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State of Texas
Texas Governor's Office
News Releases
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Texas Governor Greg Abbott today signed into law several pieces of legislation, including an extension of the Maternal Mobility and Morbidity Task Force, school finance reform, restrictions on municipal fees for removal of trees on private property and increased requirements for reporting abortions.

Governor Abbott Signs Legislation Extending Maternal Mortality And Morbidity Task Force

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today signed Senate Bill 17 (SB 17) to extend the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force. The task force studies pregnancy-related deaths in Texas, and will provide invaluable information and insight on how the Texas health care system can target better treatments for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and post-partum depression.

 

"As Governor, I am committed to doing everything we can to combat the maternal mortality rate in this state," said Governor Abbott. "Now that the task force can continue its work, Texas will be equipped with the most accurate information to help ensure the safety of Texas women. I am grateful to the Texas legislature for passing this law, and specifically Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Cindy Burkett for their leadership on this issue."

Governor Abbott Signs School Finance Reform Legislation

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 21 (HB 21) to create a school finance commission as well as provide immediate funding for public education, historic funding for charter school facilities and new programs for students with special needs. This bill also includes benefits for retired teachers in Texas and hardship grants for Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) school districts. Creating a school finance commission so that Texas can continue the process of reforming its broken school finance system, as well as improving benefits for Texas retired teachers, were top priorities included in the Governor's special session call.

 

"Nothing is more important than preparing our children for their future, which is why Texas will continue to prioritize investments in education" said Governor Abbott. “My job as governor is to ensure that we attract and we retain the best and brightest educators and provide the highest quality education possible for all students. I want to thank Sen. Larry Taylor and Rep. Phil King for working toward this goal on behalf of both Texas educators and students this special session."

Governor Abbott Signs Legislation Restricting Municipal Fees
For Removal Of Trees On Private Property

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 7 (HB 7) to restrict overaggressive fees municipalities can charge for the removal of trees on private property. This bill also requires municipalities to offer tree planting credits to offset tree removal fees. Protecting private property rights in Texas was an important part of the Governor's special session call.

 

"Texas families that work hard for the dream of one day owning their own property should be able to do what they want with it,” said Governor Abbott. “This bill is an important step toward protecting individual liberty from regulatory overreach by local governments, and allowing homeowners to be conservators of their land. I am thankful to the Texas legislature and to Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Dade Phelan for their efforts in preventing Texans from being subject to burdensome fees regarding on their private property."

Governor Abbott Signs Legislation To Strengthen Abortion Reporting Requirements

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 215 (HB 215) to strengthen abortion reporting requirements, specifically relating to minors. This bill requires that doctors who perform abortions on minors document and report additional information, including how the minor obtained authorization for the procedure, such as from the minor’s parent or from a judge. This pro-life legislation is yet another priority of Governor Abbott’s special session agenda to be signed into law.

 

“When abortions occur, especially on minors, Texas must do everything possible to protect these young mothers," said Governor Abbott. "Thanks to this law, we will now have more accurate data concerning abortions being performed on minors. I am thankful for the leadership of Sen. Bryan Hughes and Rep. Jim Murphy in getting this bill to my desk, and I applaud the Texas legislature for passing this important reform this special session."

 

 




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