Bell Alert, Texas Legislative Report

Bell Alert

January 10, 2017

The 85th Texas Legislative Session Begins

The 85th Texas Legislative Session began today, Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Representative Joe Straus unanimously won another term as the Texas House Speaker and Senator Kel Seliger was elected President Pro Tempore in the Senate. According to Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Texas Biennial Revenue Estimate is projecting Texas to have approximately $104.9 billion in revenue available for general-purpose spending during the 2018-19 biennium. This represents a 2.7 percent decrease from the amounts available last biennium. ‘On-going weakness in activity related to oil and natural gas has been a drag on state economic growth and led to lagging revenue collections in 2016’, stated Hegar. The state's Rainy Day Fund balance currently stands at approximately $10.2 billion. According to a statement by Governor Abbott, ‘Texans expect their government to live within its means, and I fully expect to sign a budget that does just that.’

The 85th Session is going to be a debate on how best to spend those dollars while keeping conservative fiscal policies in place that have allowed funding of vital services without growing faster than the growth of population and inflation according to Abbott.

IEC of Texas will continue working diligently for Electrical Contractors in Texas. Some of our key issues are protecting the integrity of the Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act, lien law reform, education reform and workforce development, margins/franchise tax issues, continued funding of the state water plan, and maintaining chapter 133 funding for apprenticeship.

This should be another exciting Texas legislative session and we thank everyone for their continued support of our efforts here in Austin. IEC of Texas mission is to Protect and Promote the Electrical Industry through political action. Bell Alerts will be sent as needed to update and inform our membership of our actions here in Austin as well as a call to action when we need your assistance.