(The Center Square) – Ahead of Texas’ 88th legislative session, at least 1,635 bills have been filed as of Jan. 9, according to state prefiling legislative data.
The Texas legislature convenes Tuesday and is scheduled to conclude May 29. It convenes every two years for roughly four months. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott convened three special legislative sessions in addition to the general session.
According to the data, the most viewed bills filed for the 88th legislative session relate to parental rights and child abuse. They include bills filed defining a sexually oriented business, several to define child abuse, and some related to prosecuting offenders who abandon or endanger a child.
They also include a parental rights in education bill and one expressing support for ending “gender-affirming care.”
Other top viewed bills include one that proposes a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling, which is described as a way to “foster economic development and job growth and provide tax relief and funding for education and public safety.” Another top viewed bill was filed to protect free speech at higher education universities; another to regulate consumable hemp products.
The bills most monitored on the prefiling site relate to those that define a sexually oriented business, propose a parental rights in education bill, and also define child abuse. One includes defining child abuse and relates to the prosecution of those who abandon or endanger a child. Other top monitored bills include providing a civil right to action for K-12 athletes and college athletes related to participation in athletic activities based on biological sex.
Two top monitored bills relate to gender. One, filed by a Republican, would create professional liability insurance coverage for and relates to procedures and treatments for gender transitioning, gender reassignment, or gender dysphoria. One, filed by a Democrat, would impose an administrative penalty on those who discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Another top monitored bill is a proposed constitutional amendment to abolish daylight savings time.
Although the state legislature is controlled by Republicans, the top filers of bills in both chambers are Democrats.
Four of the top five state representatives who filed the most bills are Democrats Terry Meza (45), Vikki Goodwin (42), Harold Dutton (39) and Diego Bernal (37). Rep. Cody Vasut filed the most bills among Republicans at 36.
Four of the top five state senators who filed the most bills are Democrats Nathan Johnson (65), Judith Zaffirini (58), Sarah Eckhardt (55), and Jose Menendez (28). Sen. Bob Hall filed the most bills among Republicans (28).
In the House, the greatest number of bills filed to go through committees is 439 in the State Affairs Committee, followed by 287 in House Ways & Means, 235 in Public Education, 213 in Public Health and 206 in Elections.
In the Senate, the greatest number of bills filed to go through committees is 311 in the Business & Commerce Committee, followed by 244 in State Affairs, 236 in Local Government, 216 in Health & Human Services, and 144 in Education.
By comparison, in the 87th Legislature (2021-2022), there were 10,000 bills filed of which 3,783 were completed, according to the data. There were also over 700 bills completed during three special sessions.