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State Legislature Update

Governor Greg Abbott has called a special session of the legislature after Republicans in the Texas House, and Senate failed to reach an agreement Monday on a key GOP priority for lawmakers. There was no deal on using much of the state’s historic surplus to lower property taxes for Texas homeowners and business owners. The biggest obstacle to a final agreement was the Senate’s insistence on an increase in the state’s homestead exemption on public school taxes — the portion of a home’s value that school districts can’t tax.

The Texas House of Representatives voted Saturday to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton. The final vote was 121-23 in favor of impeachment, with two members voting present and three absences. The House suspended Paxton from office until the result of a trial in the Senate, which will begin by August 28. Paxton has denied all the allegations against him and said the vote was unethical and unjust. Ken Paxton’s second-in-command, Brent Webster, will act as attorney general while the Texas Senate considers whether to remove Paxton.

The Texas legislature has sent a school safety Bill to Gov. Abbott’s desk. The measure will contain a requirement that every school in Texas must post an armed security officer and provide mental health training for certain district employees. This measure will also give the state more power to persuade school districts to create active-shooter plans.