We Have an Issue: Ding-Dong, Another Brutal Legislative Session Is Behind Us

This week’s Sine Die cover package explores the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the 87th Texas Legislature

Cover photo by John Anderson

The quiet, coordinated walkout of Texas House Democrats on Sunday night may have lacked the theatricality of Sen. Wendy Davis' 13-hour filibuster or the cloak-and-dagger panache of the Killer Bees' and Killer D's flights from the Texas Capitol. Nonetheless, it marked a heroic and meaningful thwarting of Gov. Greg Abbott and his Republican toadies' efforts to restrict voting access across the state. Why are these Trump acolytes, here and across the nation, going to such extremes to whittle away at voting rights, one of the founding tenets of our democracy? Welp, you don't rig the system if you think you can win fair.

The Dems' triumph will be short-lived. A special session is a foregone conclusion, as Abbott has loudly announced this suck-up bill is high priority for him. But the walkout drew national attention to a national problem, and it stole Republicans' big finish. This legislative session has been a historically bad one, with bills passing that will restrict the right to get an abortion after six weeks and will remove restrictions that once required Texans to obtain a license before carting a handgun around in public. Republican legislators have targeted trans kids, blocked the expansion of Medicaid coverage to uninsured Texans, stymied the ability of educators to speak honestly to their students about race and racism, and twisted themselves into knots to force state intervention into local issues, like how Austinites choose to fund their police department. The quorum-busting walkout at least denied the GOP an unimpeded slide across home plate.

This week, our News staff explores the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the 87th Texas Legislature and what to expect in the special session. Find that coverage right here.

Online This Week

Congressman Lloyd Doggett ceremoniously opens the doors to Mohawk (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Mohawk Reopens Doors: Kevin Curtin reports from the reopening of one of Austin's favorite stages, featuring a speech by Congressman Lloyd Doggett and performances by Heartless Bastards and Tender Things.

Jason June's Gay YA Agenda: James Scott interviews the author about his funny, sex-positive, queer addition to the genre.

Austin FC Stalls Seattle Sounders: ATXFC shakes a four-game losing streak by holding the league leaders to a goalless draw at Sunday's match.

Black Pumas (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Black Pumas Pack 'Em In: Carys Anderson attends night one of the hometown favorite's sold-out, five-night run at Stubb's.

Saturday's Don't Mess With Texans' Abortions rally and march (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Photo Gallery – Don't Mess With Texans' Abortions: Pro-choice protesters gathered at the Texas Capitol Saturday for a rally and march to decry the extreme abortion bill just passed by the Texas Senate.

Grilled Smokey Eggplant Dip: Try this recipe from The Art of Cooking With Cannabis by Tracey Medeiros.

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