The 88th Legislature passed a total of 1,246 bills and of those, Governor Greg Abbott vetoed 77 bills (last session he vetoed 20 bills), let 132 become law without his signature (versus 105 in the 87th), and signed the rest. Of note, this is the largest number of bills vetoed since the 77th Session (2001) where 80 bills were vetoed. Out of the 77 vetoed this session, 23 were house bills bills and 54 were senate bills.

Included in the bills the Governor signed was HB 1, the budget bill, with a line item veto for contingency funds for SJR 81, which did not pass.

See below for a spotlight on the 18 bills with detailed veto statements, and a list of the vetoes stating that the bills could be considered in a future special session after “property tax relief” or “education freedom” legislation is passed.

Detailed Veto Statements – 18

HB 1 (Bonnen) General Appropriations Bill

  • Veto Statement: This veto deletes a contingency rider for a joint resolution that did not pass. (SJR 81)

HB 181 (Johnson, Jarvis) Relating to the establishment of the sickle cell disease registry

  • Veto Statement: I am signing House Bill No. 1488 into law because sickle cell disease is a serious problem in Texas. House Bill No. 1 8 1 , however, would force hospitals to share reams of sensitive health information with a sickle cell disease registry, putting the privacy of patients at risk. It would leave the hard work of ensuring confidentiality to agency rulemaking, even though no funds were appropriated to achieve the bill’s purported purpose.

HB 279 (Jetton) Relating to the prosecution and punishment of the offense of trafficking of persons

  • Veto Statement: I am vetoing House Bill No. 279 at the author’s request because it is largely duplicative of Senate Bill No. 1529, which I have proudly signed into law. I applaud Representative Jacey Jetton and Senator Paul Bettencourt for working with Senator Joan Huffman and Representative Senfronia Thompson to protect trafficking victims.

HB 558 (Raymond) Relating to prohibiting certain limitations on the operation of certain organizations that benefit veterans during a declared state of disaster

  • Veto Statement: Future governors must have the flexibility to respond to unforeseen calamities and meet the rapidly changing needs that each disaster will present. House Bill No. 558, however, would exempt some organizations that sell alcohol from any emergency directive whatsoever, no matter the disaster at hand. The bill does not carefully distinguish between a future pandemic, in which those organizations should stay open, and a hurricane or a wildfire, in which a mandatory evacuation order might be necessary. Hacking away at the Texas Disaster Act like this poses an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of Texans. I will be glad to work with the author on a more nuanced approach to this issue.

HB 729 (Rose) Relating to the statewide intellectual and developmental disability coordinating council

  • Veto Statement: House Bill No. 729 pursues the laudable goal of improving the provision of intellectual and developmental disability services in Texas. That goal is so laudable, however, that several Texas committees already do that same important work. Creating a new bureaucracy to duplicate their efforts is wasteful at best, and could even frustrate existing programs.

HB 2416 (Paul) Relating to creation of the gulf coast protection account to be administered by the General Land Office

  • Veto Statement: Texas has a rock-solid commitment to protecting its hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline. House Bill No. 2416 was proposed as part of that commitment. Unfortunately, the bill’s text would require the deposit of any federal money the State receives for coastal protection into an account that can be spent only on a small portion of the Gulf Coast, if at all. I look forward to working with the author on enacting language that will achieve its intended purpose.

HB 3159 (Leach) Relating to the use of an accessible absentee mail system by certain voters

  • Veto Statement: According to its author, House Bill No. 3159 is intended “to benefit blind, visually impaired Texans, people with dyslexia, or persons with limited dexterity of their arms or hands such as persons with quadriplegia.” While this intent is laudable, the text of the bill is not limited to assisting this group. Instead, it allows any voter who qualifies to vote by mail to receive a ballot electronically. I look forward to working with the author to craft language that achieves his worthy goal, without unintended consequences.

HB 4128 (Murr) Relating to associate judges for guardianship proceedings and protective services proceedings in certain courts

  • Veto Statement: Last session, I approved House Bill No. 79 to protect vulnerable Texans through a system of specialized guardianship courts with associate judges. This session’s House Bill No. 4128 goes too far, however, in building a new state bureaucracy. I have vetoed similar bills that would have burdened state taxpayers and given outsized authority to associate judges. House Bill No. 4128 suffers from the same flaws and meets the same fate.

HB 4759 (Campos) Relating to an attack by a dangerous dog; increasing criminal penalties

  • Veto Statement: Texas’s existing criminal laws penalize attacks by dangerous dogs — so much so that felony arrests have already been made of the dog owners responsible for the tragic attack that took the life of a distinguished Air Force veteran in San Antonio, and that was the catalyst for House Bill No. 4759. The justice system should be allowed to work without the overcriminalization found in this bill. I look forward to working with the author to create investigations and procedures that stop dog attacks before they happen.

HB 4779 (Bhojani) Relating to the prosecution of the criminal offense of organized retail theft

  • Veto Statement: Texas’s booming economy is built on a foundation of law and order. House Bill No. 4779 sought to advance that goal, but instead it could inadvertently chip away at that foundation, by making it harder to prosecute and punish organized retail theft.

SB 498 (Johnson) Relating to the operation of statewide technology centers

  • Veto Statement: Senate Bill No. 498 conflicts with House Bill No. 4553, which I have already signed into law. To avoid uncertainty, I am vetoing Senate Bill No. 498.

SB 796 (Middleton) Relating to arbitration provisions in surplus lines insurance contracts

  • Veto Statement: Surplus lines insurance is a product for sophisticated parties who know how to bargain over the terms of an arbitration agreement. Senate Bill No. 796’s interference with freedom of contract in this market could inadvertently increase premiums and drive out insurers who want to do business in Texas.

SB 813 (Alvarado) Relating to providing notice to a state representative and senator of certain administrative actions of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

  • Veto Statement: Senate Bill No. 813 would add unnecessary bureaucratic duties to what is already required by Texas law. Our goal should be to eliminate bureaucracy, not add to it.

SB 1393 (Middleton) Relating to eligibility for coverage by the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan in certain areas.

  • Veto Statement: The FAIR Plan Association was established in 2005 as an insurer of last resort for owners of residential property in underserved markets. Senate Bill No. 1393 would fundamentally change the Association’s purpose by making certain homeowners eligible for subsidized FAIR polices even though insurance is available to them on the traditional market. I look forward to working with the bill authors on ways to improve this legislation.

SB 1399 (Schwertner) Relating to the renewal and review of standard permits for certain concrete plants

  • Veto Statement: Senate Bill No. 1399 appears to add more bureaucracy and cost.

SB 1615 (Zaffirini) Relating to the cosmetology licensure compact

  • Veto Statement: Before ceding sovereign power over our State’s cosmetologists to a Cosmetology Licensure Compact Commission that does not yet exist, Texas should wait and see who joins this proposed interstate compact. There is simply no need to rush into such an arrangement, as evidenced by the fact that Senate Bill No. 1615 would not even go into effect until 2026. I have long been a champion of occupational-licensing reforms like those in Senate Bill No. 1615, especially when they help military spouses. That is why I signed Senate Bill No. 1200 into law in 2019. As a result, a military spouse with an out-of-state license can now practice a trade in the Lone Star State without the hassle of securing another license from Texas. To take another example, I signed House Bill No. 3742 in 2015 so that Texas can enter into licensing-reciprocity agreements with sister states. Instead of waiting until 2026 for someone else to cut red tape, I hereby direct the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to redouble its efforts on entering into those bilateral agreements. A copy of this disapproval message shall be filed with that state agency. There will be time enough to reassess the membership and direction of this Cosmetology Licensure Compact Commission in 2025, when the 89th Legislature convenes. Meanwhile, I will continue to defend Texas’s sovereignty and push for real reforms that let Texans get to work.

SB 2016 (Zaffirini) Relating to the licensing and regulation of dietitians.

  • Veto Statement: Removing unnecessary barriers that prevent capable Texans from getting to work has been a priority of mine since I first took office. Senate Bill No. 2016 would impose an unnecessary occupational-licensing limitation that hurts workers and consumers, while straining the economic engine of Texas. A dietitian should not be required to obtain a master’ s degree to become registered or licensed by the State of Texas.

SB 2275 (Hughes) Relating to the authority of the Supreme Court of Texas to adopt certain rules.

  • Veto Statement: Senate Bill No. 2275 calls out a sloppy subsection in the 1939 Act that lets the Texas Supreme Court write procedural rules for the judicial branch. Senator Hughes is right to ring the alarm about this statutory text, thoughtful lawyer that he is. To avoid unintended consequences within our courts, however, the offending subsection should be rewritten rather than repealed. Next session, the three branches of government should collaborate on new-and-improved language that I can sign into law.

“Property Tax Relief” Veto Statements – 50

HB 2138 (Kacal) Relating to the sale of charitable raffle tickets by certain nonprofit wildlife conservation associations. Veto

HB 2879 (Oliverson) Relating to venue in certain actions involving a contract for an improvement to real property. Veto

HB 2956 (Shine) Relating to municipal annexation of an area adjacent to contiguous or connecting railroad rights-of-way. Veto

HB 4158 (Schofield) Relating to the determination and reporting of the number of residence homesteads of elderly or disabled persons that are subject to the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed on the properties by school districts. Veto

SB 200 (Eckhardt) Relating to the period for which an applicant for admission as an undergraduate student to a public institution of higher education is entitled to an academic fresh start. Veto

SB 247 (Alvarado) Relating to specialty license plates issued for honorary consuls. Veto

SB 261 (Springer) Relating to titling and registration of assembled trailers. Veto

SB 267 (King) Relating to law enforcement agency accreditation, including a grant program to assist agencies in becoming accredited. Veto

SB 315 (Hall) Relating to the definition of telephone call for purposes of regulating telephone solicitations. Veto

SB 335 (Schwertner) Relating to meetings of the Family and Protective Services Council broadcast over the Internet. Veto

SB 348 (Springer) Relating to the prohibition on posting on the Internet information held by an appraisal district regarding certain residential property. Veto

SB 361 (Eckhardt) Relating to the eligibility of a person employed by a school district as a teacher to serve on the appraisal review board of an appraisal district. Veto

SB 467 (Bettencourt) Relating to increasing the criminal penalty for the offense of criminal mischief involving impairment of a motor fuel pump. Veto

SB 485 (Johnson) Relating to designating the second Saturday in October as Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Veto

SB 526 (West) Relating to requiring prior approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer a degree or certificate program to certain persons who are incarcerated or subject to involuntary civil commitment. Veto

SB 987 (Kolkhorst) Relating to the reporting of certain information regarding the payment of state money to certain vendors and counties. Veto

SB 1051 (Hughes) Relating to a uniform coordination of benefits questionnaire for health benefit plans. Veto

SB 1080 (Kolkhorst) Relating to a mitigation program and fees for the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District. Veto

SB 1367 (Creighton) Relating to the confidentiality of certain information for employees of a county courthouse or the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System and the employees’ family members. Veto

SB 1404 (Parker) Relating to the creation of a work group to study the benefits of coal-to-nuclear electric generating facility conversion. Veto

SB 1431 (Hinojosa) Relating to the confidentiality of certain information for a current or former administrative law judge for the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Veto

SB 1439 (Springer) Relating to the ad valorem taxation of tangible personal property held or used for the production of income by related business entities. Veto

SB 1467 (Hancock) Relating to the disclosure of certain medical information by electronic means. Veto

SB 1568 (Campbell) Relating to the persons authorized or appointed to exercise the power of sale under the terms of a contract lien on real property. Veto

SB 1614 (Perry) Relating to the computation of the cost of goods sold by television and radio broadcasters for purposes of the franchise tax. Veto

SB 1668 (Hughes) Relating to property owners’ associations, including condominium owners’ associations. Veto

SB 1712 (Perry) Relating to the purchase, sale, or lease of real property on behalf of a limited partnership or a limited liability company. Veto

SB 1916 (Parker) Relating to publication of public improvement district service plans and assessments on certain public Internet websites. Veto

SB 1979 (Hughes) Relating to an annual study by the Texas A&M University Texas Real Estate Research Center of the purchase and sale of single-family homes by certain institutional buyers. Veto

SB 1998 (Bettencourt) Relating to the calculation of certain ad valorem tax rates. Veto

SB 2010 (Schwertner) Relating to reporting by the market monitor of potential manipulation of the wholesale electric market. Veto

SB 2035 (Bettencourt) Relating to the issuance of certain anticipation notes and certificates of obligation. Veto

SB 2052 (Nichols) Relating to permit fees for groundwater wells imposed by the Southeast Texas Groundwater Conservation District. Veto

SB 2192 (Hall) Relating to the notice and petition for the creation of a municipal utility district in certain counties. Veto

SB 2248 (Zaffirini) Relating to guardianships for persons who are incapacitated; changing a fee. Veto

SB 2260 (Blanco) Relating to management review of certain investigations conducted by the Department of Family and Protective Services. Veto

SB 2269 (Perry) Relating to discontinuing group self-insurance coverage and dissolving the Texas self-insurance group guaranty fund and trust fund under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. Veto

SB 2277 (Zaffirini) Relating to special appointments in suits affecting the parent-child relationship. Veto

SB 2292 (Zaffirini) Relating to bond requirements for certain judges. Veto

SB 2379 (Schwertner) Relating to aquifer storage and recovery projects that transect a portion of the Edwards Aquifer. Veto

SB 2399 (Schwertner) Relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to regulate Voice over Internet Protocol services. Veto

SB 2453 (Menendez) Relating to certain regulations adopted by governmental entities for the building products, materials, or methods used in the construction of residential or commercial buildings. Veto

SB 2474 (Hinojosa) Relating to civil and administrative penalties assessed for violations of statutes or rules governing chemical dependency treatment facilities. Veto

SB 2493 (Middleton) Relating to repairs made pursuant to a tenant’s notice of intent to repair and the refund of a tenant’s security deposit. Veto

SB 2597 (Creighton) Relating to the creation of the Montgomery County Municipal Utility District No. 237; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto

SB 2598 (Paxton) Relating to the creation of the Honey Creek Improvement District No. 1; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments and fees. Veto

SB 2604 (Miles) Relating to the creation of the Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 589; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto

SB 2605 (Flores) Relating to the creation of the Knob Creek Municipal Utility District of Bell County; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto

SB 2613 (Parker) Relating to the creation of the Tabor Ranch Municipal Management District; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes; granting a limited power of eminent domain. Veto

SB 2616 (Zaffirini) Relating to the creation of the Travis County Municipal Utility District No. 27; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto

“Education Freedom” Veto Statements – 9

HB 1466 (Clardy) Relating to the regulation of certain continuing education programs. Veto

HB 2629 (Rogers) Relating to the reporting of direct campaign expenditures by certain persons and political committees. Veto

HB 3436 (Rogers) Relating to the authority of the Texas Military Department to negotiate the release of a reversionary interest and certain other interests of the state in certain property in Palo Pinto County owned by the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association. Veto

HB 4106 (Dean) Relating to the procedure for resolving certain customer complaints before the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Veto

HB 4219 (Lambert) Relating to the maximum rate or amount of interest of certain consumer loans. Veto

HB 5332 (Bailes) Relating to the creation of the Montgomery County Municipal Utility District No. 229; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose fees and taxes. Veto

HB 5358 (Rogers) Relating to the creation of the Ranger Ridge Municipal Utility District of Palo Pinto County; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto

HB 5360 (Shine) Relating to the creation of the Deer Creek Ranch Municipal Utility District No. 1; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto

HB 5366 (Kacal) Relating to the creation of the Grimes County Municipal Utility District No. 3; granting a limited power of eminent domain; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, and taxes. Veto