CPPP Statement on Abbott Call for Special Session

//CPPP Statement on Abbott Call for Special Session

“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 Indeed it’s because of our outdated, underfunded school finance system that teachers need raises.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.”

A renowned social justice lawyer, former philanthropy executive, and frequent public speaker and writer, Ann Beeson joined the Center in 2013. She was previously the Executive Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations, where she promoted human rights, justice, and accountability nationwide. Beeson was the national Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she worked from 1995-2007. She argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court, litigated numerous cases around the country, and launched groundbreaking programs to stop the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security and to protect free speech and privacy on the Internet. Beeson has been recognized as one of the nation’s top lawyers by American Lawyer Magazine and the National Law Journal. A proud Texan, Beeson has embraced a wide range of innovative strategies to advance social change. Before joining the Center, she launched a new non-profit to involve the creative sector in social change. In 2012-13, she was a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas, where she co-produced a public media series to inspire more people to get engaged in their communities. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Texas. Beeson obtained her law degree from Emory University School of Law, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Barefoot Sanders, then chief judge of the Northern District of Texas.

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.