Legislature

87th Legislative Session

The 87th Legislature convened on Jan. 12, 2021. It faces many challenges due to COVID-19, beginning with a projected approximate $1 billion deficit by the end of the current two-year budget cycle. 

While the Comptroller of Public Accounts announced that the revenue estimate for the upcoming biennium is better than the initial dire prediction issued earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers will have approximately $6.3 billion less to spend in the upcoming biennium than the current biennium.

The decrease in available funding should be considered in combination with a demand for increased services from state agencies and school districts due to COVID-19.  Declining attendance and the needs to address COVID-related expenses, such as those associated with distance learning and safety, have battered the budgets of school districts throughout the state.

Public participation in the legislative process is likely to be severely affected due to the social distancing precautions required to prevent the spread of the virus.

Austin ISD Legislative Priorities 

The Board of Trustees approved Austin ISD’s legislative priorities for the 87th legislative session November 16, 2020.  The priorities focus on five major areas:

  1. Support sustainable state funding for HB 3 (86th Legislature).
  2. Oppose diversion of public tax dollars.
  3. Oppose any unfunded mandates.
  4. Support statewide approach to connect all Texas families to broadband. 
  5. Support addressing the elimination of disproportionate impact suspensions and expulsions.

In addition, the board approved 28 specific priorities that relate to these five major areas, as an Appendix to the Board Priorities.

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