Gov. Abbott Announces Priorities in Upcoming “State of the State” Speech

On January 31 Gov. Greg Abbott will give his State of the State address to a joint session of the Texas House and Senate, outlining his priorities and likely designating matters he considers emergencies, a step that allows the Legislature to vote on them within the first 60 days of the session (i.e., before March 11). Likeliest to be so designated by Abbott is SB 4, the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill mandating compliance by local governments with federal requests to detain suspected unauthorized immigrants, granting local law-enforcement officers broad authority to inquire into immigration status, and cutting off state grants to local governments that fail to comply. SB 4 exempts school districts, but it apparently still applies to actions of local law-enforcement officers where local districts contract out for their services. SB 4 already has been scheduled for a hearing before the Senate State Affairs Committee on February 2.

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