The Texas House and Senate ended the special session a day early. Gov. Abbott got a few of his 20 bills passed, but lawmakers did not go 20 for 20.

Here’s the latest on where his agenda stands:


What Abbott’s signed into law:

Of his 20 items, Gov. Abbott has signed a handful into law. They include the must-pass sunset legislation needed to keep several state agencies operating. Abbott also signed a bill Friday to combat mail-in ballot fraud.

Tuesday, he signed legislation requiring large cities to hold elections in areas before they annex them. Abbott has also signed a bill increasing abortion complication reporting requirements and requiring women to pay a separate health insurance premium if they want their health plans to cover non-emergency abortions.

Maternal mortality task force: Lawmakers voted to continue a task force on maternal mortality and morbidity.

School Finance: Lawmakers approved about $560 million in extra funding for schools and retired teachers. It’s much less than the $1.8 billion the House originally sought.

Anti-tree Ordinances: New limits on local tree ordinances have been sent to the Governor’s desk. But they aren’t as sweeping as original proposals to virtually wipe out all such ordinances statewide.

Regulating Do-Not Resuscitate Orders: A Senate bill is headed to the Governor’s desk.


What’s dead: 

Property Tax Reform:

The House and Senate couldn’t come to a compromise on property tax reform and left the session early without working it out.

In an unusual move, House members left for good Tuesday evening with one day still remaining in the special session. That move forced the Senate to accept the House version of a controversial property tax bill or risk seeing nothing done.

They said no thanks and gaveled out for good as well. The stalemate sets up the possibility of the governor calling lawmakers back for another overtime session.

What the bill would have done: House version required property tax elections if local governments’ revenue exceeds six percent from the year before.

The Senate wanted the cap set at 4 percent.

Other items that didn’t make it: 

Private school choice for special needs students

“Bathroom Bill”

Texting while driving

Union dues deduction

Preventing local rule changes on already acquired properties

Taxpayer funding for abortion

Teacher Pay Increase of $1000: Abbott asked lawmakers to pass a measure that would give Texas teachers a $1000 pay raise. But groups criticized it as an unfunded mandate. Neither chamber approved such a bill yet.

Caps on Local and State Government Spending

Speeding local government permitting process



Here’s a look at the list Gov. Abbott initially put out:


Special session agenda items will include:

  1. Sunset legislation
  2. Teacher pay increase of $1,000
  3. Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices
  4. School finance reform commission
  5. School choice for special needs students
  6. Property tax reform
  7. Caps on state and local spending
  8. Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
  9. Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
  10. Speeding up local government permitting process
  11. Municipal annexation reform
  12. Texting while driving preemption
  13. Privacy
  14. Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues
  15. Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers
  16. Pro-life insurance reform
  17. Strengthening abortion reporting requirements when health complications arise
  18. Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders
  19. Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud
  20. Extending maternal mortality task force



Posted by Karina Kling