The 86th Texas Legislative Session has come to a close, and several bills are on their way to the governor’s office for approval.
Rep. Julie Johnson, whose House District 115 includes Coppell, sponsored several bills during her first legislative session, many dealing with education, health care and property tax relief.
Focusing on education reform, Johnson sponsored House Bill 3, which is expected to lower Robin Hood payments, lower school property tax, increase teacher pay among other things.
“It’s very exciting,” Johnson said. “It’s going to make a significant financial impact for Coppell.”
Johnson said the new bill will lower Coppell ISD’s recapture, or the money required to be sent back to the state, by $24 million and will add about $6.5 million to the district’s budget. In addition, HB 3 will fund full-day pre-kindergarten for low-income students and also establish the state’s first dyslexia identification program.
Coppell residents and others across the state have said their property taxes are rising at a level they unable to handle. Johnson said the newly passed HB 3 will help alleviate that problem.
“There’s a lot of really good stuff in that bill that’s going to provide property tax relief,” she said.
Johnson also supported Senate Bill 1742, which will require a health plan’s network directory to clearly identify which doctors are in their network. She also sponsored House Bill 8, which is expected to ensure all rape kits are tested and analyzed in a timely manner.
Johnson said the Senate didn’t prioritize health care access this session as some of her bills didn’t make it. For example, Johnson authored HB 2632, which would have required that health insurance companies modernize their rate notification processes to avoid balance billing patients. She also authored HB 2658, which would have prohibited health plans from denying denying the full benefit of a claim for a hearing aid if the device costs more than the benefit available.
Johnson said she’s looking forward to addressing these issues again in the next session.
In the meantime Johnson will continue to work with Coppell’s city and school leaders.
“I think it’s important to have our local leaders to work together,” she said. “It’s a privilege to work with them."