Gov. Greg Abbott has followed through on his veto threat since the Texas House and Senate have not sent a property tax relief plan to him. As of Friday afternoon, he had vetoed 24 bills in the past four days. Most of them originated in the Senate.
Abbott has until Sunday to sign or veto bills from the regular legislative session. The comments from the governor on each veto have the same overall message: that he'll reconsider the bill after a joint property tax cut bill is passed.
“It’s pretty unprecedented because I don’t think anyone’s ever seen that on a veto message before,” Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, said during an interview on Capital Tonight Thursday.
A lot of the legislative casualties have been bills authored by Sen. Bettencourt. He also happens to be Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's chief ally in focusing on homestead exemptions for tax cuts. Abbott and the House want a broader approach more favorable to businesses.
“I’m certainly not willing to get rid of the homestead exemption,” Sen. Bettencourt said. “It’s always been part of the Senate bill to have a Texas two-step, which is compression which is good for every taxpayer, all businesses, etc., and a homestead exemption increase for homeowners.”
When the House and Senate failed to compromise on a property tax relief plan, Gov. Abbott immediately called them back for a special session. But the standoff continues with neither side seemingly willing to budge. It’s also ignited a rare public feud between Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick.
When asked how many special sessions he thinks it could take to come to a compromise, Sen. Bettencourt said he’s not making any plans for the summer.
Click the video above to watch our full interview with Sen. Bettencourt.