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EARLY DELIVERY, week of July 2-8, 2017

Governor applauds lawmakers’ intentions for special session
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, in the last 10 days of June, posted news releases pointing out specific lawmakers and their plans to file bills that fulfill his expectations for the 30-day special session, which he called to begin July 18. 

Week of June 26 - July 2, 2017

First Gulf storm of season elbows Texas
AUSTIN — State emergency responders geared up for the first time this hurricane season in response to Tropical Storm Cindy, which came ashore just east of the Texas-Louisiana border on June 22.
Two deaths were attributed to the storm — one of them an elderly man found in a sand-mired pickup truck on Texas’ Bolivar Peninsula.

Week of June 19-25, 2017

Governor signs 2018-2019, two-year state budget into law
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 12 signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that appropriates some $217 billion to pay for the state’s next two-year fiscal period.

Week of June 12-18, 2017

Governor demands action, calls lawmakers back to Austin
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 announced a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18 to address issues that went unresolved during the contentious 140-day regular session that ended May 29.

Week of June 5-11, 2017

State budget awaits final approval from governor
AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott as of June 4 had not signed Senate Bill 1, the 2018-2019 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27. SB 1 appropriates $216.8 billion in total spending for the state’s budget during the 2018-19 biennium. 

Update, Week of May 29 - June 4, 2017

Legislature completes regular session with main task accomplished
AUSTIN — The 140-day 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature ended on May 29 with hugs, tears and fanfare, plus demonstrations against “anti-immigrant” legislation and a scuffle involving members on the House floor.
Primarily, though, both chambers signed off on Senate Bill 1, the state budget for 2018-2019, and in doing so accomplished their only constitutionally required task. 

Week of May 22-28, 2017

State budget bill moves forward as conference committee agrees
AUSTIN — Texas Senate and House budget conferees met frequently last week and on May 20 managed to reach compromise on a $218 billion state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019. 

Week of May 15-21, 2017

Legislature grinds toward May 29 close with much still to accomplish
AUSTIN — With a mere two weeks remaining until the end of the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers have not yet finalized a state budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. 
The Legislature’s 150 House members and 31 Senate members can work around the clock, if need be. Their only absolutely required accomplishment in the 140-day-long session is to produce that budget and put it on the governor’s desk. If they don’t, the governor will call them back for a special session.

Week of May 8-14, 2017

House joins Senate in passing constitutional convention measure
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on May 4 approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a measure calling for a convention of the states, as contemplated and enabled by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
The state Senate on Feb. 28 originally passed SJR 2, authored by Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. Every member of the House and Senate who signed as a co-author or co-sponsor of SJR 2 is Republican, and no Democrat voted in favor of the resolution.