New Session, Local Issues in 2009

Education, the environment, and marriage are the top issues for area lawmakers.

This is what representatives plan to do, now that the 81st Texas Legislative Session is underway.

Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo has filed four bills already and Representative Warren Chisum of Pampa has filed three.

Senator Seliger is filing a bill for clean coal legislation this week.

The bill would give tax breaks to companies building cleaner, coal-fired power plants that capture at least 60 percent of their carbon dioxide emissions.

Seliger has also filed a bill to allow 20 Amarillo ISD senior students to take all their classes online, in a pilot program requested by the school district.

On the floor of the house...

Representative Warren Chisum has filed a bill that will take students who have completed their general educational development certificate or G.E.D. Out of the school's drop out rate.

Representative Chisum is also continuing to pursue legislation to strengthen Texas marriages by proposing a bill that will require those filing for divorce to complete a ten hour crisis marriage course.

Other hot topics during this 140 day session include a statewide smoking ban and banning talking on your cell phone while driving.