After Gov. Greg Abbott indicated Wednesday he could veto a large number of bills if no compromise is reached between the House and Senate on property tax relief, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says Abbott is threatening to destroy the work of the legislature.
Abbott made his comments during a bill signing ceremony on Wednesday, with just days left until Sunday, June 18—the last day he can sign bills into law or veto them. In Texas, any legislation not specifically vetoed by the governor becomes law.
There were 4,550 pieces of legislation passed by the Texas House and Senate and sent to the governor as part of the 88th Session of the Legislature. As of Wednesday night, Abbott had signed 873 pieces of legislation into law and vetoed five.
“As we get closer and closer to this Sunday, all of these bills that have yet to be signed face the possibility, if not the probability, that they’re going to be vetoed,” said Abbott.
Abbott has called for all of the $12 billion currently allocated to property tax relief to be used for compression—or buying down local school property taxes. While the House approved this plan on the first day of the current special session, Patrick and the Senate have stood firm in their desire for some of the money to be used to increase the homestead exemption. According to Patrick, this is a way to prioritize relief for homeowners over businesses.
“In a ploy to apparently get his way, Governor Abbott suggests he is threatening to destroy the work of the entire 88th Legislative Session – hundreds of thousands of hours by lawmakers doing the work the people sent us to do,” wrote Patrick on Twitter.
“The Governor’s suggested threat today to veto a large number of Senate bills is an affront to the legislative process and the people of Texas. He has now made his position clear – he doesn’t want homeowners to get the $100,000 homestead exemption that is the hallmark of the Senate Plan,” added Patrick.
In a ploy to apparently get his way, Governor Abbott suggests he is threatening to destroy the work of the entire 88th Legislative Session – hundreds of thousands of hours by lawmakers doing the work the people sent us to do.
The Governor’s suggested threat today to veto a…
— Office of the Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (@LtGovTX) June 14, 2023
Patrick’s latest comments about Abbott come in contrast to an assertion he made during a press conference on Tuesday prior in Houston. There he said that Abbott would sign any property tax relief compromise between the two chambers and that there was “no way in hell” in Abbott would veto a homestead exemption increase.
The current special session is slated to end no later than June 28. Abbott has indicated he will call multiple special sessions on a variety of issues throughout the year.