Legislative Line – This Week at the Texas Capitol: State of the State, Gov. Abbott’s Budget Proposal, Significant Legislation

Report from TAD’s government relations team at the Texas Capitol
Feb. 3, 2017

State of the State:

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State message to a joint session of the Senate and House. He outlined his emergency items and priorities for the 85th legislative session including four emergency items: reforming Child Protective Services, banning sanctuary cities, implementing meaningful ethics reforms and passing a resolution calling for a Convention of States.

Additionally, he mentioned handful of legislative priorities, including illegal immigration and border security; policies to implement more police protections; keeping the federal government in check; a fully-funded Texas Enterprise Fund; prolife initiatives and protecting the unborn; high quality pre-k, school choice and broadband connectivity; franchise tax reduction and property tax reform; and limitations on abusive hail-storm litigation. Abbott also called for state agencies to institute an immediate hiring freeze through the end of August. This should free up about $200 million in the current budget.

Gov. Abbott’s Budget Proposal:

Coinciding with his State of the State address, Abbott released his budget for the 2018-19 biennium. Highlights of the governor’s budget:

Significant Legislation

On Tuesday, Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, filed SB 669, which would reform the property tax appraisal process. Chairman Nelson said, “This legislation will strengthen the rights of taxpayers and make the appraisal process fair, accountable and more transparent.” SB 669 would amend the Tax Code to: