Special Session: Texas House adjourns after passing property tax bill

Tension among Texas lawmakers was on full display at the start of a special session. Leaders bickered over property tax cuts.

The Texas House quickly passed a bill Tuesday that would lower school district property tax rates for all property owners.

The state would provide $12 billion to schools to make up for the loss of funding.

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But the bill does not include the expanded homestead exemption that Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick has been demanding for months.

The House adjourned after passing the bill. That essentially means the Texas Senate – led by Patrick – must accept the bill as-is, or Gov. Greg Abbott will have to call another special session.

Abbott supported the House’s move in a statement after the bill passed.

"The Texas House is the only chamber that passed a property tax cut bill that is germane to the special session that I called to provide Texans with property tax relief," he said.

Patrick appears unwilling to back down.

He criticized the House and Speaker Dade Phelan Tuesday before the bill was passed.

"I’m tired of the dysfunction in the House of passing legislation to us in a timely manner and I’m tired of these points of order that are called on good legislation like the virtual school bill," he said.

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The House also passed a bill increasing criminal penalties for human smuggling at the border.

The Senate does not appear to have any disagreement with it.

Human smuggling and property taxes were the only two issues Abbott put on the agenda for this special session.