Friday, June 7, 2013

Status of the #TXLEGE Special Session

Today's Austin American-Statesman has an update on the special session:
The special session started May 27 with predictions from legislative leaders that they could wrap up their one piece of business -- redistricting -- in as little as three days.  But rather than simply approve court-drawn maps for Congress and the Texas House, legislators decided to consider changes to the district boundaries and to solicit input from Texans in hearings across the state.  Now, the initial optimism has given way to grumbling about the slow pace and predictions that the session could drag out for most, if not all, of its maximum 30 days.
And we don't know if the Governor will add anything:
 [Lt. Gov. David] Dewhurst has asked Gov. Rick Perry to include guns [sic] laws, tougher abortion restrictions, windstorm insurance changes, and other topics to the agenda.  Conservative House Republicans have asked for other items.  And prosecutors are asking that a new loophole in the state's death penalty law covering 17-year-olds be plugged.
 Only Perry can add subjects to the agenda.  So far, he has remained non-committal, although he hinted to reporters last week that he would want some indication there is consensus on an issue before he added it.
So far, there appears to be no consensus on much of anything.  And, with the clock ticking, an increasing number of lawmakers are openly doubting that bills on other subjects could go through the process -- filing, public hearings, and floor votes in both chambers -- by the time the session ends.
Cahnman's Musings will have more to say on this topic next week

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