A decision on whether to advance the state’s pending “sanctuary cities” legislation will not be made until Monday, leaving less time for lawmakers to consider the bills before Wednesday’s special session deadline.
The House Committee on State Affairs was scheduled to take up “pending business” Friday at 8:45 a.m. to consider HB9 and SB9, the House and Senate version of the controversial measure, which would prevent local entities from adopting a policy prohibiting law enforcement from checking the immigration status of a person lawfully detained or arrested. That meeting is now scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m.
The postponement means that if the committee votes either measure out, the bill (or bills), which must go to the Calendars Committee before hitting the House floor, won’t likely be considered by the full chamber until Tuesday, if at all. Wednesday is the last day of the current special session, according to state rules.
Calls to the office of committee Chairman Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, seeking an explanation were not immediately returned.
There is still the possibility that Gov. Rick Perry may call an additional special session. Lawmakers are also charged with reforming the state’s Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, a task that seems be at a standstill. Perry said earlier this week that it remains a priority for him and he will likely call lawmakers back to address the issue if they don't finish up. By law, the governor may add anything to a special session call once the legislature reconvenes.