The 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session is down to its final two weeks. We have already passed two of the session’s most significant end-of-session deadlines: the last day a House committee may report a House bill (May 8) and the last day the House may consider a non-local House bill on the floor (May 12). Saturday, May 20 is the deadline for House committees to report Senate bills.
Several significant and potentially significant bills with impacts on how the state conducts elections are still in the legislative process, and many others are not. More than 140 House bills never left the House Elections Committee, and dozens more Senate bills remain in their respective Senate committees. Below we list the status of several bills we have been following this session (It is not intended to be exhaustive.):
Voter ID: Senate Bill 5 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would conform the state’s Voter ID law to recent judicial decisions requiring voters with a reasonable impediment to acquiring a photo identification be permitted to vote if they execute a declaration of reasonable impediment. The bill passed the Senate and has been approved by the House Elections Committee.
Single-punch Voting: House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) would eliminate the option to vote for all candidates of a political party using a single punch, mark or other action. The bill passed the House and has been approved by the Senate Business & Commerce Committee.
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