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Gov. Abbott Calls For A Second Session After The First Led Nowhere

Gov. Greg Abbott called for a second special session on Tuesday, just an hour after the Texas Senate adjourned the first special session. 

While the first special session focused on border security and property taxes. The second special session will solely focus on cutting property taxes after the Texas House and Senate failed to reach an agreement — again — on how to cut property taxes in the state. 

“After yet another month without the House and Senate sending a bill to my desk to cut property taxes, I am once again putting the agreed upon school district property tax rate cuts on the special session agenda,” Abbott said in a news release. “Unless and until the House and Senate agree on a different proposal to provide property tax cuts, I will continue to call for lasting property tax cuts through rate reductions and working toward eliminating the school property tax in Texas.”

The governor has vowed to call for new special sessions until the Texas Legislature sends him a bill addressing property tax cuts. 

The legislature must focus on, “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,” and “legislation to put Texas on a pathway to eliminating school district maintenance and operations property taxes,” according to the proclamation issued by Abbott. 

The second special session started at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, but members are expected to return to Austin on Wednesday. 

House members were asked to reconvene at 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to a memo sent by House Speaker Dade Phelan’s office. 

Abbott’s call for a new special session did not come as a surprise. In May when Abbott called for the first special session, he made it clear that he wanted the legislature to reach an agreement on how to provide property tax relief. 

The chambers have been tasked with providing property tax relief using a part of the state’s $33 billion surplus. 

The House sided with Abbott and passed a measure that would use state funds to reduce school districts’ maintenance and operation tax rates to ultimately reduce property taxes and adjourned on the first day of the first special session. 

The Senate passed a measure that would increase the homestead exemption. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been unwavering on his plan and has been active on Twitter criticizing Abbott and House Speaker Dade Phelan

In spite of the House adjourning. Patrick did not allow the Senate to adjourn sine die until Tuesday. 

The lieutenant governor claims that his plan would provide more relief to homeowners. The first session ended with both chambers in a headlock that cost the taxpayers $1.3 million dollars.

Atirikta Kumar
Atirikta Kumar
Atirikta Kumar (@AtiriktaKumar) is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science at the University of Houston. Atirikta is passionate about writing about the criminal justice system and issues in order to inform the public about their communities and politics. She also writes for her college newspaper, The Cougar.

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