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11 months ago


Texas Legislature focused on culture issues, less on bread and butter, some lawmakers say

AUSTIN, Texas — Despite a near $33 billion budget surplus, the Texas Legislature failed to reach agreement on what was described as the biggest property tax cut in history. Lawmakers didn’t come together to give pay raises to public school teachers or significantly improve access to health care.

Instead, legislators used the 140-day session that ended Monday to pass a broad array of legislation that some lawmakers argue are related to culture wars sweeping the nation — a set of wedge issues rooted in conflicting cultural values.


They approved bills aimed at regulating transgender people, including dictating the sports in which they participate. Bills banning gender affirming medical treatment and regulating drag shows passed the Legislature.

Texas became the largest state to ban diversity, equity and inclusion programs on college campuses. Lawmakers stepped up their efforts to override policies developed by local jurisdictions and made voting illegally a felony.

Though the session will be defined by Saturday’s dramatic impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton, the most impactful legacy could be the prolific passing of legislation that builds on what Republican lawmakers accomplished in 2021.

“I see this as a very conservative session,” said Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, a top lieutenant of House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont. “We passed some very conservative legislation that every single Republican can be proud to take home to their districts.”







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