Haynes and Boone Legislative Review Sweeps Through Texas


Republican and Democratic legislators from several districts participated in Haynes and Boone, LLP’s 2019 Texas Legislative Review this week, exchanging viewpoints on policy issues from the 86th legislative session.

The firm hosted the series in San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas, with Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune, moderating lively conversations on public education, school finance, healthcare, property tax relief, and cyber security.

Haynes and Boone started the series in 2012 to help clients and community members understand some of the key business issues addressed by the Texas Legislature. The 2019 legislative recap drew more than 200 attendees and, as in years past, featured Haynes and Boone Counsel and State Rep. Rafael Anchia, who represents District 103 in Dallas.

He was joined by States Reps. Steve Allison (District 121) in San Antonio, John Cyrier (District 17) in Austin, Morgan Meyer (District 108) and Haynes and Boone Partner and legislator John Turner (District 114) in Dallas.

Among the topics, legislators discussed the record voter turnout of 8.3 million people in Texas during the 2018 mid-term elections. The large voter turnout helped foster a more bipartisan and productive legislative session, Anchia said at the first stop in San Antonio.

Panelists also discussed Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, which caps how much school property taxes can grow without voter approval. Under the law, taxpayers will have information about who proposed to raise their property tax rates, the amount of which the taxes increased, and where and when they can go to ensure their voices are heard.

Anchia and Allison discussed how tax relief efforts will help constituents in their districts.

One of lawmakers’ biggest achievements of the year was a $11.6 billion school finance bill, which includes about $6.5 billion in new public education spending. Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3 into law earlier this month.

“It helps to have money. The legislature was hesitant to invest in this in the past,” Anchia said. “We have seen a sea of change driven by an engaged business community and the Public Education Commission. The bill reflects the good work of the commission.”

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