State Capital Highlights
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 announced a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18 to address issues that went unresolved during the contentious 140-day regular session that ended May 29.
Abbott explained why he thinks it necessary to order lawmakers back to Austin. “Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today,” he said. “A special session was entirely avoidable and there was plenty of time for the legislature to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session. As governor, if I am going to call a special session, I intend to make it count,” he added.
Special session agenda items Abbott named for lawmakers to address will begin with sunset legislation — bills on the continuation or abolishment of certain state agencies, including the Texas Medical Board.
Once the sunset legislation meets the governor’s expectations, he said, the rest of the items on lawmakers’ to-do list would be as follows:
- Teacher pay increase of $1,000;
- Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices;
- School finance reform commission;
- School choice for special needs students;
- Property tax reform;
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