Midland Rep. Tom Craddick talks about possibility of legislature meeting in special session

Midland Rep. Tom Craddick talks about possibility of legislature meeting in special session

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - State lawmakers still have work to do, even though the legislative session is over. Several high profile and controversial bills could get passed if a special session is called.

Property taxes and the bathroom bill are on the list, but Representative Tom Craddick from Midland doesn't think it'll happen until next year.

Craddick just made it back to Midland on Tuesday night and doesn't expect legislature to be called for a special session until next spring. One of the issues he expects to be on the table when it is called is the Property Tax Bill.

"A lot of people want to eliminate property taxes, the way we pay for school, and find another form of funding," said Craddick. "We've tried a lot of different forms. We looked at a sales tax to do that rather than the property tax last session but it was estimated to take [away] 11 or 12 percent, well that's not going to work because you got people that'll drive to other states all around us and shop."

Craddick said a year might give enough time to figure out where to get the funding. The highly controversial bathroom bill is another topic that could be found on the table during the special session. Legislature has two versions to look at, the bill with the statewide ban and the version that only applies to schools.

"I think the school one would be really good and I think the other, if that's what we go with, I'll vote for but I just think it has a lot of drawbacks or allows a lot of business push back and people push back," said Craddick. "South Carolina had to repeal it after they passed it, so I think people want something done."

Craddick said more bills were passed these last three weeks than the last 10 years. Governor Greg Abbott is expected to make a decision on whether or not to hold an immediate special session by Friday or Saturday.

Craddick also talked about his success with the statewide bill banning texting while driving. The bill cleared the senate and Craddick expects Gov. Abbott to sign it.

"I feel pretty good. He was in Midland in the fall and said he would sign it if he passed it and I've talked to the governor's staff about it and I feel pretty positive," said Craddick. "He wants a statewide ban and he would like to do away with all the local options you've got."

Abbott has until June 18 to sign or veto the bill. If it passes, Craddick said the statewide ban would go into effect immediately.

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