AUSTIN (KXAN) – Last November, KXAN perused the new bills pre-filed by Texas legislators and pulled four that we thought were peculiar. With the end of the 89th legislative session nearing, we wanted to update you on how they are doing.

Pregnant women can drive in High Occupancy Vehicle lanes 

In July 2022, an officer pulled over a pregnant woman for driving in an HOV lane without a passenger. She fought the citation because she argued her unborn fetus should count as another passenger.

“I said, ‘Well, not trying to throw a political mix here, but with everything going on, this counts as a baby,’” Brandy Bottone told a Dallas station, referring to the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This story got national attention, and a few months later, two Texas lawmakers filed duplicate bills (HB 1744 and HB 521) to allow pregnant women to drive in HOV lanes with only their unborn fetuses.

After Texas Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, filed HB 521, nearly 60 of Bricoe’s Republican colleagues and one Democratic colleague sponsored the bill. It was read in the House for the first time in February and was referred to the House Committee on Transportation for further action.

HB 1744, filed by Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, has made it further than Cain’s and was reported favorably by the House Committee on Transportation. The Committee report was sent to Calendars, where it would be scheduled for a House vote but it has not yet. With limited time left in the legislative session, it is uncertain whether it will be scheduled for a vote. 

Abolishing daylight saving

Texas lawmakers this session have overwhelmingly supported the idea of doing away with adjusting alarm clocks twice a year and staying on daylight savings time year-round. 

In April, the Texas House voted 136-5 in support of Rep. Will Metcalf’s, R-Conroe, HB 1422. Now, it is unclear when or if the Texas Senate will take it up, but it has already been shouted out by Gov. Greg Abbott, who tweeted, “I STRONGLY support this,” after the chamber voted. 

But don’t delete your reminder to adjust your clock in November just yet. The law cannot go into effect unless the U.S. Congress enacts a law granting states the authority to observe daylight savings year-round, per reporting by the Texas Tribune. 

Currently, federal law allows states to ditch daylight saving time and remain on standard time, but not vice-versa. 

However, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, introduced a federal bill in March which could give states the authority to stay on daylight savings all of the time. 

Texas honey imposters

Texas Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) filed House Bill 590 that prohibits honey distributors from writing “Texas honey” on labels unless the product consists exclusively of honey from Texas.

“A person may not sell, or keep, offer, or expose for the sake a product identified on its label as ‘Texas honey’ unless the product consists exclusively of honey produced from apiaries in Texas,” the bill text reads.

In March, the Texas House voted 130-16 in support of the honey bill. HB 590 was referred to the Texas Senate’s Committee on Water, Agriculture, & Rural Affairs, but no other updates have been announced on this sweet bill. 

Halloween Capital of North Texas 

If this new bill is successful, Celina, Texas, will be considered the Halloween capital of North Texas. Well, for at least ten years, that is. 

Celina is a Dallas suburb of nearly 24,000 people around 40 miles north of Dallas. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) is the Texas House representative for the city and authored the bill. 

This may be the first you are hearing of Celina’s spooky reputation, but the honorific has already been bestowed upon the region. In August 2021, Collin County Judge Chris Hill officially designated Celina as the Halloween Capital of North Texas.

Whether the city will get the Texas Legislature stamp of spooky approval is still up in air as the bill has yet to be scheduled for a House vote.