State government growth continues, even if at a slower pace. Schools now have a back door to prescribing mind-altering drugs to students. Multiple efforts at voter roll cleanup and ballot integrity failed.
For now, as we celebrate the end of another session, here is a bullet-point list of some things that went right under the Pink Dome this year:
- Texas property owners will get to vote on whether their school property taxes go up over 2.5 percent and other entities 3.5 percent. This may result in a spreading out of mini-tax hikes over the course of several years, but now voters have a realistic remedy to keep the cost of local government down.
- Local governments may no longer use taxpayer funds, resources, or ridiculously cheap rental agreements to subsidize abortion providers.
- Local governments may no longer discriminate against a business or contractor due to their religious affiliations.
- Unincorporated land residents may now vote on whether their property may be annexed by a nearby city, regardless of the size of their county.
- Second Amendment rights will no longer be infringed as strictly — you can now carry openly during times of declared disasters, and you can defend yourself with brass knuckles anywhere in Texas.
- Millions of Texas drivers will get their licenses back as the “points system” was eliminated.
- College students now have greater freedom to engage in discussions over important political and social issues.
- An estimated million Texans will not get a red light camera ticket in the mail.
- Municipal power has been greatly reined in, from an overturning of draconian building materials regulations to allowing restaurants to choose their own outdoor dining area pet policies.
- Feral hog herds may be thinned down without a license to do so — just the property owner’s permission.
- Interior designers no longer need a license to beautify a home (or ugg it up for that matter).
- Hemp has been delineated as a crop separate from marijuana and is allowed to be cultivated for agricultural production purposes.
- Ubiquitous and wordy 30.06 and 30.07 signs indicating a business’s firearms carrying policy will soon be optional.
- Plumbers no longer need to wait eight months for a state license.
- We’ll add to this that the “Common Core Lite” bill, HB 663, apparently died on the Senate floor calendar.
From the hip: By no means a perfect session, but nonetheless transformative in places and a step in the right direction. We’ll take it.