Special Session Wrapup: Abbott falls short on 20-item agenda

From left House Speaker Joe Straus Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

The bill's collapse came after the speaker of the house - a moderate Republican who opposed the legislation - refused to allot time for lawmakers to discuss it.

On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 13, which expands reporting requirements for complications resulting from abortion procedures, according to a press release from Abbott's office.

The measure, a top priority of Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), died when the state House adjourned Tuesday without taking it up.

The House's abrupt adjournment came after days of hard negotiations with the Senate on school finance and property tax bills. The Senate later that night voted 25-6 to pass House Bill 21, which would put $351 million into public schools immediately to help struggling small, rural schools and students with special needs and put $212 million into a health insurance program for retired teachers.

It was a disappointing end for Abbott's No. 1 issue, but the governor appeared pleased with the results of the special session.

But Abbott and other powerful Republicans have continued pushing to make Texas the first state to follow North Carolina and impose bathroom restrictions on transgender people in schools and public spaces.

After a one-hour evening recess, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Senate to consider the committee substitute to House BIll 21, the school finance bill on August 14, 2017. "I know that's not a very fashionable thing today", Straus told Philpott. Tech giant IBM ran a full-page ad in local publications in July that said the company "opposes any measure that would harm the state's LGBT+ community and make it hard for businesses to attract and retain talented Texans". A proposal to set protocols for choosing a Republican candidate for speaker was discussed on Wednesday morning during a meeting of the House Republican Caucus. It was the second time the bill has sank in Texas since May, leaving North Carolina as the only state to approve one.

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The failure of the Texas bill was met with relief by LGBT rights activists, who pledged to continue to fight such efforts nationally and in the state. That funding source is likely a non-starter in the Senate, where members have looked askance at numerous House's proposals that would dip into the Rainy Day Fund.

"The intent, at least of this author, is to have the best bill for Texas taxpayers, and that means we need the best rollback rate", said state Sen.

Neither would have cut your property taxes; rather, they would give voters some say over the size of future increases in a relatively small number of the state's cities and counties.

The House adjourned unexpectedly on Tuesday, leaving nine of Abbott's 20 must-passed issues unapproved - including property tax reform that the governor at one point said was the single-most important item for most Texans.

Following the absence of a new call to debate the bills, Texas lawmakers may not meet again until 2019.

"We're not going to attract new manufacturing facilities like Toyota if we're too busy fighting against families in Texas and coming across as negative to business", Cavazos said.


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