Legislative Update: HB 1556


First and foremost, a heartfelt thank you to all who mobilized in order to defeat previous versions of HB 1556.  You spoke, and legislators listened.  Superintendents, board members, and lawmakers should all be commended for their efforts to create a bill that is acceptable to all stakeholders.

Monday night Representative Murphy laid out a new version of HB 1556 that school districts can easily support.  It offers a definite improvement for small districts and allows room for negotiation for larger districts.  The new version does not impact current agreements, and continues to provide full value for I&S taxes.  Instead of Revenue Protection Payments and Supplemental Payments, the new rendition of HB 1556 calls for “Stabilization Payments” to be made to the district during each year of  the value limitation.  This payment is “not to exceed” 38% of the total tax benefit of the limitation for that year.  The bill calls for a 10-year extension of Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code.

Chairman Meyer of the House Ways and Means Committee has also begun to move his own bill, HB 4242.  It calls for a two-year extension of Chapter 313 and a study of the program.  TSED will definitely continue to work towards a longer extension.  The Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to meet today, so it is possible that one or both bills could be voted out of committee and sent to the Senate for them to consider.

Again, thank you all so much for your efforts thus far.  We know your schedule this time of year is non-stop.  TSED will continue to keep up with the day-to-day details so that you can focus on your district.  We will alert you if and when action is needed.  In the meantime, we are wishing you well as you wind down this epic year.