Following the conclusion of the regular legislative session in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has called for an immediate special session to address important unresolved matters. In a statement, Abbott highlighted that although many bills were passed during the regular session, there are still critical items that require attention. The special session officially began at 9 p.m. on Monday and will primarily focus on two key issues: property tax relief and border security.
Lowering property taxes for homeowners and business owners using a significant portion of the state’s budget surplus had been identified as a priority by Republican lawmakers. However, an agreement could not be reached during the regular session. Abbott emphasized the need to reduce property taxes and mentioned that $17.6 billion had been allocated for this purpose during the regular session. To achieve the goal of eliminating property taxes, Abbott proposed directing the funds toward cutting school property tax rates. The agenda for the first special session will specifically focus on reducing property tax rates by decreasing the school district maximum compressed tax rate, thus providing lasting property tax relief.
In addition to property taxes, the special session agenda will address the issue of crimes related to human smuggling and the operation of stash houses. The aim is to increase or enhance penalties for these offenses.
Abbott’s call for a special session comes as lawmakers were expected to return to work on Tuesday following the regular session. Multiple special sessions are anticipated to address the remaining critical items identified by state leaders.