CPPP Statement on Abbott Call for Special Session

Ann Beeson

“Bad ideas are still bad ideas in a special session.”

Today Governor Greg Abbott called a special session of the Texas Legislature to address 20 items including a misguided second attempt to limit local governments’ ability to raise revenue (SB 2).

In response, CPPP Executive Director Ann Beeson issued the following statement:

“There were many terrible ideas this past legislative session. Most of them had their chance to work through the system, and they failed to pass. Now the Governor has called lawmakers back to try again, but bad ideas are still bad ideas in a special session.

“Limiting the ability of local governments to raise revenue to pay police officers, firefighters and other first responders was wrong during the regular session and is wrong during a special session.

“If lawmakers really want to lower property taxes, then they should invest in public schools. As of the most recent Biennial Property Tax Report, 54 percent of property taxes are levied by school districts. Declining investments could mean more crowded classrooms for Texas children.

“Several other damaging ideas give us a horrible feeling of déjà vu – including a voucher proposal that is still the wrong solution for Texas kids. Limiting investments by tying the hands of elected officials with arbitrary spending caps is another short-sighted idea that would limit services Texans rely on. And several other special session bills would further state interference in local decision-making.

“We are pleased to see the Governor add a handful of good provisions to the call for the special session, including much-needed raises for teachers and a good bill that would create a commission to study the Texas school finance system. Indeed it’s because of our outdated, underfunded school finance system that teachers need raises. We are also pleased to see a renewed push to address maternal mortality.

“CPPP delivered the data and fact-checking lawmakers and concerned Texans needed during the regular session to understand the implications of key proposals. We stand ready to keep up the fight in a special session.”

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