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The fourth special session will end Wednesday, December 6. This week, Senate Bill 6 (election reform) is the talk around the Capitol. Lawsuits filed by residents from Bexar, Llano, Denton, Rains, Brazoria, Liberty and Atascosa counties are challenging the 14 constitutional amendment propositions on the November ballot, claiming certain voting machines were not certified by the state. The pending lawsuits will delay the effective date of the measures. In plain English, the property tax relief approved by voters would not take effect in time to be seen by Texans for the 2023 tax year.

The House and Senate must pass SB6, but given the current mood and drama between the three leadership offices, a vote in each chamber is not likely. It will be chaos or crickets, and IBAT is betting on crickets.

A fifth special session has been promised but the rumor mill is quiet on expected dates. The Governor sent orders that there be no Christmas tree in the middle of the House floor, inciting cries of “Christmasgate.” A Christmas tree in the middle of the House floor would impede debate between the front and back mics of the Texas House. This directive may be telling that a special session will be called in December for school vouchers and election reform.

Senate Bill 4, the border protection bill, is on the Governor’s desk. Several counties have lawsuits ready to file once the bill is signed into law. It will be challenged on its constitutionality. The points of the lawsuits were openly debated on the Senate floor prior to passage.