Special Session to Convene July 18th

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July 1, 2017

The 85th Legislative Session concluded on May 29th. However, on June 6th Governor Greg Abbott called for a special session to address twenty issues ranging from a slight pay raise for teachers to the use of do not resuscitate orders at hospitals. Importantly, when lawmakers return on July 18th to begin the special session, we will get to work immediately on bills that reauthorize some of the state's important boards, such as the Texas Medical Board. These boards provide oversight, recommendations, and penalties for a number of professions ranging from doctors to therapists to social workers.

Unfortunately, during the regular legislative session, the bills to continue those agencies were caught up behind more contentious issues. They remain essential pieces of legislation for lawmakers to pass. Conversely, the Governor also asked lawmakers to address some highly divisive issues that many Texans do not believe should be prioritized. This sets a tone for the upcoming special session that is very similar to the recently concluded session.

Still, opportunities to improve the lives of Texans in the special session remain, such as improving our system of school finance, should it be added to the agenda. Doing so could allow Texas to finally get a handle on rising property taxes.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, I look forward to working on bills to reauthorize the Maternal Mortality Task Force and to modify laws around do not resuscitate orders to ensure the desires of the patient and their family are prioritized. 

Other items Governor Greg Abbott listed as issues for lawmakers to address in the 30 days following July 18th include: restricting local ordinances and permitting, limiting government spending and revenue collection, preventing certain local anti-discrimination ordinances, providing vouchers to children with disabilities, union dues collection, insurance for abortions, municipal annexation, and eliminating mail in ballot fraud.

As always I remain committed to fighting for the interests of residents of Senate District 19. While there will be some divisive issues in the upcoming special session, I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve the lives of all Texans.