2017 Texas Legislature: Some bills already making headlines
SAN ANTONIO —
It's almost 2017 and that means state lawmakers will soon meet at the capitol, as they do every two years in Texas. So we wanted to take a look at some of the bills making headlines already.
If Donald Trump keeps his promise of stronger border security, it will be unlikely the state will need to do much more this year. We could see a repeal of a 2001 law signed by Rick Perry allowing cheaper in-state tuition to some high school graduates here in the U.S. illegally.
And 2015 was the "year of the gun" with both campus-carry and open carry passing. But don't expect gun issues to be forgotten. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick wants to get rid of the fee for a license to carry.
“I don’t think you should charge someone to have a concealed carry when you have a right to carry under the second amendment,” said Patrick.
And fighting cyberbullying in schools seems to be an issue everyone can agree on.
“It’s a world that someone in my generation never experienced,” explained Patrick. “Maybe someone would tease you in class, but that would be the end of it.”
Patrick is supportive of Senator Jose Menendez's bill to crack down on cyberbullying "David's Law." It was named for David Molak, an Alamo Heights teen whose family says killed himself after being cyberbullied. His family has started a letter-writing campaign.
“Go up and start knocking on doors and personally visiting with the senators and the representatives that can help us get this law passed,” David’s mother Maurine Molak told us.
School choice will be back on the agenda. The so-called “school savings accounts” would work like school vouchers, where the cost of public school can be applied to private school or home school programs.
And in 2015, lawmakers took baby steps toward medical marijuana legalization. Cannibis oil is now legal for epilepsy patients, but Senator Menendez wants to expand it to cancer and PTSD patients.
“Doctors know what medicine is best for their patients,” said Menendez. “We should let patients and their doctors decide what medicine they use.”
The 2017 legislative session starts on January 10th.