Texas Lt. Gov. Calls Out House Members at End of Legislative Session

Ivan Schwartz
June 3, 2017

The regular session of the legislature comes to an end on May 29. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, Sunset commission chairman.

"As large employers in the state, we are gravely concerned that any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texas' reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families", the tech CEOs wrote in their letter to Abbot. He accused the Senate of deliberately not approving the bill.

Since 2004, Texas has hosted more combined Super Bowls, NBA All-Star Games and NCAA men's Final Fours than any other state, and San Antonio is scheduled to host another Final Four in 2018. The Senate didn't take action on SB 310.

In addition to the news conferences, frictions were on full display Sunday between the chambers and among GOP factions that have been clashing all session long. Democrats have slammed Republicans for writing their bill behind closed doors and for not moving through the typical committee process in the Senate.

Sen. Robert Karnes, R-Upshur, the lead architect of the plan, called fiscal notes from the state Department of Revenue projecting that the plan will result in revenue shortfalls each year after 2017-18 budget year as being "very pessimistic".

"What's going to happen is that local property taxpayers are going to continue bear the burden of increasingly funding our schools", said Tarrant County Representative Chris Turner, leader of the House Democratic caucus.

Without action by the Legislature, the agencies without regulations - such as the Texas Medical Board - would enter a one-year "wind-down" period after September 1, 2017, in which they would begin the process of shutting down completely. It will be shuttered in just under a year unless legislation authorizing its continuation passes, officials said Sunday.

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The governor said he would not join issues with critics especially when they are seen as distraction to his government. He said: "I traveled to Dubai for a brief break on May 19 and I saw the press release". "Surely that's a falsehood".

The pursuit of a so-called bathroom bill in Texas has roiled the Legislature for months, igniting opposition from the National Basketball Association, major corporations and LGBT rights groups. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, told members he had "heard rumors" the House wasn't planning to vote out the conference committee report on the bill - the last legislative hurdle before Senate Bill 11 could head to Abbott.

Patrick echoed that sentiment, saying he had spoken with Abbott in recent hours.

"For many of us - and especially for me - this was a compromise", Straus said at a Friday news conference.

"The gap between what the real truth is and what was said is about as wide as the Grand Canyon", said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate.

"The House, under the speaker's leadership, has been slow", Patrick said.

Abbott on Sunday was reported to be considering various options for a 30-day special session, including whether to call lawmakers back in immediately after they adjourn on Monday or wait several days.

Other reports by GizPress

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