Governor to Hold News Conference, Special Session the Anticipated Topic

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to announce today whether he will ruin the summer vacations of Texas lawmakers by calling them back to the Capitol for a Special Session, and, if so, what items will be on the agenda, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports

Abbott is likely to have bad news for the social conservatives who control the State Senate, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who have been demanding a Special Session deal with a bill restricting transgender bathroom rights.  

The Senate approved a robust 'Bathroom Bill,' which restricts the use of public restrooms, and school restrooms and locker rooms, to the gender on the person's birth certificate, a measure the House failed to match.

Abbott, however, appears focused on a bill which failed in the Legislture that would require that taxpayers get the right to vote to overturn any local property tax increases of more than a certain amount, bills which have been floated place that limit from four percent to five percent, to a figure which is a combination of inflation and population growth.

That measure, which is strongly opposed by Bexar County and by the City of San Antonio, is supported by most Republican and taxpayer advocate groups, and lawmakers see it as a way to rein in what they see as 'overspending' by local governments, who have been able to use the state's skyrocketing property values to jack of property tax revenues, while claiming on Election Day that they 'didn't raise taxes.'

Another item which may make it onto a Special Session agenda is one that would block the City of San Antonio from annexing unincorporated property without first getting the consent of the people who live in the property to be annexed.  A filibuster mounted by State Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) killed that proposal in the waning hours of the regular session.

Abbott must also resolve the failure of the lawmakers to reauthorize five minor government agencies, but experts say that could be accomplished by executive order, without the need for an expensive and controversial Special Session.

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