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What a local expert is expecting from the 88th Texas legislative session

Texas lawmakers will be discussing a variety of topics from gun control to LGBTQ+ rights.

TEXAS, USA — The 88th Texas Legislative Session kicked off Tuesday, Jan 10.

Texas senators and lawmakers met in Austin to discuss a wide variety of issues pertaining to Texas.

So far, lawmakers submitted 1,600 bills to address a wide breadth of issues Texans are facing. They include gun control, ERCOT regulations, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Baylor University political expert Patrick Flavin explained that while those topics are important, the first discussion will be about the $33 billion surplus that Texas officials will have to decide what they plan to do with.

Flavin believes this will be one of the main dividers of the house floor.

"Governor Greg Abbott, for example wants that money to be used for property tax relief to lower property tax bills. Where as other members want that money to be spent on infrastructure and new highways. I think that's going to be there, probably the most pressing issue," Flavin explained.

Lieutenant Dan Patrick recently issued a statement regarding what he thinks should happen with the surplus. 

Lieutenant Patrick states, "We must not spend all the money. We must keep a responsible reserve in case Joe Biden's inflationary policies and out-of-control spending causes a national recession in 2023 and 2024."

Flavin also thinks the issues at the Texas border will be at the forefront of conversation this year.

"We just had President Biden visit the border and that draws even more attention to the issue. So that will be another issue that's going to yet again, dominate the session,"

Both committees in the house will write appropriation bills, which will have to be debated, changed and eventually approved before being sent to the governor's desk 

The 88th legislative session will end on May 29. The governor has the sole authority to determine which items lawmakers consider during a special session.

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