Legislative Accomplishments: Spending Limits, Rural Broadband & Business Liability Protections

June 18, 2021

This is my sixth installment on accomplishments in the recent Texas legislative session that adjourned May 31st.  Much good work has been overlooked.  However, there was also much left undone.  So, when I finish this series, I’ll layout some things I believe the Texas Legislature must accomplish in the special sessions coming later this summer and early fall.

Spending Limits 

SB 1136 will limit the growth of state government in Texas by capping government spending.  Government spending is out of control in Washington, DC but we will not allow that to happen in Texas.  This new law will very effectively limit the rate of growth in state spending by capping each new state budget at a factor of population growth adjusted for inflation. 

Rural Broadband 

Major reforms were passed this session to address the need for rural broadband and help accelerate its deployment.  COVID-19 highlighted the critical importance of a robust broadband infrastructure network.  Remote learning, access to telemedicine, economic development and other facets of life hinge on the availability of dependable high speed internet.  HB 5 creates a broadband expansion plan to deliver high-speed internet to underserved areas in Texas.  Other measures such as HB 1505 and HB 3853 were also passed that will help expedite the process to deliver high speed internet.  

Business Liability Protections 

SB 6 amends current law relating to liability for certain claims arising during a pandemic or a disaster related to a pandemic.  This legislation will provide retroactive lawsuit protections for large and small businesses, religious institutions, non-profit entities, healthcare providers, first responders, and education institutions to assist with post-pandemic recovery efforts.