The Texas legislature has convened for its third special session, with Governor Greg Abbott calling upon lawmakers to address the following issues in the session:
- Education savings accounts (vouchers);
- Ending vaccine mandates for private employers;
- Border security; and
- Public safety concerns around the Colony Ridge development in the northeast Houston area.
On the political front, fallout from the failed impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has wreaked havoc in the relationship between the House and the Senate. These relationships are further strained by the controversial divide over school vouchers.
Although House leadership has indicated that they are amenable to pass a version of voucher legislation, several Republicans and Democrats have sworn to defeat the measure at all costs. The Governor has made this a continued priority. If school choice legislation does not pass, teacher pay increases will not be added to the call and a fourth special session is to be expected.
IBAT is using the special session for relationship building and will weigh in on legislation when warranted. Members can raise money during a special session, so fundraisers continue to be held.
Finally, there are fourteen constitutional amendments on the ballot for the November 7 General election. An IBAT proposition primer will be available soon. One highlight to note is Proposition 8, which would expand high speed broadband access across Texas and assist in the financing of connectivity projects. IBAT is a strong supporter of this proposition.