AUSTIN, TEXAS - In just two months the state capitol will be buzzing with legislators working to create and shape laws. But the work has already started. By Friday afternoon, lawmakers had filed 641 bills in the House and Senate.
For the fourth legislative session in a row Representative Tom Craddick of Midland, Texas has filed a bill to ban texting while driving. Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo filed a matching bill in the Senate. The bills also prohibit using social media, playing games and taking photos while behind the wheel, allowing drivers to only talk on the phone.
Zaffirini also filed a bill requiring school districts to offer free, full-day pre-K classes to 4-year olds and it lets 3-year olds in if they meet certain criteria.
Another bill that could impact schools comes from the House. It bans all corporal punishment.
Marijuana is the subject of several bills. There is more than one bill that attempts to reduce punishment for first time offenders and those who have small amounts of the drug.
Bag bans could be in jeopardy if one senator gets his way. Senator Bob Hall filed a bill that will allow businesses to give customers bags made of any material and prohibit local governments from banning plastic bags.
Some pretty quirky bills have been filed too. One to make the Bowie knife the official knife of Texas and another to make the City of Spurger the Knife Capital of Texas.
Another lawmaker is attempting to do away with the observance of Daylight Savings Time.
These bills are just the tip of the iceberg of legislation for lawmakers to consider during the 85th Legislative Session.
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