Legislative Roundup: February 7

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The 86th Texas Legislature will be in session from January 8 through May 27, and the focus has remained on school finance reform and property taxes.

The Texas Senate and House filed identical bills that propose to cap property taxes at 2.5% for all local taxing districts with more than $15 million in combined property and sales tax revenue. This would include many cities, counties, and school districts. The House, Senate, and Lt. Governor have stated that they will not be split on this issue this session.

However, there is criticism because filing these bills suggests that the state will provide additional funding for public education, but no plans about where the extra money will come from were outlined. The reform plan does not include any mention of property tax cuts, and currently, school districts get the majority of their funding from local property tax revenue.

Additionally, Gov. Abbott gave his biennial State of the State address and listed his emergency items for this year’s legislative session, including:

  • School Finance Reform
  • Increasing Teacher Pay
  • School Safety

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