The week in Texas politics: Greg Abbott gets behind school vouchers

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune

By Alexandra HartMay 13, 2022 10:55 am, , ,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Patrick Svitek, political correspondent for The Texas Tribune.

Gov. Greg Abbott said this week he supports allowing parents to send their children to any school they wish, and would like to see state funding made available to parents, whatever school they choose.

“That pretty much fits the definition of a voucher plan,” Svitek said. “And it’s probably the farthest I’ve heard him go in recent memory to actually fit the definition of a voucher plan.”

In the past, the state House has been unwilling to pass a voucher plan, Svitek says. Svitek says it remains to be seen how aggressively Abbott will push for vouchers, or whether the state House will be more open to the idea during the 2023 legislative session.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sent the conviction of Crystal Mason back to a lower court for review. Mason, who is Black, was convicted of voting illegally during the 2016 election. The appeals court indicated that it disagreed with a previous lower court ruling that found it was irrelevant that Mason did not know she was casting a ballot unlawfully.

“Notably, there’s been some movement on the law undergirding this,” Svitek said.

The election law passed by Republicans last year includes language that Svitek says is geared to a case like Mason’s. Under the law, voters cannot be convicted solely because they signed a provisional ballot, as Mason did.

Tickets for the Texas Tribune Festival are on sale now. The event happens Sept. 22-24 in venues around downtown Austin, with speakers including Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and former San Antonio mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julián Castro.

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