AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Speaker of the House Dade Phelan unveiled his third batch of legislative priorities on Monday, with three bills centered around infrastructure investments and development in Texas.
Over the last three weeks, Phelan has officially announced 11 bills as his top priorities ahead of the Friday deadline for lawmakers to introduce any new legislation. The speaker’s office said he will have 20 priorities total, compared to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s list of 30 top priorities and Gov. Greg Abbott’s seven emergency items.
“The Texas Legislature must continue to support our state’s rapidly-increasing demand for internet, water and housing,” Phelan said in a press release from his office. “Members of the Texas House will discuss this legislation and more in the coming weeks, and I look forward to our chamber passing these proposals during the 88th Legislature.”
His other priorities so far include four bills related to Texans’ privacy and maternal support, three bills related to economic and workforce development, and one property tax reform bill.
The latest priority bills he announced will be filed Monday:
- House Bill 9 by Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin
- House Bill 10 by Rep. Tracy King, D-Batesville
- House Bill 14 by Rep. Cody Harris, R-Palestine
House Bill 9
HB 9 would create the “Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund” to oversee the state’s broadband development and ensuring the program is fully funded and is accessible and affordable for Texans. The bill would give lawmakers guidance over the appropriations of the fund and “maintain flexibility to address rapidly-evolving technology and consumer needs.” Rep. Ashby also filed a resolution that would put HB 9 on the ballot if passed by the Legislature for voters to have the ultimate say on.
House Bill 10
HB 10 would allocate billions of dollars toward water development projects in Texas, “improving the state’s water infrastructure and security amid rising demand.” The legislation would create the Texas Water Fund, which would make certain applicants eligible for assistance in “financing new water sources for the state, including projects to acquire water from other states and develop infrastructure to transport water.” Rep. King also filed a resolution that would put HB 10 on the ballot if passed by the Legislature, for voters to have the ultimate say on.
House Bill 14
HB 14 would “streamline the approval process for property development and building reviews, requiring cities and counties that fail to complete such projects in a timely manner to utilize third-party reviewers.”