The 88th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, convened on January 10, 2023, and adjourned sine die on May 29, 2023. As is typical when one party controls both houses and the Governor's office, there seemed to be unanimity with respect to the stated legislative objectives as the session began; however, public differences began to surface as to how best achieve those objectives. That is not particularly unique to any legislative process, but the level of public disagreement within the same party drew the attention of many. When the Texas Legislature adjourned its regular session without meaningful property tax reform, the Governor immediately called two back-to-back special sessions to focus on property tax relief. Those special sessions were littered with public statements by State leaders which, at the very least, indicated a lack of coordinated effort between the House and the Senate. Perhaps the greatest evidence of division among State leadership was the unprecedented impeachment of the Texas Attorney General by the House on May 27, 2023 (and subsequent acquittal by the Senate on September 16, 2023, following a public trial). In part, as a means to encourage the House and the Senate to compromise on property tax relief, Governor Abbot began vetoing bills as the deadline to sign or veto bills from the regular session approached.1 Even after the second special session concluded with the passage of S.B. 2 which focused on property tax relief through the public-school finance system, the Governor promised to call additional special sessions to address what he views as unfinished State business. Clearly, sine die does not yet signal the end of the 2023 legislative session.

The following legislative summary prepared by Norton Rose Fulbright's Public Finance lawyers is not intended to be a summary of all bills enacted by the 88th Legislature, but is focused on concerns affecting public finance and how State agencies, local governments and nonprofit corporations finance and build infrastructure. Within that focus, this alert highlights the major bills that were considered or passed, along with particular bills that affect our clients in our practice.

The summaries presented herein should be read with reference to the related bills. Background information provided for each bill was sourced from the statements of intent presented by bill authors and sponsors during the 88th Legislature, and do not reflect the views or opinions of Norton Rose Fulbright.

If you have any additional questions relating to the summaries contained herein, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our public finance team so that we may assist you with specific questions and guidance.


1   Among the bills which were vetoed by the Governor, S.B. 1916, S.B. 1998 and S.B. 2035 are discussed herein even though they did not become law because of the support received in the House and Senate and the impact these bills would have had if enacted.

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