This past week members from both the House and Senate poured into the House Chamber for Governor Abbott’s biennial State of the State Address. Similar to the State of the Union at the federal level, this is an opportunity for the Governor to come before members of the Legislature and lay out his priorities for the 86th Legislative Session. This session the Governor used this opportunity to not only set forth his priorities, but also declare a number of issues as “emergency items,” which allows lawmakers to vote on bills relating to the Governor’s emergency items list before the constitutionally mandated 60 day waiting period.
I applaud the Governor for his leadership and willingness to listen to members of the Legislature who have been eager to get to work on these important issues.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol. . .
The 86th Texas Legislature: State of the State Address
The House Chamber erupted in applause as the Governor first declared school finance reform as an emergency item. As a member of the committee that has been tasked with taking on school finance, this was the highlight of my day—knowing that my colleagues and I can immediately begin working to address, what I believe, is the number one challenge facing our state.
The Governor went on to declare several more emergency items, most of which are closely related to the work we’ll be doing on school finance. Increasing teacher pay, bolstering school safety, and providing property tax relief were also included in the Governor’s list of emergency items. While these items are components of the broader call for school finance reform, I am delighted that the Governor has specifically put these items at the top of his priority list.
By reforming a broken school finance system in a way that prioritizes our teachers and students with state resources, we can make strides in so many critical areas in our state—increasing teacher pay, promoting equitable funding in schools across the state, strengthening security for our students—all while relieving the local taxpayers of the burden associated with funding these critical initiatives through property taxes. I am honored to have the opportunity to play a key role in helping meet these goals, and I’m hopeful we can make meaningful progress on them over the upcoming week and months.
The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations:
February 20th at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9:00-11:00am, or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30pm; and finally, on February 27th, at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9:00-11:00am.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.