The Senate has adjourned sine die and the House adjourned sine die earlier today. Below is an overview of each special session of the 88th legislature.

Third Called Special Session

The Third Called Special Session began on October 9th. The governor put the following items on the agenda:

  • BORDER SECURITY:
    • Legislation to do more to reduce illegal immigration by creating a criminal offense for illegal entry into this state from a foreign nation and authorizing all licensed peace officers to remove illegal immigrants from Texas.
    • Legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by increasing the penalties for criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.
    • Legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by providing more funding for the construction, operation, and maintenance of border barrier infrastructure.
  • PUBLIC SAFETY:¬†Legislation concerning public safety, security, environmental quality, and property ownership in areas like the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County, Texas.
  • ENDING COVID RESTRICTIONS:¬†Legislation prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates by private employers.

On October 31st, the governor expanded the call to include the following:

  • Legislation relating to primary and secondary education, including the establishment of an education savings account program, the certification, compensation, and health coverage of certain public school employees, the public school finance system, special education in public schools, measures to support the education of public school students that include certain educational grant programs, reading instruction, and early childhood education, the provision of virtual education, and public school accountability

By the end of the Third Called Special Session, the House and Senate passed the following bills which were both sent to the governor to sign on November 2nd:

  • SB 7 (Middleton) Relating to prohibiting a private employer from adopting or enforcing certain COVID-19 vaccine mandates; authorizing an administrative penalty
  • SB 4 (Flores) Relating to the punishment for certain criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house; increasing criminal penalties

Second Called Special Session

The Second Called Special Session began immediately after the First Called Special Session ended. The governor put the following items on the special session call:

  • ELIMINATING A PROPERTY TAX IN TEXAS: Legislation to put Texas on a pathway to eliminate school district maintenance and operations property taxes.
  • LASTING PROPERTY TAX RATE CUTS: Legislation to cut property tax rates solely by reducing the school district maximum compressed tax rate in order to provide lasting property-tax relief for Texas taxpayers.

The governor later expanded the Second Special Session Call to include the following:

  • Legislation relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system, exemptions, limitations on appraisals and taxes, and property tax administration
  • Legislation relating to the amount of total revenue exemption for the franchise tax and exclusion of certain taxable entities from the requirement to file a franchise tax report

By the end of the Second Called Special Session, the House and Senate passed the following bills:

  • SB 2 (Bettencourt) Relating to providing property tax relief through the public school finance system, exemptions, limitations on appraisals and taxes, and property tax administration; authorizing the imposition of a fee.
  • SB 3 (Bettencourt/Parker) Relating to the amount of the total revenue exemption for the franchise tax and the exclusion of certain taxable entities from the requirement to file a franchise tax report
  • HJR 2 (Meyer/Metcalf) Is the constitutional amendment for SB 2 (Bettencourt).

First Called Special Session

The First Called Special session convened on May 29th. The governor put the following items on the special session call:

  • PROPERTY TAXES: Legislation to cut property-tax rates solely by reducing the school district maximum compressed tax rate in order to provide lasting property-tax relief for Texas taxpayers
  • BORDER SECURITY: Legislation solely for the purpose of increasing or enhancing the penalties for certain criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house

On the first day of the First Called Special Session, the House passed HB 1 (Meyer) relating to property tax compression, HJR 1 (Meyer) a constitutional spending limit exemption for ad valorem resolution, and HB 2 (Guillen) relating to human trafficking and adjourned sine die. The Senate passed SB 1/SJR 1 (Bettencourt) which would compress school property tax rates and increase the homestead exemption. By the end of the special session, June 27th, neither chamber had taken up the other’s bills.