With just hours left in the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers will be heading home with tales of their governing prowess.
For members of the Texas House, that’s exactly what it will be: tall tales. The House failed to deliver on key reforms favored by Texans on fiscal, governance, and social issues.
And on the one thing Texans care about most, the session will have been a complete failure because of the obstructionism of House Speaker Joe Straus. Every member of the Texas House has to go home and explain why there was no property tax reform or relief. None. Nothing. Zilch.
It wasn’t the Senate’s fault; the senators and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tried. The upper chamber passed a comprehensive property tax reform measure… which Speaker Straus and his sycophantic wingmen killed.
Republicans cannot blame the Democrats.
The death of meaningful property tax reform – and a bevy of other widely popular issues – rests with the Republican leadership of the Texas House. It is the fault of Straus and guys like GOP State Reps. Byron Cook (Corsicana), Charlie Geren (Fort Worth), Todd Hunter (Corpus Christi), and Tan Parker (Flower Mound).
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate get to go home on Tuesday as heroes, having ably done their part for the good of Texas. The Senate had the most reform-minded, citizen-focused session in history.
As it stands, every member of the Texas House must go home in shame knowing their leadership team failed Texas. The House failed Texas.
Their only hope, and the hope of all Texans, is that Gov. Greg Abbott won’t let this legislative session end in failure. Members of the Texas House who want to deliver real results for taxpayers should begin asking Abbott to call a special session to address the myriad of issues Straus and his cronies killed.
At a minimum, Gov. Abbott should call a special session and demand lawmakers deliver real property tax reform, address government ethics, and ensure the safety and privacy of all citizens.
Texans demand results. The Senate delivered. The House failed. But, maybe in overtime, they will reject the cronies and fight for taxpayers.