TYLER, Texas (KETK) – “Property taxes are suffocating Texans,” said Abbott. “We must fix that this session.” It’s been Governor Greg Abbott’s message from the very beginning.  

Even though the 88th legislative session is now over, lawmakers are still working around the clock to pass legislation. 

This time they have two tasks: property tax relief and border security.  

Abbott called a special session at 9 p.m. on Monday after republican leaders in the house and senate could not pass laws on his top priorities.  

Number one on the list in this special session is property tax relief for Texans. 

It was a huge topic of discussion during Abbott’s campaign to get reelected last year.  

“Hard-working Texans produced the largest budget surplus in Texas history,” added Abbott. “That money belongs to the taxpayers.  

An East Texas lawmaker now speaking out about the special session. 

“There’s frustration that the house and senate have not been able to reach agreement on important issues,” said Matt Schaefer, State House of Representatives, Tyler District 6. 

Schaefer said he agrees with the governor’s position to get something done for property owners. 

“My position is maximum property tax relief,” said Schaefer. “We have an historic surplus that has come into Austin {and} we need to deliver historic property tax relief.”  

Another key topic in the special session is human smuggling.  

Abbott wants harsher penalties for smuggling migrants into Texas.  

Schaefer added the governor does not go far enough and called the governor’s plan “narrow”.  

“I think we should be asserting authority under the United States constitution which is article one section 10 which is a self-defense clause and I believe we need to be establishing a criminal trespass at the felony level,” he added. 

Special sessions require lawmakers to only focus on the agenda set by the governor. Any other topics will have to wait for now. 

Schaefer also told KETK he expects some type of agreement on property tax relief and is very confident new border security legislation will get passed.