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Lawmakers push through bills, including ones that target Harris County elections

As the session wound down, lawmakers worked to get bills pushed through and sent to Gov. Abbott.

AUSTIN, Texas — Sunday was a very busy night in Austin as lawmakers worked to get through as many bills as possible.

One of the big items that passed is SB 1933. This and SB 1750 would remove the Harris County elections administrator position and transfer election duties to other county leaders.  

Just this week, Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee announced he would sue the state over these bills. He was standing alongside other local leaders, including Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Senator Paul Bettencourt, who represents most of west Harris County authored the bills. He says Harris County election problems in the past year were the reason for the proposals.

“Between both bills, what they do is they basically return the elections back to the elected officials that used to run elections in Harris County - the county clerk and the county tax assessor,” said Bettencourt. “And this provides oversight if there's ever any future problems of the magnitude we saw in 2022 in Harris County."

Other major items that passed on Sunday include House Bill 3, which would provide about $15,000 for every campus across the state to upgrade their safety features. That's on top of what Texas has already budgeted for school safety upgrades.

There's also Senate Bill 12, banning sexually oriented performances, like drag shows, on public property or in front of children. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said this bill was one of his top priorities this session.

And another bill on its way to the governor's desk is SB 17. This would ban diversity, equity and inclusion offices, programs and training at publicly funded universities.

If Governor Abbott signs these bills into law, they will take effect September 1.


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