Governor applauds lawmakers’ intentions for special session

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, in the last 10 days of June, posted news releases pointing out specific lawmakers and their plans to file bills that fulfill his expectations for the 30-day special session, which he called to begin July 18.

Abbott said lawmakers first must pass a “sunset bill” to extend the life of the Texas Medical Board and then tackle a 19-item list of other issues in the month-long session. Abbott’s list is a pretty close match to a list of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priorities. Here are a few of those items:

- Legislation to reform property taxes, by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, and Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton. “Skyrocketing property taxes in this state are unacceptable, and Texans need reform right now,” Abbott said.

- Legislation to prevent local governments from taking private property rights by drastically changing property development rules on landowners after they have purchased the land, by Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Austin, and Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia.

- Legislation to speed up the permitting process for local governments, by Sen. Konni Burton, R-Fort Worth, and Rep. Workman of Austin. “Some local governments are doing everything they can to over-regulate, and in the process, stifle our economy and interfere with job creation,” Abbott said.

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