P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2020
AUSTIN – Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, filed two bills on the first day of pre-filing for the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, which reconvenes Tuesday, January 12, 2021 and concludes its business Monday, May 31, 2021.
"Passing a responsible budget is my top priority, and with the projected shortfall, we will have to be especially prudent with our resources," Senator Nelson said. "I have spent the interim listening to Texans, and what I hear loudly and clearly is that supporting law enforcement and addressing property taxes and appraisals are major priorities."
Lawmakers may file legislation today through March 12, 2021. The following is an overview of the initial legislation pre-filed today by Senator Nelson:
Appraisal Reform: SB 63 reforms the governance of appraisal boards and expedites taxpayer applications. The bill will limit the time in which an individual may serve as a member on the appraisal district’s board of directors to six years and also requires appraisal districts to take action on taxpayer applications within 90 days after the date the application is received. "Last session we made significant strides towards ensuring a more transparent property appraisal system," Senator Nelson said. "This bill will improve public confidence in the appraisal system by ensuring transparency and making the process more taxpayer-friendly."
Law Enforcement Peer Network: SB 64 creates a peer-to-peer counseling network and increases access to licensed mental health providers for Texas Law Enforcement Officers (LEO). This bill responds to the rise in LEO suicides and works to address the mental health conditions that can develop after witnessing critical incidents. SB 64 is modeled after the Military Veterans Peer Network, legislation that Senator Nelson authored in 2009. The Network found that individuals are more likely to open up to peers who have encountered similar challenges. This bill seeks to extend the same opportunity to the LEO community. "Our police officers take significant risks every day to keep us safe," Senator Nelson said. "With a peer-to-peer counseling network, we can help these honorable men and women address any stress or trauma they endure while serving on the thin blue line."