Advocacy Update

May 31, 2023Doug Williamson, Government Affairs Director

From Monday evening to Tuesday evening,

  • The House and Senate ended their regular sessions,
  • The Governor called an immediate special session,
  • The House passed bills (HB 1, HB 2 and HJR 1) on the Governor’s priority items and immediately adjourned,
  • The Senate passed bills (SB 1 and SJR 1) on one of the Governor’s priority items and scheduled its next meeting for Friday.

Just another 24 hours at the State Capitol.

Governor’s call

Gov. Greg Abbott, within minutes of the end of the regular session, issued a proclamation designating property tax relief and border security as the two topics he wanted addressed in the “first” special session.

  1. 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.
  2. Border security: Legislation solely for the purpose of increasing or enhancing the penalties for certain criminal conduct of smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.

House passes bills

Here is the Governor’s statement after the House took its action on Tuesday:

“The Texas House is the only chamber that passed a property tax cut bill that is germane to the special session that I called to provide Texans with property tax relief…it provides more cuts to property tax rates than any other proposal at this time. It is supported by the most respected think tank in the state, as well as more than 30 homeowner, consumer and business groups across the state. I look forward to signing it when it reaches my desk.”

Senate’s response

Here is Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s response:

“I have been committed to fighting back against the wave of ever-increasing property taxes since before I held elected office. The combination of a substantial homestead exemption and property tax compression is a very powerful way to deliver serious property tax relief. I have been crystal-clear that taxpayers deserve to receive the largest property tax cut in Texas history, and SB 1 delivers on that promise sustainably and responsibly.”

Other items for more special sessions

Gov. Abbott has outlined additional topics he would like to address in future special sessions. They 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 Diversity Equity and Inclusion (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.
QUESTIONS? Contact Doug Williamson, Government Affairs Director to learn more about our focus areas in government, political, and regulatory issues.

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