Senate Bill 1, limiting property tax increases, clears major hurdle

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

Now it is essentially one vote in the full Senate from heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature, and that's likely to happen Saturday evening.

The Senate has set the rate at 4 percent and the differences will have to be worked out. "Anyone who tells you otherwise is giving you bad information".

State lawmakers have approved bills reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and other agencies whose operations were jeopardized by similar measures stalling previously - the first pieces of legislation to clear the Legislature during the special session.

"I would say this is the No. 1 issue that we must address", Abbott said of property taxes on the eve of the session, during a forum at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The proposal approved 98-43 late Saturday requires city and county governments to hold elections if property taxes increase by 6 percent, letting voters possibly "rollback" that increase.

The House also expects to give final approval to a bill granting voters in highly populated counties power to reject a city's effort to annex their community. In areas with fewer than 200 people, cities would have to get more than half of the affected property owners to sign a petition in favor of annexation.

A bill that would require physicians and health care facilities to report more details on abortion complications to the state - and would fine those that do not comply - has now passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature. The Senate, meanwhile, is scheduled to consider HB 21 - Huberty's school finance bill - as well as House Bill 214, which would restrict insurance coverage of abortion. Instead, people who want that coverage would have to purchase supplemental plans that may cost people extra and may be harder to find according to abortion rights advocacy groups. "Texas needs to be next", said Sen.

State Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, unsuccessfully tried to amend SB 1 so that the House's election trigger would also be at 4 percent. They said that no woman can anticipate needing to have an abortion, and that the measure would hurt low-income women the most.

The prospects of teachers getting a boost in pay in the near future became dimmer Saturday.

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