Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that 20 items will be included in a legislative special session will kick off July 18.
"Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today," Gov. Abbott 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."
Agenda items for the special session include:
- Sunset legislation
- 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
- Caps on state and local spending
- Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
- Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
- Speeding up local government permitting process
- Municipal annexation reform
- Texting while driving preemption
- Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues
- Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers
- Pro-life insurance reform
- Strengthening abortion reporting requirements when health complications arise
- Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders
- Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud
- Extending maternal mortality task force
The long list of agenda items covers a wide range of topics, including some that Texas Municipal League Executive Director Bennett Sandlin said represent “an all-out assault on the ability of Texas voters to decide what’s best for their communities and their neighborhoods,” according to a statement released Tuesday.
The statement continued: “From proposed revenue caps, to spending caps, to tree ordinances, to texting while driving, and more, no one has ever proposed such sweeping restrictions on local voters having a voice in shaping the character of their communities.
“Seventy-four percent of Texans live in our 1,215 towns and cities and the decisions they have made at the local level have put Texas cities at the top of the nation in success. Stifling their voices through an all-powerful, overreaching state government is a recipe for disaster.”
The legislative special session begins July 18. 3News will keep you updated.