Tribpedia: Special Sessions

Tribpedia

A special session of the Texas Legislature is a convening of state lawmakers outside the constitutionally mandated 140-day regular session. The Texas Constitution says special sessions may last a maximum of 30 days but does not set a minimum duration. The first called special session of the 38th Legislature met for only one hour.

Only the governor may call the ...

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Interactive: Third Called Session Bill Tracker

The 83rd Legislature's third special session is underway, and Gov. Rick Perry has only added transportation funding to the call. But that hasn't stopped lawmakers from filing bills on other subjects. You can keep tabs on the progress of the measures most important to you with our bill tracker.

Route to Deal on Cash for Roads Remains Hazy

Lawmakers hoping to find a viable transportation funding measure in the third special session are looking closely at a plan that failed in the first two special sessions. But some weary legislators have expressed frustrations that Gov. Rick Perry called them back too soon and that they may fail again to find common ground.

Young attendees, wearing the blue of anti-abortion protesters, attend demonstrations at the Texas State Capitol on the first day of the second legislative session, July 1, 2013.
Young attendees, wearing the blue of anti-abortion protesters, attend demonstrations at the Texas State Capitol on the first day of the second legislative session, July 1, 2013.

The Policy and the Politics of the Abortion Debate

The Texas Capitol has been full of protesters and demonstrators off and on for the last month as lawmakers considered abortion legislation. And activists on both sides have put some R-rated signs in the hands of children. Many think this is a proper introduction to civics for their children, but it can make for some uncomfortable sights at rallies on the issue.

The Main Building of The University of Texas at Austin.
The Main Building of The University of Texas at Austin.

TRBs Ready to Play, if Perry Will Allow It

Texas Weekly

The Texas Legislature appears ready and willing to approve billions in tuition revenue bonds — or “TRBs” — for campus construction projects, but only if Gov. Rick Perry will let them. So far, Perry has given no indication that he intends to add the issue to the call for the current special session.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, cheering with activists to disrupt the last minutes of the vote on Senate Bill 5.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, cheering with activists to disrupt the last minutes of the vote on Senate Bill 5.

How Activists Yelled an Abortion Bill to Death

When efforts by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and other Senate Democrats to run out the clock on an abortion bill fell short, protesters made enough noise to grind the Senate chamber to a halt. But the unusual display of civil disobedience was not planned by the groups that had rallied thousands to the Capitol that day.

Preparations for Planned Parenthood rally at Texas Capitol on March 7th, 2013
Preparations for Planned Parenthood rally at Texas Capitol on March 7th, 2013

Anti-Abortion Bills Back on the Table

UPDATED: The House State Affairs Committee did not vote on an omnibus abortion bill after more than nine hours of testimony. Opponents of the measure say the abrupt end to the hearing may open the door to killing it.

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Perry Open to Expanding Special Session Agenda

Gov. Rick Perry told reporters Friday that he is leaving open the possibility of adding more items to the agenda of the special legislative session, but he wants to first see specific proposals that have a chance of passing.

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.

Sine Die Report: What Survived, What Died

The Trib's been keeping track of the key issues throughout the special session. From budget measures to school finance, health care and airport groping, here's our final rundown of bills that passed, and the ones that died.