The 87th Texas Legislature officially convened on Tuesday with House and Senate holding opening day swearing-in ceremonies before getting to work on debating and adopting the procedural rules each chamber will operate under during the 140-day legislative session. The Texas House elected Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, as Speaker, with only two members voting no. Rep. Phelan had emerged several months ago as the House’s likely new leader, after announcing he had secured the necessary votes to be elected as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
Passing a two-year budget for the state is the primary function of the Texas Legislature as they are constitutionally required to accomplish this task every two years. This week, Comptroller Glenn Hegar provided an updated revenue estimate that reduces the projected revenue shortfall for the current biennium to $1 billion, with estimates for available spending coming in at $112.53 billion for the 2022-2023 cycle. This is a decrease of .4% in funds available when compared to the budget approved by the Legislature in 2019.
As the details of the legislative session continue to come into focus during these early weeks, please check back here for regular, up-to-date reports on our legislative advocacy work throughout the session. While things may look different logistically, we are more committed than ever to the goal of promoting and expanding TxA’s advocacy agenda. Join us February 9 for Virtual Architects Day – registration is live! This year’s event will include legislative and policy primers with time for question and answer, as well as a panel discussion covering tips for effective advocacy on behalf of the profession. Please contact Becky Walker, TxA Government Affairs Director, with any questions.