Texas

See the new Texas laws that have just gone into effect, as well as what to expect from the legislative session.

800 to 1000 invoices pre-filed. Although most of them will not be adopted, there is still much to be learned at the forthcoming session.

HOUSTON. With the start of 2023, new laws could come in when the Texas Legislature begins its session next week.

Senate Bill 12 is a new property tax that limits the amount of tax that public school districts can impose on seniors or people with disabilities. The bill includes a rule that funds will be provided to schools that are facing budget shortfalls due to the changes.

How will this affect schools?

“I think especially in rural school districts where many, many people in the communities that you’re losing population are older people because they don’t leave. They stay there, they have their own homes. And now they’re getting big tax breaks, who’s left to pay taxes to educate these kids in these school districts?” This was stated by KHOU 11 political scientist Bob Stein.

House Bill 3774 is a comprehensive bill that, among other things, restructured state courts and allows access to state court records with permission from the Texas Supreme Court.

“I think the justification here was mostly workload. And the other, to be frank, was quite political to take away influence from some of the major urban areas that tended to vote Democratic,” Stein said.

As the next legislative session approaches, Stein said there is a debate about how to spend the funds, with about $27 billion in spare cash in the budget.

abortion will also be discussed.

“In polls in Texas, we see that voters in Texas are sometimes in favor of some exceptions and even more access to the legislature. So it will be an issue that I think will not necessarily be resolved, but it will be discussed and will probably become an issue in the 2024 elections,” Stein said.

MPs are also expected to speak about border control.

“This is the number one most important question in the minds of voters in Texas,” Stein said.

According to Stein, other notable items, including marijuana legalization and Medicaid expansion.

Stein said between 800 and 1,000 bills have been pre-filed and most will not pass, but there is still much to be learned in the next session.

“The important thing here is that it tells you how the legislature feels,” he said. “In the past two biennial legislative sessions, the state has probably passed more laws to limit what local and county governments can do.”

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