AUSTIN – The regular session of the Texas Legislature ends Monday with unfinished business and Gov. Greg Abbott has signaled he will call a special session for school choice. The session comes to a close as the Senate faces an impeachment trial for suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton.
According to sources out of Austin, the Texas Legislature has approved the state's budget for the next biennium with a provision prohibiting the use of state funds for "unconstitutional" diversity, equity and inclusion programs and practices at public higher education institutions.
House Bill 1 states that colleges and universities can't use state funds for the "design, implementation, or administration" of DEI programs and practices that don't comply with Sections 3 and 3a in Article I of the Texas Constitution. The ban includes "the hiring and supervision of employees, mandatory or recommended training, or programmed activities."
Section 3 states that everyone has equal rights and no one is entitled to special privileges, while Section 3a mandates that "equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin."
The House approved the $321.3 billion budget proposal in a 124-22 vote Saturday, after the Senate approved by a 29-2 vote a day earlier. Texas lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass a budget before the end of the legislative session, which is Monday.