With 3 Weeks to Go, Texas Senate Sets Record Pace in Special Session
AUSTIN – When the Texas Senate recessed on Wednesday, July 26th, 18 bills (plus Senate Bill 20 and Senate Bill 60 – Sunset Bills) included on the Special Session proclamation by Gov. Greg Abbott had passed the Senate. Long time legislative veterans say there is no precedent in either chamber for the passage of 18 bills in seven days — from referral to committee hearing to floor debate and final passage on third reading. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made this statement following the Senate recess today:
The Texas Senate is committed to passing the conservative legislation the people of Texas elected them to pass and they arrived in Austin last week ready for work. In the past week, they have logged almost 57 hours in committee hearings and over 33 hours on the Senate Floor to pass 18 bills on the Special Session call. The senators are a true testament to what can be accomplished when you are determined to do what is best for Texas.
Every Texan can be proud of the work ethic, commitment and efficiency of the Texas Senate. These important bills all were fully vetted in committees that heard testimony from hundreds of Texans going late into the night. The full Senate was in session on several days past midnight to pass this important legislation. Every bill passed is listed below but I want to highlight three that are critically important:
Senate Bill 1 – Texans pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation and the high rates are forcing people out of their homes and hampering business growth. Senate Bill 1 includes a mandatory election when local entities increase their budgets by more than 4 percent.
Senate Bill 3 – A majority of Texans in both political parties and in every ethnic and demographic group believe that women and girls should have privacy and safety in their restrooms, showers and locker rooms. Senate Bill 3 will ensure that they do.
Senate Bill 19 – Currently, over half the state budget goes to K-12 and higher education but only 32% of all revenue received by schools goes to teachers. Senate Bill 19 will provide a career bonus in 2018 of $600 to teachers who have been teaching 6 to 10 years and $1,000 to teachers who have been teaching 11 or more years. Senate Bill 19 also directs $212 million to TRS Care to reduce out-of-pocket health-care costs for retired teachers.
- Senate Bill 20 & SB 60 – Sunset Schedule Bill
- Senate Bill 2 – School Choice for Children with Special Needs
- Senate Bill 8 – No Texan will be Forced to Pay for Anyone’s Abortion Insurance
- Senate Bill 9 – Cap on State Spending
- Senate Bill 7 – No Taxpayer Dollars to Collect Union Dues
- Senate Bill 10 & SB 73 – Strengthen Reporting Requirements for Abortion Procedures
- Senate Bill 16 – Establish a School Finance Reform Commission
- Senate Bill 6 – Ending Forced Annexation
- Senate Bill 17 – Maintain the Maternal Mortality Task Force
- Senate Bill 4 – Expanding the Prohibition on Taxpayer Dollars for Abortion Providers
- Senate Bill 11 – Clarifying the Operation of “Do Not Resuscitate” Orders
- Senate Bill 5 – Preventing Mail-In Ballot Fraud
- Senate Bill 14 – Preventing Cities from Regulatory Overreach on Trees
- Senate Bill 13 – Speeding up the Local Government Permitting Process
- Senate Bill 15 – Making All Texting and Mobile Device Use Regulations Uniform