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AUSTIN – On Monday, Representative Ron Simmons filed House Bills 46, 50, 52, and 58 relating to Governor Greg Abbott's call for legislation dealing with educational choice for the families of children with special needs and privacy for Texans during the first called special session, set to begin July 18.

House Bills 52 and 58 increase educational options for the families of special needs students. HB 52 would give parents the flexibility to find the best school possible for their child's needs, whether it be public, private, or homeschool. HB 52 would also allow funds to be used on educational therapy services. HB 58 would allow certain entities to make donations to educational assistance organizations, which can then be credited against the entities’ insurance premium tax liabilities for the year. Educational assistance organizations will aid in channeling funds to special needs students who can use them for various educational choice expenses.

Representative Simmons said, “I am honored to work with Governor Abbott to help our special needs children get the best education possible.” He continued, “As the father of a son on the autism spectrum, I know firsthand how valuable flexibility is for families when making educational choices for their children.”

House Bills 46 and 50 relate to privacy in public facilities. HB 46 would ensure that no political subdivision creates a protected class over and above what state or federal law provides, while HB 50 specifies that no school district may create a protected class above what state or federal law provides.

“I’m pleased to file this legislation today for the special session as requested by Governor Abbott,” Rep. Simmons said. “A strong majority of my colleagues joined me as coauthors in a similar version of this bill that was filed during the regular session, and I anticipate strong support during the special session as well. This legislation is about protecting our women and children through a consistent statewide policy, the same as existed in Texas before a patchwork of individual ordinances were created.”

Special sessions may last up to 30 days, and there is no limit to the amount of special sessions that the Governor may call.

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