AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott declared the Texas Legislature will convene for a special session in mid-
July in order to pass a sunset bill that would allow the Texas Medical Board to continue operating.

At a special press conference Tuesday afternoon, Abbott said the session would begin July 18.

Abbott hinted to voters in Belton on Monday that he may call a special session to address rising property taxes. According to KVUE’s partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Abbott told the audience “I think there is one challenge and one problem that many Texans face that wasn’t solved.”

The property tax proposal, Senate Bill 2, would have required voter approval for increases of more than 5 percent, but the bill did not make it past the House. Those against SB 2 said it would not have done much to alleviate the problem because it did not include school districts, which account for much of the property tax burden on homeowners.

When hinting at a special session, Abbott didn't address the so-called “Bathroom Bill,” which has been a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

He also did not address the Sunset Bill, an item he previously said he was most disappointed about not passing. That bill would allow certain government committees to continue operating. Without that bill’s passage, those committees will effectively “expire.”

The Statesman also reported the governor took swipes at Austin during the Bell County Republican Dinner on Monday.

“As I was coming up here from Austin, Texas, tonight, I got to tell you, it’s great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin,” Abbott said. “As you leave Austin and start heading north, you start feeling different. Once you cross the Travis County line, it starts smelling different. And you know what that fragrance is? Freedom. It’s the smell of freedom that does not exist in Austin, Texas.”

“That said, with your senators and legislators, I can tell you that today, Austin is more free than it was before the legislative session began because the state of Texas passed laws that overrode the liberal agenda of Austin, Texas, that is trying to send Texas down the pathway of California,” Abbott said.

Abbott’s press conference will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in his Capitol office.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.