6/27/2011 8:08 PM
Despite coming off a week where very little progress got made, legislators still appear on-track to finish the session by Wednesday and complete all the major work on key bills. The only bills on the Governor's call in danger of failing are the anti-groping bill and a sanctuary cities ban.
To help make sense of all this, here's where the key bills of the special session are right now:
Enrolled and on its way to the Governor. (These bills have been approved in identical form by both chambers and will be sent to the governor once they have been signed in the presence of both houses and other administrative tasks are completed):
- SB 2 (appropriates money to Foundation School Program and a few other matters)
- SB 6 (electronic textbook bill)
- SB 8 (this is the school district mandate relief and employer flexibility act) The vote on Senate Bill 8 was surprisingly close in the House -- passing 80-63.
Also, the congressional redistricting bill (SB 4) was sent to the Governor last week.
Conference report filed:
- SB 1 (omnibus fiscal matters bill). Senate Bill 1 must pass or another immediate special session results. The key Republican leaders are cautiously optimistic this bill will not fall prey to a filibuster, but many will breathe a sigh of relief if and when the Senate finally passes this bill. The conference report is 500 pages long and few know what’s actually in this bill.
- HB 3 (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association reforms): A conference report was filed this afternoon that was agreed by leadership in both houses. The bill has double damages for intentional wrongful acts by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (as opposed to treble in current law) and includes consequential damages (compensation for financial loss occurring as a consequence of another wrongful act).
Not currently in conference committee:
- Omnibus courts bill: The Texas Senate passed HB 79, the omnibus court restructuring bill. Both Houses have now passed the bill. With the short time remaining in session, the main option for the House -- if it wishes to pass the bill -- would be to concur.
- Anti-groping bill (criminalizing Transportation Security Administration's "advanced pat-down" search methods): The House passed its version of the bill on second reading today after a compromise was reached between the author Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) and district attorneys and other house Republicans. The Senate finally passed sponsor Dan Patrick’s (R-Houston) compromise bill this evening. There may be time to send one of the versions of this bill to the governor, but everything has to go right.
- Ban on Sanctuary Cities: The Senate passed a bill which has not been reported by the House State Affairs Committee. This bill is likely dead for the special session.