Governor gives lawmakers list of emergency items to tackle

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott named as his emergency priorities education reform, teacher pay, school safety, property tax reform, mental health services and disaster response in his Feb. 5 “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature.

The House and Senate may schedule committee hearings on bills related to items on the governor’s priority list before the 60th day of the legislative session, which hits on March 8. Consideration of all other legislation must wait until after that date, except for House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2 — the state budget — which is already in the works.

Abbott gave lawmakers something to cheer about when he said, “When you combine our legislative accomplishments with our record-breaking prosperity, you have elevated Texas to rarified status and I am proud to tell you that the state of Texas has never been better.”

Abbott touched on a number of other issues that need attention and funding, such as Hurricane Harvey recovery and disaster readiness, law enforcement and public safety, border security, mental health and services for military veterans.

In a news release, Abbott pointed out that half of the issues on his list “deal directly with public education, more if you count property tax reform, which is inextricably linked with school finance.”

 

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