Local Officials React to Gov. Abbott’s Special Session Announcement

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After debate for the much of the past week as to whether it would happen, Governor Greg Abbott has announced a 20 item special session that will begin July 18.

State Senator Kel Seliger told me a week ago that he was not worried and that the special session would happen. He said that was because the Sunset Bill had not been passed. Today his prediction was proven right as Gov. Abbott has the sunset bill as one of the top priorities for this session.

The Sunset Bill is how some state boards are re-authorized including the Texas Board of Medical Examiners. This board is responsible for duties such as licensing physicians in the state.

State Representative John Smithee says he is happy about several of the items on the list including a property tax reform bill. One of the most highly publicized bills being discussed during the session is the controversial bathroom bill.

Senator Seliger says, “It passed the Senate pretty much as authored, then was changed in the house and then did not pass. Clearly, we did not agree on a bill then. The question is always, how will things change in a special session.”

Smithee says, “We need to pass legislation that protects particularly young women in public schools.”

Representative Smithee says Gov. Abbott’s agenda is very ambitious for one of these sessions. But, he says most of the legislation on the agenda would be good to pass.

Representative Smithee says the state also needs to reform how they appropriate for public education. He says school districts like those in Amarillo and around the panhandle are not being treated fairly with the formula that currently exists.

Senator Seliger says he has been a part of 12 special sessions, none of which had this many items on the agenda.
 

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