Texas governor signs texting-while-driving ban into law

Wednesday, 07 Jun, 2017

"Seemingly from the regular session's start, several members of this legislature have made their mission to promote fear, misinformation and hatred toward the state's most marginalized residents".

"Our activists encourage Governor Abbott to convene a special session on giving ultimate local control for property taxes back to hard-working Texans, encouraging the creation of up to 130,000 jobs by eliminating the margins tax, and empowering parents with the decision rights to customize their kids' education".

The Texas Association of Business, the state's largest employer group, called the legislation, known as Senate Bill 6, discriminatory, and said it would hurt businesses trying to attract talent. Before lawmakers adjourned last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg signed a letter reiterating their opposition and called the proposal bad for business.

"If I'm going to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for a special session, I intend to make it count", Abbott told reporters Tuesday. Abbott said the state needs to "establish a single state-wide rule protecting the privacy of women and children" especially the "privacy of our children at our public schools". "I'm calling on the Legislature to pass Senate Bill 2 with the rate rollback provision".

"Governor Abbott will now assume responsibility for the consequences of this special session".

Gov. Greg Abbott signed Tom Craddick's bill, which will ban texting while driving across the state. Last week, a Republican lawmaker threatened to shoot a Democratic colleague "in self-defense" after being pushed and angrily confronted on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives over calling federal immigration agents on demonstrators in the Capitol. An overtime round, Abbott said, was "entirely avoidable". This anti-equality agenda puts Texas first in an unenviable category: the state spending the most legislative time and energy on efforts created to legislate discrimination against LGBTQ residents.

Also looming is the failure of lawmakers to pass key legislation during the regular session that would keep some state agencies from shuttering.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Abbott said one of the biggest items that was not taken care of during regular office hours was Sunset legislation regarding the Texas Medical Board.

Legislators will vote to increase teacher pay by $1,000 dollars, supplemented by Abbott's proposed overhaul of the Texas school finance system. It also bans a common type of abortion, mostly used after 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Greg Abbott announced plans for a special session this summer, to clean up a bit of the leftover mess from the recently concluded 85th legislative session.

Abbott said on May 31 he was waiting for the state comptroller to certify a budget before making the announcement.