Corpus Christi State Rep. Hunter prepares for 2021 session
Windstorm insurance reform tops the list of topics state Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) will concentrate on in the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature, which convenes Jan. 12, 2021. Although pre-filing has begun on the bills to be considered when legislators meet next year in Austin, Hunter said he would most likely spend the weeks before the 87th session begins talking to constituents and gathering information for any bills he could ultimately file. The deadline for filing bills to be considered in the five-month-long session is March 21, 2021.
Other topics on his agenda for the upcoming session include property tax reform, anti-human trafficking measures, suicide and domestic violence prevention, and protecting first responders from the novel coronavirus.
“I’m finding out that our first responders are trying to help others and they are not getting the protection they need under insurance and health care,” Hunter told Corpus Christi Business News. “I’m working on how to support first responders across the board on making sure they have the health package and insurance protection they need. I’m working with local first responder groups as well as the state.”
As for who will be Speaker of the House, Hunter said he was 100 percent behind Dade Phelan, the Beaumont Republican who announced earlier this month he had the support to win the position on first ballot.
“He started as a staffer working for a House member and then a senator,” Hunter said. “He’s was on my calendars committee. I was a member of the state committee when he was chairman. And, he is coastal. You couldn’t get a better package.”
Hunter hasn’t requested committee appointments for the new session yet because House rules, which will include COVID-19 restrictions, have to be passed first. He predicts that the list of committees will change to fit the new challenges ahead. For example, House rules will have to be adapted to address virtual meetings.
“We have to have rules about public input and social distancing,” Hunter said. “I predict we’ll have to do some hybrids, some virtual, some in person. Committee and formal meetings will probably be hybrid.”
While individual offices can make their own decisions about whether constituents can visit, each office and the Capitol building will have sanitizing and mask stations.
Currently, the Capitol is not open to the public.
Changes already in place because of the pandemic include plexiglass dividers around the 150 desks on the House floor.
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