Bad Bills Bite the Dust at the Legislature

Anti-voter, anti-worker, anti-woman, pro-slave-owner bills dead – for now

Remember when the Lege opened, and we hoped there wouldn't be so many terrible bills to kill? (Photo by Jana Birchum)

The merciless ticking of the clock in the final week of the 86th Texas Legislature has signaled death by deadline for most of the session's bills. That's cause for celebration when it thwarts measures that would limit local control, harm workers, ban abortion, and add obstacles to voting.

Despite much citizen-driven uproar last week, including more than 200 witnesses testifying in opposition to Senate Bill 9, the House Elections Committee quietly approved the bill on party lines on Friday. However, the legislation, which would have made felonies out of the most minor errors in voter registration or assistance, withered after it failed to appear on the House calendar this week. Also stumbling before making its way to the House floor was SB 1033, which would have barred abortions (that are now legal) after 20 weeks of pregnancy when the fetus has a "severe and irreversible" abnormality. Measures that sought to slap down attempts by local governments to mandate paid sick leave and other worker protections never made it to the House finish line either, making them as good as dead for now. Same goes for legislation (SB 1663) that could have made it difficult or impossible to move or remove Con­fed­erate memorials. Good riddance to the bunch.

However, it ain't sine die quite yet – and the question remains: Will bad bills rise up from the grave as amendments to other bills before the session ends on Memorial Day, or appear in a possible special session? Stay tuned.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

Read more of the Chronicle's decades of reproductive rights reporting here.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More 86th Texas Legislature
Texas Rangers Get Wrangled Into
Texas Rangers Get Wrangled Into "Bonnenghazi" Drama
Scandal surrounding House Speaker Dennis Bonnen burns on

Mary Tuma, Aug. 16, 2019

Bonnenghazi! Drama Reigns in the Texas House
Bonnenghazi! Drama Reigns in the Texas House
Did the speaker give his hard-right enemy a political target list?

Mary Tuma, Aug. 9, 2019

More by Mary Tuma
Abortion Care Providers “Heartened” After SB 8 Hearing at SCOTUS
Abortion Care Providers “Heartened” After SB 8 Hearing at SCOTUS
Oral arguments focus on law’s vigilante enforcement

Nov. 5, 2021

Abortion Care Providers “Heartened” After SB 8 Hearing at SCOTUS
Abortion Care Providers “Heartened” After SB 8 Hearing at SCOTUS
Oral arguments focus on law’s vigilante enforcement

Nov. 1, 2021


86th Texas Legislature, Senate Bill 9, House Elections Committee, Abortion Ban, reproductive rights, Senate Bill 1033, Senate Bill 1663, Paid Sick Leave, Confederate memorials

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle