Governor adds Public School Finance and Teacher Retirement to Special Session
AUSTIN, TX – Texas Governor Greg Abbott added school finance reform and retired teacher benefits to the list of items which the legislature can take action on during the special session just underway in Austin.
Both items are among nine bills Representative Drew Darby of San Angelo filed earlier this month for consideration.
Darby filed bills lowering health insurance premiums for retired teachers, providing a cost-of-living increase for retired teachers, and abolishing school district maintenance and operations property taxes by 2020 forcing the legislature to implement a new way to fund schools by the 2020-2021 school year.
The governor’s addition would allow the legislature to pass bills improving the state-run retired teacher health insurance program, make major changes to the way schools are funded and extend a state financial aid program that would help small, rural school districts.
Legislators are at odds over the so-called bathroom bill. The legislation would define which restroom transgender individuals would be allowed to use in public buildings.
During a live town hall meeting Wednesday, Darby said he’s already voted on the bathroom bill and doesn’t want to vote on it again. “I’m from West Texas and in West Texas we know which bathroom to use.”
The 30 day special legislative session began on Tuesday.