Texas Senate Passes Property Tax Relief and Controversial Anti-Trans Bill in First Week of Third Special Session



AUSTIN (Nexstar) – The first week of this year’s third special session is almost over, and so far lawmakers have yet to pass any bills related to one of the main reasons the session has been called: the redistribution.

As lawmakers work to redraw the maps of our state behind closed doors, they were also able to pass several other items on the governor’s agenda this week in the Senate.

State senators have passed a bill that would require Texas student athletes to participate in sports based on their biological sex largely along party lines, with only one Democrat voting for it.

“[The goal is] to provide fair, equitable and security among biological women to compete in their own sport, and not to be afraid of a biological male competing in the same sport, ”said Bill’s author, Senator Charles Perry ( R – Houston), testified in the Senate floor.

Similar legislation has already died three times this year amid a significant decline in the LGBTQ + community.

“We have parents who tell us that their children are self-harming. We have parents who have already left Texas because they don’t trust the state to keep their children safe, ”Equality Texas’ Ricardo Martinez said earlier this month.

“I’m sensitive to the fact that they live in a way that unfortunately people choose to treat differently than they should, we have laws in the books for that. But that is not the point of SB 3, ”said Senator Perry when asked about the mental health of trans children.

Senate Bill 1, a property tax relief measure, was also passed by the Senate chamber, with only one senator voting against.

It would distribute $ 2 billion of excess government revenue in the form of property tax relief.

“The bill deals with the concept of having surplus income and giving some of it back to taxpayers, especially in the form of much-needed property tax relief. I can’t think of any better use of surplus funds, ”Bill’s author, Senator Paul Bettencourt (R – Houston), explained this week in the Senate.

The owner of a middle-of-the-road house in Texas, which costs around $ 300,000, would save around $ 200 next year if the bill reached the governor’s office.

Governor Abbott previously vetoed legislation similar to SB 5 in the regular session, citing over-criminalization.

“This bill sets a standard of care for dogs tethered outdoors,” said Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., (D – Brownsville) this week. He said his staff had worked with the governor’s office to make the legislation more accessible to the governor.

“Cutting through the weather in its own definition, removing the words citing” in a way that does not escape “from the definition of well-adjusted. It is repetitive because it is already necessary that the harness is designed for the size and weight of the dog, ”said Senator Lucio.

All of these bills are now waiting to be assigned to committee in the House, where they should pass, then go through the House floor, before heading to the governor’s office.



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