Governor Greg Abbott called the 88th Texas Legislature back to what is likely to be multiple special legislative sessions shortly after they adjourned sine die. The first session, which began Monday night, called on lawmakers to adopt legislation concerning border security and property tax relief.
Governor Abbott stated that, despite the fact that many important measures were enacted during the regular session of the legislature, more has to be done. “Many critical items remain that must be passed. S “Several special sessions will be required,” Abbott said in a written statement.“To ensure that each priority receives the time and attention it deserves to pass into law, only a few will be added each session.”
The governor stated that the first special session will focus on cutting property taxes and cracking down on people smuggling. Both of these topics were declared as emergency matters by the governor within the ordinary 140-day session.
During the called special sessions, the legislature is limited to exclusively dealing with problems raised by the governor. The following subjects will be discussed during the first special session:
- PROPERTY TAXES: Legislation to cut property-tax rates solely by reducing the school district maximum compressed tax rate in order to provide lasting property-tax relief for Texas taxpayers.
- BORDER SECURITY: Legislation solely for the purpose of increasing or enhancing the penalties for certain criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.
The governor also enumerated the approval of numerous key bills that he plans to sign to law. These include:
- End COVID restrictions and mandates;
- Provide more than $5.1 billion to secure the border and fund the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the border wall;
- Designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations;
- Prosecute fentanyl deaths as murder;
- Protect women’s sports and female collegiate athletes;
- Focus community colleges on preparing Texas students for high skill careers;
- Increase electric power generation to secure the Texas power grid;
- Hold rogue district attorneys accountable;
- Protect children from life-altering gender mutilation;
- Ban illegal DEI hiring practices in our colleges and universities;
- Add $1.4 billion to make Texas schools safer;
- Require armed security at all schools;
- Provide access to mental healthcare for students at all schools; and
- Require regular safety checks of school buildings.
According to Breitbart Texas, the Texas Senate will have to gather in a special session to hear Attorney General Ken Paxton's impeachment trial. The first meeting is slated for June 20th to discuss the Court of Impeachment's guidelines. According to sources, the trial will begin no later than August 28.
Governor Abbott is anticipated to convene several more special sessions this summer to address emergency topics that were not enacted during the regular session.