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SAFE-D 88th Legislative Session Updates

This page will serve as the central point to stay up-to-date on SAFE-D's legislative program. Please bookmark this page as it will be updated throughout the 88th Legislative session.




The below report contains the list of bills that SAFE-D considers to be HIGH PRIORITY for the possible legislative impacts on Emergency Services Districts

If you are interested in learning more about a particular bill or the legislative process in general, click here to go to the Texas Legislature Online portal.


Tracker Last Updated: 5/16/23

Highlighted Bills:


House Bill 1775 (by Ed Thompson)


Status (5/17): The Committee Substitute to the Committee Substitute for this bill (which passed the House on third reading 120-23) will now be heard in the Senate Local Government Committee on Thursday, May 18th. We need individual ESD Commissioners and uniform service provider personnel to show up in Austin to testify. Email us at for more information.

We would like to honor those House Members that stood up for Emergency Services Districts and voted "NO" on HB 1775. These members showed that they value local control of life-saving emergency services and understand the vital role ESDs play in making sure first responders have the resources they need to protect over 10 million Texans. We would appreciate it if the ESD community could reach out to these Representatives (particularly if your ESD is in their District) and THANK THEM FOR STANDING WITH US:

Rep. John Bucy (Williamson)         Rep. DeWayne Burns (Johnson)          Rep. Sheryl Cole (Travis)          Rep. Nicole Collier (Tarrant)

Rep. Yvonne Davis (Dallas)           Rep. Lulu Flores (Travis)          Rep. Vikki Goodwin (Travis)          Rep. Sam Harless (Harris)

Rep. Brian Harrison (Ellis)          Rep. Richard Hayes (Denton)          Rep. Gina Hinojosa (Travis)         Rep. Donna Howard (Travis)

Rep. Julie Johnson (Dallas)         Rep. Christina Morales (Harris)           Rep. Geanie Morrison (Victoria)           Rep. Mihaela Plesa (Collin)

Rep. John Raney (Brazos)          Rep. Ron Reynolds (Fort Bend)            Rep. James Talarico (Travis)     Rep. Senfronia Thompson (Harris)

Rep. Gene Wu (Harris)                 Rep. Erin Zwiener (Hays)

Additionally, in the House Journal record of the vote, the following House members indicated that they had intended to vote NO on HB 1775:

Rep. Jessica González (Dallas)                                Rep. Carrie Isaac (Hays/Comal)                                     Rep. Suleman Lalani (Fort Bend)

Rep. Penny Morales Shaw (Harris)                                 Rep. Glenn Rogers (Palo Pinto/Parker)

Again, THANK YOU to these members of the Texas House for their support on this bill. 

Bill History:

The bill originally required Emergency Services Commissioners to be elected in counties with a population greater than 200,000. The LATEST Committee Substitute for this bill gives the County Commissioner's Court in counties with populations greater than 200,000 two options: they can choose to have their Emergency Services Commissioners be elected OR they can choose to make the ESD submit the District's budget and tax rate FOR APPROVAL by the Commissioner's Court every year.

HERE is an explainer of the bill. All ESDs in the following counties would be subject to the bill: Bell, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Cameron, Denton, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hays, Jefferson, Montgomery, Nueces, Tarrant, Travis, and Williamson (ESDs in Harris, Smith, and Orange counties, as well as multi-county ESDs would remain unaffected with elected ESD Commissioners. ESDs in El Paso and Hidalgo counties would be unaffected and remain subject to the more strenuous oversight provisions of Subchapter K of Health and Safety Code Chapter 775)

Senate Bill 175 (By Mayes Middleton)

Status (4/13): Passed the Senate and referred to the House State Affairs Committee.

This is the bill that would cancel our ability to effectively advocate for Emergency Services Districts at the Legislature. Proponents of the measure refer to the bill as banning "taxpayer funded lobbying," which is something that sounds great, but loses its luster when explained fully. This bill would restrict individual ESDs from hiring legislative advocates. It would also bar ESDs from being a member of SAFE-D if SAFE-D contracted with legislative advocates.

It would require volunteer Emergency Services District Commissioners to take an even larger individual role in communicating with the Legislature on ESD bills. It's important to remember that the work SAFE-D and individual ESDs do at the Capitol is ON BEHALF OF the local taxpayer. This bill eliminates the ability to speak for your constituents on legislation that could dramatically affect their life safety and property.

House Bill 5047 (By Terry Wilson)

This bill gives cities the right to annex into an Emergency Services District and take the District's sales tax for the area, no questions asked, all while leaving the ESD on the hook to provide service. It is bad policy that may result in a degradation of essential emergency services and double taxation of area residents. It runs counter to the notion of local control and thwarts the will of voters who specifically wanted the specific sales tax revenues to go to their first responders.

The bill was set to be heard in House Ways & Means on April 17. But your calls, emails, and comments resulted in the bill being PULLED FROM THE AGENDA!

Talking points against HB 5047


House Bill 4922 (by Tom Oliverson, Co-Authored by Philip Cortez)

Status (5/12): This bill has PASSED THE HOUSE!! We are so incredibly grateful and look forward to seeing it through the Senate.

This is a POSITIVE bill that would allow Emergency Services Districts to provide preventative health services to their community. Mobile Integrated Healthcare/Community Paramedicine can provide valuable preventative care that reduces over-reliance on emergency calls. HB 4922 would give ESDs clear, unambiguous statutory authority to provide these services.

House Bill 4878 (by Glenn Rogers)

Status (5/12): This bill has also PASSED THE HOUSE!! We are so incredibly grateful and look forward to seeing it through the Senate. Special thanks to Rep. Rogers for standing firm and answering some unexpected questions about his bill.

This is another great bill that clarifies the fact that Emergency Services Districts have the sole authority to determine the entity responsible for providing the services for which the ESD was created within District territory. Simply put, if the citizens created an ESD to provide certain emergency services, that ESD should have exclusive jurisdiction to decide who provides those services. While it sounds obvious, and courts/legal experts have endorsed the idea, it would be helpful to have the clear, unambiguous language in Health and Safety Code Chapter 775.

House Bill 4275 ( By Glenn Rogers)

Status (5/12): The bill was voted out unanimously of the House Land & Resource Management Committee and was scheduled to be heard on the House Floor on May 10th. Unfortunately the backlog of bills led to the bill being pushed back to the May 11th calendar, where it was ultimately not heard by the midnight deadline and died along with dozens of other pieces of legislation. Getting this far was a great step forward in the fight to eliminate "emergency service gaps" and we are incredibly thankful to Vice-Chair Rogers for all his assistance.

On a positive note, this is an excellent bill that requires a municipality to address the possibility of "service gaps" before it is able to annex ESD territory. This bill would ensure that ESD residents aren't left hanging when a city annexes their area without first committing to provide quality emergency services to those residents. This bill was voted out of the House Land & Resource Management Committee on April 12. We are thankful to Vice-Chairman Rogers for his support in the form of this important bill.



Below are one-page handouts provided to Legislators about Emergency Services Districts for informational purposes.

April One Pager Support and Oppose - 4/18/23

March One Pager Support and Oppose - 3/21/23

General ESD Informational One-Pager for Committees

SAFE-D General Bill Tracker

The below report contains the comprehensive list of bills that SAFE-D is currently tracking broken down by issue/topic.

If you have any questions or would like to see a bill not featured here on the list, please contact SAFE-D at

If you are interested in learning more about a particular bill or the legislative process in general, click here to go to the Texas Legislature Online portal.


Tracker Last Updated: 5/16/23

Weekly Committee Hearing Report

This report shows bills concerning Emergency Services Districts that will be heard in Committee over the coming week.


Last updated: May 14, 2023