetoed 42 bills and line-item vetoed items in the budget and supplemental budget bills, totaling $233 million in discretionary reductions and almost $295 million in overall reductions.
Below is a brief list describing some of bills with statewide impact authored by Rep. Bell.
• H.B. 181 removes the requirement that a high school diploma contain a student's endorsements and achievements, correcting an error from last session and saving school districts time and money.
• H.B. 479 moves the Emergency Medical Dispatch Resource Center located in Conroe to the Commission on State Emergency Communications, where the intent of the program is better aligned with the agency. An amendment added creates a 9-1-1 telemedicine medical services pilot program.
• H.B. 480 provides the Montgomery and Waller County District Attorneys and all prosecutors across the state the ability to retain trained reserve investigators.
• H.B. 2583 allows the Tri-County Fire Department in Hockley and fire departments across the state to receive free background criminal checks on potential firefighters.
Legislation with local impact includes a bill aligning the election date for the Montgomery County Hospital District to run concurrently with November elections for other offices and aligns the district's competitive bidding threshold with other hospital districts, as well as a bill removing a provision that exempted the Board of Directors of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation from abiding by normal conflict of interest rules pertaining to local governments.
Four more bills authored by Rep. Bell were rolled into other pieces of legislation, listed below.
• H.B. 1 requires Texas Department of Transportation to report all new applications for passenger rail projects and toll road projects to each impacted senator and representative.
• H.B. 100 grants Prairie View A&M University $28.6 million in tuition revenue bonds for campus-wide capital improvements and new construction in the Nathelyne Archie Kennedy School of Architecture.
• H.B. 1949 allows a property owner within a city's ETJ to request voluntary annexation to be able to work with the city together to provide an extension of city services like water and sewer utilities.
• S.B. 633 brings the Elite Rodeo Association National Finals to Dallas for five years, generating approximately $102 million each year in revenue.
During the interim, Rep. Bell will continue to work on improved access to health care through expanded scope for advanced practice nurses, full access to pharmacies and fair reimbursement for pharmacists, reducing our property tax burden and ensuring veterans receive exemptions available to them, and increasing dual credit options for high school students.
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