AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lawmakers will head back to the capitol Tuesday for the start of the 86th legislative session. This year, lawmakers will spend less time discussing controversial issues like abortion and gender-neutral bathrooms and more time discussing how best to use Texans’ money.
School finance and property tax reform are expected to be the two key pieces of legislation that lawmakers will focus on over the next 140 days.
Both issues are intertwined as a big chunk of our property taxes go to school finance.
Governor Greg Abbott wants to cap tax revenue growth at 2.5 percent, but to do that while still providing adequate funding for schools, he says lawmakers need to overhaul “Robin Hood,” the system that takes money from property-rich districts like Austin and gives it to poorer districts.
However, any new school funding formula would likely mean a higher contribution from the state.
This year, the two houses will not only differ in policy discussion but in politics as well. During the last mid-term election, Democrats took back 13 seats of which 11 were in the House and two were in the Senate which means this session can be expected to be considerably more moderate.
New lawmakers will be sworn into office in a ceremony Tuesday and legislative activities will begin.