Week of July 17-23, 2017

Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders for special session
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.

Week of July 10-16, 2017

Lawmakers plan to file teacher pay legislation in special session
AUSTIN — A special session of the Texas Legislature, called by Gov. Greg Abbott, is set to begin on July 18. The agenda is big.
Before adjourning in late May, our 150 state representatives and 31 state senators did the only thing the Texas constitution requires them to do each time they meet for 140 days every two years: they passed a state budget to cover the next two years.

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. 

Early Delivery, week of May 29 - June 4, 2017

Legislative session to finish as nation observes Memorial Day
AUSTIN — State lawmakers worked through rapidly shrinking lists of bills as daily procedural deadlines took effect in the final days of the 140-day, 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature.

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.