State lawmakers advance school safety | Local News – Weatherford Democrat

State lawmakers have less than one week to make decisions on topics like school finance and property tax reform.

As of Monday, House Bill 3703, related to expanding the use of cannabis oil, was passed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services unanimously. The next step for the bill is to be considered by the full Senate.

HB 3703, authored by Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, would add multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and spasticity to the medical conditions that can be treated with CBD oil. The Senate committee’s version of the bill also includes seizure disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, terminal cancer and autism. This version eliminated the requirement for patients to see two licensed neurologists before accessing CBD oil and keeps the 0.5 percent cap of THC in medical CBD oil. During the committee hearing, some testifying expressed concerns that the bill did not include post traumatic stress disorder in the list of ailments. 

Senate Bill 11, regarding school safety, was passed unanimously by House Committee on Public Education last week, and the bill will now proceed to the full House for consideration. SB 11, authored by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, would put measures in place for school district employees to respond to emergencies including access to a telephone or electronic communication, establishment of threat assessment teams to identify harmful behaviors in students and creation of school safety committees to recommend updates to districts’ emergency plans.

SB 18, about free speech on college campuses, was passed by the full House last week in a 97-49 vote on third reading. The bill, by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, aims to further free speech rights on college campuses and establishes discipline for students who interfere in free speech and a process to address free speech violation complaints. SB 18 would need to be signed off on by Gov. Greg Abbott before becoming law.

Earlier this month, HB 347, which would end forced annexation statewide, was passed by the Senate in a 25-6 vote and was sent to the governor’s office for signing. The House concurred with amendments to the bill made in the Senate. HB 347, by Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, would aim to end municipalities’ ability to annex property into the city limits without property owners’ consent. Last fall, Parker County voters passed a proposition to end forced annexation in the county.

Another one of King’s bills HB 793 related to preventing contractors from boycotting Israel was signed by Abbott earlier this month. The bill was effective immediately. 


« »