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Government/Politics

Texas Legislators To Take Up Property Tax Relief, Police Interaction Course & Ethics Reform

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Elected officials have a lot to talk about at the State Capitol this week: reducing local property taxes, teaching high school students what to do when stopped by a police officer, and reforming the code of ethics for lawmakers just to name a few. 

Last year, state lawmakers helped pass property tax reforms--and ahead of the 2017 legislative session, they are again looking at ways homeowners can save.  This Monday, members of the Senate’s select-Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief will examine how local property taxes are set and whether there is still room for additional relief.

There is also an effort among state lawmakers to create a high school course that teaches nineth grade students how to properly interact with police when they are stopped. Houston Democrat, state Sen. John Whitmire, the chair of the Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee announced the committee would be taking up his proposed legislation on Tuesday.  The legislation would require the Texas Education Agency to develop a curriculum that is aimed at de-escalating ongoing friction between police agencies and minority communities.

The Senate’s State Affairs Committee this week is also meeting at the state capitol to discuss ethics reform.  Members are set to discuss how to avoid lawmakers voting on bills that also benefit their professional careers.

These issues and more are expected to be some of the top legislative priorities when lawmakers meet in January.