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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ruh Roh: Is Texas Headed for Another Special Session?

At the end of the Texas legislature's regular session over Memorial Day weekend, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) filibustered a school finance bill that could not be left unresolved. Governor Rick Perry had to call a Special Session, which is limited to 30 days according to the Constitution. In a special session, the Governor calls the shots; he determines what gets put on the agenda. Consequently, there are several bills on the agenda that Wendy Davis' party thought were dead. A tough immigration bill is one of them - SB 9. There are others, including SB 8, which is roiling teachers.

However, with just about one week left in the special session, there seems to be quite the bottleneck involving several bills, several of which are similar to the one Davis filibustered in that they cannot be left unresolved. Texas is now looking at the possibility of another special session if these bills don't get passed.

Via Texas Tribune:
With the special session constitutionally limited to 30 days, lawmakers have just a week left to resolve the bills on the call — and a lot of loose ends to wrap up.

Gov. Rick Perry has sole discretion over the special session agenda — and he's put a variety of topics on it, from sanctuary cities and health reform to, as late as this week, an anti-groping bill aimed at the Transportation Security Administration.

So far, legislators have produced a mixed bag of results. Three weeks in, some bills are headed to the governor's desk. Others have only cleared one chamber. A few are headed to conference committee, where lawmakers will negotiate the differences. And one major unresolved bill threatens to push the House and Senate into yet another special session.
The Sanctuary Cities bill is huge for Texas. It's basically another way to implement the law passed in Arizona last year with less legal exposure. It was all but dead before Wendy Davis shot her party in the foot. Odds of passage are very good at this point. Texas Tribune has an excellent and detailed rundown of all the bills being debated in this special session. The lengthy list is what has people wondering about another special session.

HERE is the rundown.

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