Thursday, May 11th marks the last day that most House bills can be debated on the House floor, and Friday the 12th is the last day that House bills can pass the House. House bills that do not pass by midnight on Friday are considered dead. The last day for the House to consider Senate bills is Tuesday, May 23rd.


As the deadlines approach, the list of bills scheduled to be up for debate on a given day grows longer and longer. Members are still splitting time between the floor and committees, but the floor debate takes up a majority of time. For example, the House debated Senate Bill 4 on Wednesday, which bans sanctuary cities and requires cities to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers. Debate began at 10:00 a.m. and ended at 3:00 a.m. the next morning.


The House and Senate have appointed their respective conferees to the budget conference committee. The House and Senate each appoint five members to the conference committee to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate budget bills. Negotiations between the House and the Senate are ongoing. When the conferees have reached an agreement, they will present a compromise budget to each chamber. Each chamber must then vote whether to accept the compromise budget or reject it.


This Friday was the Speaker’s Reunion Day. This long-standing tradition is when former members of the House are invited to the capitol to be recognized and to visit with their former colleagues. It is often instructive for current members to hear from those who have previously served; some former members who came this year served over 40 years ago.


Larry Phillips of Sherman represents District 62 in the Texas House of Representatives. For information on these bills or any other matter of state government you can contact him by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by e-mailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. His telephone number in Sherman is 903-891-7297. His telephone number in Austin is 512-463-0297.