Legislative Update: Conference Committee Named for School Finance Bill HB 3

With just over two weeks left in the 86th legislative session, Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have appointed a conference committee to hammer out the differences between the versions of school finance bill HB 3 passed by the House and Senate.

This side-by-side comparison produced by Raise Your Hand Texas provides an overview of the major areas of House and Senate disagreement, including differences in the basic allotment increase and approaches to teacher compensation. Neither version of HB 3 contains specific provisions pertaining to science education.

Conference committee members are:


  • Public Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty (R-Humble)
  • Public Education Committee Vice Chair Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio)
  • Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin)
  • Rep. Mary González (D-El Paso)
  • Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian)


  • Education Committee Chair Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)
  • Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
  • Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) (Senate Finance Committee Chair)
  • Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
  • Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas)

The conference committee will begin meeting this week and conclude its work next week, bringing a reconciled version of HB 3 to the full House and Senate for final consideration.

End-of-session deadlines

May 9 – Last day for House Bills to pass the House

May 21 – Last day for Senate Bills to pass the House

May 27 – Last day of the session

With these deadlines upon us, two high-profile pieces of legislation are likely dead:

SB 3 – Teacher/ Librarian Pay Raise 

  • Would provide a $5,000 annual increase for full-time classroom teachers and librarians
  • Does not include a pay raise for other school employees
  • Would cost the state $4 billion
  • Passed the Senate March 4
  • Referred to House Committee on Public Education March 28, but has not received a public hearing

Some SB 3 provisions were amended into the Senate version of HB 3.

HJR 3 / HB 4261 – Sales Tax

  • Would require a constitutional amendment before voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax increase, moving the state’s sales tax from 6.25% to 7.25%
  • Money generated from the sales tax increase would then be used to buy down school property tax rates
  • Committee substitute did not include a provision earmarking 20% of the sales tax revenue increase to support public schools and the remaining 80% for school property tax relief
  • Was left pending on the House floor 
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