Special session one month way
AUSTIN, Texas —
We are now a month away from the start of the Texas special legislative session. That means Monday, legislators should be able to start filing bills.
Gov. Greg Abbott outlined 20 items he’d like to see addressed during that time.
Rep. Jason Isaac (R - Dist. 45) says getting through all the items will be tough, but he’s confident lawmakers can pass two of Dan Patrick’s priority bills: the bathroom bill and property tax reform.
The 85th regular legislative session ended with tensions high and some priority bills still left without compromise.
"I was frightened. I was on the house floor with my children, with my wife. It was just a frightening time," Isaac said. He's talking about the "Sanctuary Cities" protest that led to a scuffle among lawmakers on the house floor the last day of regular session.
But there are two pieces of legislation he believes lawmakers can pass to ease tensions. That’s regulating what public bathrooms transgender people can use and property tax reform.
"Hopefully some cooler heads will prevail when it comes to safety and privacy, and especially property tax reform," Isaac said. He says property tax reform and regulations making homeownership more expensive are the biggest issues for his constituents.
"The more regulations that are passed at the local level and the state and the federal level, they increase the cost of home ownership," Isaac said.
"I am very much for some caps on the increases in property taxes because older people are getting taxed out of their homes," said Texas voter Mike Roy.
But while many lawmakers agree Texas’ property tax system should be reformed, not everyone agrees on how to do it. During the regular session, many house representatives said the senate plan wouldn’t lead to real relief, and the senate wasn’t willing to compromise.
Lawmakers will also have to tackle a less contentious but important topic, and that's passing legislation to keep the Texas Medical Board alive.
They'll only have 30 days to work during the special session. If they don't get enough legislation passed to satisfy the governor, he could call for yet another special session.