Agenda Texas: The Final Fortnight

With two weeks to go in the legislative session, there’s even less time than that for lawmakers to pass bills before constitutional deadlines make it nearly impossible to get things done.

So we turn once again to our legislative guide, the Tribune’s Ross Ramsey, to let us know what’s happening under the dome. We begin with an explanation of this week’s deadlines.

Friday is the final day for the Texas House to consider local bills on second or third reading. Saturday is the final day for a House committee to vote out a Senate bill. And Sunday is the final day for a Senate bill to be placed on the House calendar.

"So what you're going to see this week is a couple of things: people racing to get Senate bills through committees and into the system and people whose House bills died trying to figure out which live Senate bills they can attach their proposals to," Ramsey said.

As they've been all session, water, roads, tax cuts and education are still the unfinished priorities.

If things don't get finalized, Gov. Rick Perry could call a special session to address each. But does the state have any agencies on the brink if the bills don't pass?

"Not really," Ramsey said. "These are long-term problems. These aren't the kind of problems where you push a button and something immediately happens. You push a button and something happens in four years. So it's not necessarily true that the decisions that they make now will be immediately apparent to voters."

Before we wrap up the 83rd session, do you have any questions about the way the state makes its laws? Start sending them in to [email protected] or on Twitter @AgendaTexas. Before the session ends, we'll use a segment to answer as many as we can.

 

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