RECAP: House Republicans Achieved Many Conservative Victories in Special Session
With the closure of the 2nd Called Special Session, Texas House Republicans are reflecting on the incredible amount of accomplishments achieved over the last couple weeks in the Legislature.
While House Democrats slowed down the process by breaking quorum for a publicity stunt and triggering multiple special sessions, they failed to accomplish their goal of killing bills that Texans wanted and expected us to pass.
Legislation securing elections, providing comprehensive bail reform, delivering foster care funding and a 13th check to retired teachers, and protecting the health and safety of Texan women are just a few measures that were successfully passed once we restored quorum and got back to work.
The Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction), with the intent to secure the integrity of Texas' electoral process. This bill takes great steps forward to restore voter confidence in the results of elections by creating statewide standards for uniform conduct of elections.
Senate Bill 6, sponsored by Rep. Reggie Smith (R-Sherman), is the bail reform package Texans have long waited for. The bill simplifies the bail system in Texas to provide defendants with speedy bail decisions while simultaneously emphasizing public safety. This measure will prevent dangerous criminals from being afforded opportunities to commit more crime.
Rising property taxes have caused many Texans to struggle with the affordability of owning a home. All sponsored by Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas), Senate Bill 8 provides homebuyers with a homestead exemption immediately following their purchase of a new home and Senate Bill 12 and Senate Joint Resolution 2gives elderly or disabled homeowners more relief by lowering the ceiling for property taxes imposed by a school district on their residence homestead to reflect any reduction from the preceding tax year in the district's maximum compressed rate.
Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Klick, (R-Fort Worth), protects Texas women from complications from the risky use of abortion-inducing drugs. The bill requires that these medications are only administered by a physician and enhanced reporting on adverse events from the use of these drugs. This will prevent dangerous complications that might arise from mail-order use of abortion drugs.
As the Biden Administration continues to ignore the growing crisis at the Texas-Mexico border, the Texas House has stepped up to address the issue. With the passage of House Bill 9 by Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood), we have committed $1.8 billion to securing the border, including:
$1 billion dedicated to funding border security operations through border security grants to local law enforcement.
$300 million dedicated to funding additional border security personnel.
$750 million dedicated to building temporary and permanent physical barriers along the border.
$11 million dedicated to purchasing ambulances at border security processing centers.
The House also passed supplemental appropriations that include critical funding for many state agencies, including the legislature itself. House Bill 5, also by Rep. Greg Bonnen, appropriates $90 million for the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to increase the number of providers in the foster care system and ensure that children do not have to sleep in unsanctioned locations, including DFPS offices or hotels. The bill also provides over $700 million for a 13th check for Texas’ retired teachers, $100 million in property tax relief, and $17 million in cybersecurity enhancements.
Several other key pieces of legislation are finally headed to the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 9 requires education on family violence, dating violence, and child abuse in schools.
Senate Bill 15, sponsored by Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney), seeks to expand the state's existing virtual school program, giving all school districts discretion to open and operate virtual learning programs.