Breaking News
More () »

In Arlington, Texas Gov. Abbott argues state needs separate courts to handle business disputes

“You may be a CEO but when you turn things over to 12 jurors, you’re no longer CEO,” Abbott told business leaders in Arlington on Wednesday afternoon.
Credit: Martin Doporto

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the case again for the state to create a new system of courts to solve business disputes, considering the state’s growing economy.

“Our court systems, especially in our large cities, is a travesty of justice and it’s running businesses out,” Abbott told business leaders at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday afternoon. “We want to create specialized courts with expertise to deal with business litigation.”

Delaware has separate courts for business and the concept is one of Abbott’s priorities this legislative session.

“You may be a CEO, but when you turn things over to 12 jurors, you’re no longer CEO,” Abbott explained. “We need to have the intellectual, methodical approach that is deserving of those disputes.”

Abbott proposed the same idea last session but it did not pass.

Republican insiders said there is interest in passing it now – in some form – this legislative session.

Former state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, proposed something similar in 2015 and said it is still needed to further bolster the Texas economy.

“Governor Abbott’s proposed Business Courts bill will place Texas’ judiciary system on the same legal footing as the most dynamic and business-centric states in the Union, such as Delaware and New York,” said Villalba. “Passing this bill will ensure that Texas maintains its reputation as the best place in the country to start, grow, or build a business. The result will be the creation of thousands of new, high paying jobs.”

Abbott said the Texas economy, currently the ninth largest in the world at $2 trillion dollars annually, will likely pass Italy during his third term to become the world’s eighth biggest.

“We’re gonna pass Italy in the next four years – economically,” Abbott said to applause in Arlington.

Credit: Martin Doporto

Continuing the state’s economic climb also means making the housing more affordable in Texas.

Property taxes have exploded in the state over the last 20 years as Republicans have had a total lock on government power. Texas now ranks in the top 10 with the highest property taxes in the country.

Abbott said one strategy to reduce property taxes is to create a property tax reduction fund. He added that the state needs to put money in there every session to buy down the school property tax – and eventually eliminate it. 

Property owners would still be responsible for city and county property taxes, Abbott said.

If such an idea passed in Austin – and there are many this session from both parties with a $32 billion dollar budget surplus – eventually eliminating school property taxes would lower most people's annual bills by half.

Abbott did not take questions from reporters.

Before You Leave, Check This Out