(The Center Square) – Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed two bills so far this legislative session.
The Texas Constitution allows the governor to veto bills that don’t receive a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate. When bills are vetoed, a signed message is sent to the legislature and the Secretary of State’s Office explaining the reason for the veto.
On May 24, Abbott vetoed HB 279, filed by Rep. Jacey Jetton, R-Richmond, which relates to prosecuting and punishing sex traffickers.
In his official message, he said he vetoed the bill “at the author’s request because it is largely duplicative of Senate Bill No. 1529, which I have proudly signed into law.” He also thanked Jetton, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, and Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, “for working … to protect trafficking victims.”
On the same day, his office also sent a list of bills the governor reviewed that passed the legislature. Three he reviewed were filed without his signature; he signed 41 bills into law that are either effective immediately or effective Sept. 1.
On May 19, Abbott also vetoed SB 1615, filed by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, relating to a cosmetology licensure compact.
In his message to the legislature, Abbott wrote, “Before ceding sovereign power over our State’s cosmetologists to a Cosmetology Licensure Compact Commission that does not yet exist, Texas should wait and see who joins this proposed interstate compact. There is simply no need to rush into such an arrangement, as evidenced by the fact that Senate Bill No. 1615 would not even go into effect until 2026.”
Abbott also said he’s “long been a champion of occupational-licensing reforms … especially when they help military spouses.” He signed SB 1200 in 2019, which enabled military spouses with out-of-state licenses to practice a trade in Texas without being required to get another license from the state of Texas.
Abbott also signed HB 3742 into law in 2015 enabling Texas to enter into licensing-reciprocity agreements with other states.
“Instead of waiting until 2026 for someone else to cut red tape,” Abbott said he directed the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation “to redouble its efforts on entering into those bilateral agreements.”
The 89th Legislature can reassess the Cosmetology Licensure Compact Commission in 2025, he said, and in the meantime, he would “continue to defend Texas’s sovereignty and push for real reforms that let Texans get to work.”
According to the Texas Constitution, vetoes must be signed within 20 days of the end of a regular legislative session, which this year is June 18.