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85th Legislature

Texas House Approves Sending First Two Special Session Bills To Governor

Aug 10, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House tentatively approved two bills Thursday that will keep several state agencies from closing, including the Texas Medical Board. If the chamber gives the measures final approval on Friday, they could be the first bills of the special session sent to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

From Texas Standard:

A Texas lawmaker is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to add ethics reform to his special session call. Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) heads the House General Investigation and Ethics Committee, which is tasked with scrutinizing wrongdoing at the state level. Most recently, she led an investigation into the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission after reports of misconduct and mismanagement of funds within the agency.

House Speaker Joe Straus has made himself enemy No. 1 among the state’s most conservative voters. His crime? His management style.

House lawmakers tentatively approved a series of bills Monday aimed at helping Texas curb its unusually high rate of women dying less than a year after childbirth.

The state's new ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedures leaves doctors and patients with few options, says one of the state’s few full-time abortion providers.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

The Texas House has given early approval to a bill requiring physicians and health care facilities to report more details on abortions complications to the state — and fine those that do not comply.

Dan Patrick's Day Off

Jul 27, 2017

From Texas Standard:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants Texans to know that the Texas Senate is making history. Patrick says the chamber's passage of 18 bills in the first seven days of the current special session represents a record pace for either chamber of the Legislature, in either a regular or special session.

Tim Park for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave tentative approval to a measure that pre-empts local ordinances on drivers’ mobile phone usage, effectively rolling back safety laws in the 45 Texas cities where local governments enforce stricter regulations than the state. 

Retired Texas teachers are closer to seeing some relief from higher health care deductibles, and current teachers may be seeing more money in the near future, too. But some teacher groups are worried the push to help teachers is more political than substantive.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate tentatively approved a bill Wednesday aiming to crack down on mail-in ballot fraud, largely by beefing up criminal penalties — a response to voting irregularities in Dallas County.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Texas women would have to pay a separate health insurance premium to get coverage for non-emergency abortions under a bill tentatively passed by the Texas Senate Wednesday.

The Texas Legislature has gaveled in for a 30-day session focusing on 20 items, but the battle to pass as little of that legislation as possible has already begun.

From Texas Standard:

The Legislature’s special session begins this Tuesday. It’s 30 days long with 20 items on the agenda and Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the shots.

State lawmakers are back in Austin to kick off some legislative overtime.

And, as it's been reported over and over and over again, the special session is needed because lawmakers couldn’t pass a bill to keep a handful of state agencies open and operating. That got some of our listeners wondering if lawmakers could’ve spend their time at the Capitol a little more efficiently.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT News

During the regular legislative session, Texas lawmakers meet every two years for 140 days. The special session is best described in two words: legislative overtime.

Wells Dunbar / Texas Standard

A day before the special session of the Texas Legislature begins, Dallas-Fort Worth CEOs are warning state leaders about the potential financial hit Texas would take over the so-called “bathroom bill.”

The 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature was one of the most contentious in recent memory. It had plenty of protests, some infighting, a few filibusters and even a death threat. Now, after all that drama, lawmakers are headed back for more.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

The Texas Legislature’s special session starts Tuesday. At the top of Gov. Greg Abbott’s education agenda: school choice for special-needs students.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

With less than a week before the start of a special session of the Texas Legislature, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick laid out a proposal Thursday to give teachers bonuses and increase their retirement benefits, with plans to pay for both long-term using money from the Texas lottery. 

Tim Mattox doesn’t want to live in Austin, but soon he might not have a choice. Mattox has lived in the River Place neighborhood for 19 years. It’s a community of about 1,100 homes just northwest of the city near Lake Austin. In December, Mattox’s neighborhood is scheduled to be annexed by the city.

The Texas Tribune

DALLAS — A constant hum emanated from a small air-conditioning unit in the window of Noemi Pina’s living room on a recent June afternoon as she, her 81-year-old mother and 15-year-old son sat and talked about where they’re going to live next.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a declaration for a special session of the Texas Legislature Monday, formally inviting lawmakers back to Austin to pass “sunset legislation” that will keep several key state agencies open.

Among the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott has asked legislators to tackle during the upcoming special session is a push to block all taxpayer funds from being sent to abortion providers.

From Texas Standard:

The upcoming special legislative session is likely to provide just as many fireworks as the regular session did. Among the most controversial issues on the table is the contentious debate between the House and Senate over "private school choice."

From Texas Standard:

An article by New Yorker staff writer and Texas resident Lawrence Wright makes the case that Texas is a political bellwether. In "America's Future Is Texas," Wright argues that, indeed, as Texas goes, so goes the nation — politically speaking, at any rate.

A federal judge in San Antonio is hearing arguments today in a lawsuit filed by several cities, including Austin, seeking to block enforcement of the state's new anti-sanctuary cities law, Senate Bill 4. 

From Texas Standard:

Making a list of the best and worst lawmakers after each Texas legislative session isn't quite as old as the Legislature itself, but it's still a time-honored tradition. Texas Monthly has put out such a list since 1973, and each one is an occasion awaited with bated breath by political observers, legislative aides and of course, the lawmakers themselves.

Matthew Martinez / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

About a hundred people gathered in front of Fort Worth City Hall Tuesday night to call on the city council to join a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4.

From Texas Standard:

One measure among the dozens Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed last week was a bill that attempted to help Texas communities deal with the illegal dumping of scrap tires.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed 50 bills that were passed during the regular legislative session, his office announced Thursday.

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