In his State of the State address Feb. 5, Gov. Greg Abbott named five emergency items he wants the Legislature to focus on during the 86th legislative session, which began Jan. 8.
The items include property tax reform, changes to the public education system—including increasing teacher pay and reforming school finance—disaster preparedness and recovery, increasing school safety, and funding mental health programs.
By identifying these emergency items, Abbott allowed the Legislature to vote on and pass bills related to these topics earlier in the session, while lawmakers must wait to pass any other legislation.
According to state law, during the first 30 days of a legislative session, legislators can only file bills and resolutions. During the following 30 days, committees can begin holding hearings to consider bills filed.
During the remainder of the 140-day legislative session—which ends May 27 this year—the Legislature can pass any bills or resolutions filed.