Sunday, February 20, 2011

TCVO Legislative Priorities Update: 10 February 2011

TCVO Legislative Priorities Update: 10 February 2011
Please advise me if you have any questions.
John A Miterko
Legislative Liaison
Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations

Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations Priorities for 82nd Texas Legislature

As of 10 Feb 2011, Legislation filed in support of the proposed legislation:


1.  Transferring the 100% property tax reduction for 100% disabled
veterans to their widows and/or eligible dependent children.  This
will, of course, require a change to the Texas Constitution as well as
enabling legislation.

House Bills: 11; House Joint Resolutions to change the Texas Constitution:  7
Senate Bills: 3; Senate Joint Resolutions to change the Texas Constitution:  2

Financial impact on State and local revenue:  budget neutral
Analysis:  broad based House and Senate support along with concurrence
of Governor.
Major obstacle to approval and implementation:  a change to the Texas
Constitution requires 2/3s approval of the House as well as the Senate
and approval of the Governor allowing the bill to be placed on the
November 2011 Special Election as a statewide Proposition.  The
Proposition must then be approved by plebiscite vote.  If approved the
effective date for bill implementation would be as stated in the
enabling legislation.  The effective date for implementation has not
been determined as of this date.


2.  Adjusting the dollar amount that will be used to reduce the
appraised value of the principal residence/homestead of a veteran
disabled less than 100%.  The maximum amount is $12,000.  That amount
has not been changed since 2001.

Status:  under review; additional financial impact data has been
requested and will be reviewed in detail when completed.

Major obstacle to approval and implementation:  no bills have been
filed in support of this proposed legislation pending receipt of an
in-depth financial impact study.  With a significant budget shortfall
for the next biennium any legislation that will result in negative
financials to the State as well as local Appraisal Districts will face
significant opposition.

Strategy:  complete the financial impact study and have the proposed
legislation added to the Lt Governor's list of issues to be researched
for the 83rd Legislature as part of his Interim Study.  This will keep
the proposed legislation viable for future consideration during a time
of less financial volatility.

SB 540: Van de Putte filed 8 Feb 11 addresses the interim study.

3.  Re-introduction of legislation to recognize Service Disabled
Veteran Owned Business (SDVOB) as a category of small business with
equal standing to State HUB (minority, women, etc) business
enterprises.

House Bills:  HB 888: Guillen; HB 1096: Farias
Senate Bills:  Hinojosa: to be filed

Financial impact on State and local revenue:  budget neutral

Analysis:  limited support on the House side and no support in the Senate.
Major obstacle to approval and implementation:  strong opposition and
intense lobbying against SDVOB legislation from HUBs (Historically
Underutilized Businesses).  HUBs traditionally are businesses owned by
women, minorities, disabled, and other disadvantaged groups.  HUBs
perceive SDVOBs as major competition for State contracts that have
historically been reserved exclusively for HUBs.  SDVOBs have verbal
support in the House and Senate, but due to intense HUB lobbying only
two Representatives and no Senators support the requested legislation.
This will be a very difficult fight and will require significant
veteran grassroots support to stand any chance of approval.


4.  Expand, streamline, and simplify the military voting bill process
for men and women in uniform serving overseas, under seas, and on
temporary duty in the Continental USA.

Legislation filed in support of expand, streamline, and simplify the
military voting bill process for men and women in uniform serving
overseas, under seas, and on temporary duty in the Continental USA:

Senate Bill: SB 100: Van de Putte:  relating to the adoption of voting
procedures necessary to implement the federal Military and Overseas
Voter Empowerment Act
House bill: HB 111: Taylor, Van (wording identical to SB 100).

Financial Impact:  budget neutral.  Only costs associated will be the
voting districts complying with Federal law.
Analysis:  since it is to the advantage of Texas Legislators to
encourage voting by all constituents, and since Texas is military
friendly, and since the Federal MOVE Act must be implemented, the
proposed legislation will receive little or no opposition.
Major obstacle to approval and implementation:  the Texas State
Affairs Committee is in the process of defining the methods of
implementation to ensure full military enfranchisement.  Delays may
occur at the voting district level, but the MOVE Act will be compiled
with before the end of the 82nd Texas Legislature.

Page 2 of 2 10 February 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment