The Texas Legislature only convenes every other year and we continue to wonder if they shouldn't go ahead and do it every year because they never seem to finish things. Once again, the regular session ends and there are still significant matters that need to be taken care of right now. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a special session that will begin immediately. 

Governor Abbott announced on Monday that special session #1 would begin and issued a proclamation identifying the items that would be on this Special Session agenda that began at 9:00 PM on Monday, May 29, 2023. Governor Abbott issued the following statement:

“I will soon be signing laws that advance our state and the future of all Texans, including laws that:

  • End COVID restrictions and mandates;
  • Provide more than $5.1 billion to secure the border and fund the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the border wall;
  • Designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations;
  • Prosecute fentanyl deaths as murder;
  • Protect women’s sports and female collegiate athletes;
  • Focus community colleges on preparing Texas students for high skill careers;
  • Increase electric power generation to secure the Texas power grid;
  • Hold rogue district attorneys accountable;
  • Protect children from life-altering gender mutilation;
  • Ban illegal DEI hiring practices in our colleges and universities;
  • Add $1.4 billion to make Texas schools safer;
  • Require armed security at all schools;
  • Provide access to mental healthcare for students at all schools;
  • Require regular safety checks of school buildings.
Texas State Capitol Building - JimWeaver
Texas State Capitol Building - JimWeaver

The Governor stated that despite these major achievements, more must be done for the people of Texas. There are many critical items remaining on his agenda that must be passed. Several special sessions will be required to ensure that each priority receives the time and attention it deserves to pass into law, only a few will be added each session.

For special session #1, which has already begun, the focus will be on cutting property taxes and cracking down on illegal human smuggling.

"We must cut property taxes. During the regular session, we added $17.6 billion to cut property taxes. However, the legislature could not agree on how to allocate funds to accomplish this goal. Texans want and need a path towards eliminating property taxes. The best way to do that is to direct property tax reduction dollars to cut school property tax rates.”

Special Session #1 agenda items include: 

  • PROPERTY TAXES: 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.
  • BORDER SECURITY: Legislation solely for the purpose of increasing or enhancing the penalties for certain criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.
Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses
Getty Images

Will School Choice be in another upcoming special session? Our guess is, yes. We will just have to wait for the next announcement from the Governor's Office.

Click here to read Governor Abbott's Proclamation.

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