January 2021 Update - Session Begins

The 87th Legislative Session officially began on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. As expected, legislators voted on what COVID precautions will be in place and the results will impact visitors and those who hope to testify in committee hearings. The House and Senate have adopted a different set of COVID procedures:

  • House: All visitors, committee witnesses, and committee attendees will be required to wear a mask but will not be required to have a COVID test. The public will be allowed to testify at hearing in person, virtually, or through written comment without in-person testimony.
  • Senate: All visitors, committee witnesses, and committee attendees in the Senate will be required to wear a mask and have a COVID rapid test taken outside the Capitol’s North entrance. Those with a negative test will be given a wristband that must be presented to enter certain Senate areas and offices. These procedures will be in place for the first sixty-days of session and reviewed again at that time.

If you hope to submit comment or testimony on a particular bill, we are happy to discuss the best way to submit those items in light of these new restrictions. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out at 87legislature@nicholsfirm.com if we can be of assistance. We look forward to serving you this session.

November 2020 Update - Bill Pre-Filing Begins

Monday, November 9, 2020 marked the beginning of pre-filing for the 87th Texas Legislative Session. This session there are a number of topics in the spotlight including healthcare, voting policies, and law enforcement reform. In the first week alone, over 600 bills were filed and The Nichols Firm is working diligently to identify those that may have an impact on our municipal and economic development clients.

A preview of some legislative topics that may be of interest include:
• Tax appraisal procedures
• Issuance of bonds and taxes
• Expanding voter access in Texas
• COVID-19 health coverage for public safety officers
• Expanding Medicaid coverage and eligibility
• Law enforcement and peace officer reform

The legislative session will officially begin on January 12, 2021. It is still not clear exactly what safety measures and COVID-19 procedures will be in place, but we will share that information as it becomes available. In any case, it’s expected that in-person activity at the Capitol will be impacted, so it’s more important than ever that we stay engaged with proposed legislation even remotely.

To better connect with you we have established an email address dedicated to issues related to the 87th Legislative Session at 87legislature@nicholsfirm.com. If you have not yet shared your legislative priorities with us, now is the time! As we come closer to the official start of session this information will help us keep you in the loop on the issues that matter to you. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. We look forward to working with you through the new changes that will come this session.