The Austin Chronicle

Summer Under the Dome

The first special winds down

By Richard Whittaker, July 1, 2011, News

Will the Legislature be back for a second special session? As the Chronicle went to press June 29, the Texas House of Representatives was on the final day of its first special session of the year. However, the Senate had already called sine die on June 28, leaving unfinished several of the measures Gov. Rick Perry had placed on the session call. Senate Bill 9 (cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities) and SB 29 (the anti-Transportation Security Administration "groping bill") both died in the House. Perry then attacked Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, for refusing to add the sanctuary cities bill into SB 1, the fiscal matters bill. That bill, which contains the school finance reforms, only narrowly escaped collapse itself. On June 28, the House initially rejected it 64-97, but after much arm-twisting by the Republican caucus it came back, unchanged for reconsideration and passed 80-57. Now lawmakers eager to get home are wondering how much political collateral Perry would risk on another session to get SB 9 and SB 29 through.

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