Cypress Edition | February 2023


News from the 88th legislative session

Sign up for our newsletter at for daily updates throughout the session. SUBSCRIBE TODAY that would require state health ocials to issue a statewide order prescribing opioid antagonists— medications designed to reverse opioid overdoses—to individuals at risk of opioid overdoses or to those assisting these individuals. HIGHLIGHTS Senate Bill 465 State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, led a bill that would enable prosecutors to charge and convict individuals in possession of a catalytic converter that has been removed from a vehicle. Exceptions would be made for certain businesses such as automotive shops. House Bill 1343 State Rep. Jon Rosenthal, D-Houston, led a bill that would make carrying a rearm while intoxicated in public a Class C misdemeanor unless the rearm was unloaded and encased in a container. Special investigators and peace ocers would not be charged under this law. House Bill 1543 State Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, led a bill

Texas House re-elects Speaker Dade Phelan on rst day of legislative session


are routinely appointed to lead some House commit- tees, but a small group of Republican lawmakers— including Tinderholt, Sla- ton and Schatzline—want to end the practice. Phelan appointed Dem- ocrats to lead 13 of the 34 House committees in 2021 and has vowed to do the same in 2023, according to The Texas Tribune . Every House Democrat voted for Phelan. As speaker, Phelan has the authority to assign House members to com- mittees, appoint com- mittee leaders and more. He also presides over the chamber throughout the session and is required to sign all passed legislation.

Speaking before his colleagues, Phelan out- lined his priorities for the session. He called for a “family-focused House” that prioritizes what matters most to everyday Texans. Phelan emphasized a need for lasting property tax relief, which Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders have highlighted as a top concern. He also urged lawmakers to help more Texans gain access to quality and aordable health care. This includes ensuring new mothers have health cov- erage for 12 months after childbirth, Phelan said. In 2021, the Texas House voted to extend

Members of the Texas House of Representatives re-elected state Rep. Dade Phelan, RBeaumont, for a second term as speaker Jan. 10. Phelan beat state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, RArling- ton, to secure the chamber’s top leadership position. Phelan garnered 143 votes, while Tinderholt received three—one from himself, alongside Republican state Reps. Bryan Slaton of Royse City and Nate Schatzline of Tarrant County. In a statement, Schat- zline said he voted for Tin- derholt to “stand against the practice of nominating Democrat chairs.” Mem- bers of the minority party

Dade Phelan

Medicaid coverage for one year postpartum, but the Senate cut it to six months. The six-month plan was not approved by the federal government, so low-income Texans currently have access to two months of coverage after childbirth. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Jan. 9 that lawmakers will have an unprecedented $188.2 billion—which includes a $32.7 billion surplus—as they create the state’s budget for 2024-25.

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