In the third called special session of the Texas Legislature, Governor Greg Abbott outlined 8 issues for the Legislature to address. Here is a summary of three major priorities the legislature accomplished.
Every 10 years following the census the state legislature is tasked with redrawing political maps for the State House, State Senate, State Board of Education, and the U.S. Congressional seats. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the normal timeline for this process was pushed back to the fall. On October 25, 2021, Governor Abbott signed into law all four of these maps. Starting after the 2022 elections, Frisco will have new representation in Austin and Washington D.C. Some of the current representatives will continue to represent Frisco, but due to the rapid growth in the North Texas region, there will be some changes. The following is a list of the new districts that will represent Frisco starting in 2023:
- State House
- HD 106 Patterson*
- HD 66 Shaheen*
- HD 61 Vacant
- HD 57 Vacant
- State Senate
- SD 33 Springer*
- State Board of Education
- SBOE 14 Sue Melton-Malone*
- SBOE 12 Pam Little*
- U.S. Congress
- CD 26 Burgess*
- CD 4 Pat Fallon*
- CD 3 Van Taylor*
(incumbents are shown with an asterisk)
To see who will be your new representative, follow this useful link from the Texas Tribune.
American Rescue Plan Act
The fourth federal aid package passed in 2020 included billions of dollars to states to aid in COVID relief. in the third called special session, the State Legislature passed legislation to appropriate the approximately $16 billion the State of Texas received. The largest allocation of these funds went to replenish the State Unemployment funds. These funds were heavily depleted during the pandemic. Below is a high-level breakdown of how the funds were allocated:
- $7.2 billion for the Unemployment Compensation Fund to pay back outstanding advances received from the federal government.
- $2 billion to the Texas Department of State Health Services for surge staffing at hospitals and other facilities, purchasing therapeutic drugs (including drugs for monoclonal antibody treatments), and for the operation of regional infusion centers.
- $500.5 million to fund broadband infrastructure.
- $200 million for cybersecurity projects.
- $160 million to the Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor for grants to crime victims.
- $150 million to deploy reliable next-generation 9-1-1 services.
- $100 million to the Texas Department of Agriculture to provide supplemental funding to food banks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SB 1 and SJR 2 deliver property tax relief to Texas homeowners by proposing a constitutional amendment increasing the residence homestead exemption from property taxes levied for public school purposes to $40,000. Voters will have a chance to vote on this proposition in May of next year.