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Legislative Liaison - January 20, 2017

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In this edition …

This edition of Legislative Liaison covers Senate vs. House proposed budgets, Senate committee assignments, an opportunity to learn how to run a winning campaign, and a new way TAR is bringing you real estate news from the Capitol.

Quick hits

  • Senate reconvenes at 11 a.m. Monday; House reconvenes at 2 p.m. Tuesday
  • As of 7:30 p.m. today, TAR is monitoring 829 of 1,787 bills filed.
  • Follow TAR's Gov't Affairs team on Twitter: @TAR_GA

Not everyone was in D.C. this week …

Even though it’s been relatively quiet at the Texas Capitol, your TAR staff continue to meet with lawmakers about the association’s legislative priorities. Check out TAR’s Legislative Priorities for the 85th Texas Legislature at

An $8 billion budget difference

The Senate and House released their proposed budgets this week. (The two chambers alternate which leads the budget discussion—it’s the Senate this session.)

The House’s proposed budget is $7.9 billion more than the Senate’s ($221.3 billion vs. $213.4 billion) … and much more than Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s Biennial Revenue Estimate of $104.9 billion.

The Texas Tribune highlights some of the differences, and columnist Ross Ramsey has an interesting analysis.

Who’s doing what in the Texas Senate?

Senate committee assignments for the 85th Texas Legislature were announced this week, and several REALTOR® Champions are in key roles:

  • Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) retains her chairmanship of Finance
  • Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) will continue to serve as chairman of Business & Commerce
  • Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) will chair Natural Resources & Economic Development
  • Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) will lead Administration. This committee schedules the Local and Consent Calendar (local or noncontroversial bills), among other duties.

Click here for a PDF of all committee assignments.

Do you have what it takes?

You know how to market property and win listings, but do you know how to market a political campaign and win an election?

As a Texas REALTOR®, your strong negotiating skills and community involvement make you an ideal candidate for elected office, and TAR can help make that happen.

The Texas REALTOR® Candidate Academy is a day-long introductory course on how to run a modern political campaign. 

The next Candidate Academy is Feb. 23 at the Texas Association of REALTORS® headquarters in Austin.

Limited seats available. Visit to sign up.

90 seconds of Texas real estate news

We want to bring you insider real estate info from the Capitol in every way possible.

In TAR’s new video series titled Texas RECap, we’ll look at what’s happening in real estate at the Capitol.

Watch the first episode of Texas RECap on TAR’s YouTube channel.

Around the web

  • New bills targets part of Texas’ school funding law (the property taxes part),  Houston Chronicle
  • Texas House and Senate disagree on how to fund the Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, The Texas Tribune
  • Rep. Drew Darby offers his perspective on the importance of the only bill the Lege must pass: the budget, TribTalk
  • Legislators have filed several bills related to environmental concerns, including one that would allow local governments to exempt rainwater collection systems from property appraisals, Abilene Reporter-News
  • What will happen under the new U.S. Congress? REALTOR® Magazine