Lawmakers gavel in the 85th Legislative Session in Austin Tuesday.
One thing to watch for early: The debate over the Texas Privacy Act, also known as the ‘bathroom bill,’ unveiled last week by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Senator Lois Kolkhorst.
Mark Jones at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy said the bill “may or may not pass the Senate…but does seem certain to be dead on arrival when it reaches the House where Speaker Joe Straus is unlikely to ever let it see the light of day.”
And this session, lawmakers will be working under a tighter budget year.
“Controller Glen Hager has indicated that the legislature is going to have even less money than two years ago to meet the state’s spending needs, in spite of strong population growth and inflation,” he said.
That means there will likely be some belt-tightening in Austin, which can be unpopular during legislative sessions.