The bill passed the House on a mostly party-line vote, 77-57, with five reps absent, and the Speaker not voting. Absent a major filibuster or a classic Dan Patrick Calendar Clusterfuck, this bill should sail through the Senate and get a signature from Governor Abbott.
In brief, HB 2504 allows candidates from convention parties (i.e., those that do not hold primary elections) to pay the same filing fees that candidates from primary parties do. In lieu of the fees, convention candidates may submit petition signatures, just as primary candidates currently may.
As if that weren't enough of a gift, another Republican's amendment to the bill, as passed by the House, reduces the criterion for retaining ballot access from 5% of the vote in a statewide race to 2%. Not in the next election, but in any of the previous five. Guess what? In 2014 and 2016, Green candidates crossed that 2% threshold in three four-way races. Since 2010, in races that the Democrats sat out, at least one Green has earned 5% or better, some scoring as high as 10%.
As Naomi Klein might say, This Changes Everything.