Jokes, tears and even fights: The highs and lows of the 85th Texas Legislature
Here’s a roundup of some of the most memorable moments from the 85th legislative session, along with details on what happened with some of the bills mentioned.
The House and Senate adjourned Monday, bringing an especially contentious legislative session to a formal close. Here’s a roundup of some of the most memorable moments from the 85th legislative session, along with details below on what happened with some of the bills mentioned. Check our bill tracker to see what made it through the session and what didn’t.
Cancer vaccinations (Speaking: Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place): An amendment to House Bill 39 that would’ve allowed health care providers to administer vaccinations proven to prevent cancer to children under the care of the Department of Family Protective Services did not pass the Legislature.
Immigration enforcement (Speaking: Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston): Senate Bill 4, which allows police to inquire about the immigration status of people they lawfully detain and bans “sanctuary” jurisdictions in Texas, passed both chambers and was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on May 7.
Related: A fight broke out on the House floor on the last day of the session after Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, said he called immigration authorities on people protesting the passage of Senate Bill 4.
Abortion restrictions (Speaking: Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas): Senate Bill 8, banning a common second-trimester abortion procedure and changing how health care facilities handle fetal remains, passed both chambers and is awaiting a signature from the governor.
“Lunch-shaming” (Speaking: Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas): Two related bills finally passed the Legislature: Senate Bill 725, a weaker version of Giddings’ original bill that would allow (but not require) schools to give meals to students without money in their school lunch accounts; and Senate Bill 1566, requiring schools to provide students with negative balances a grace period to resolve them.
Bathroom legislation (Speaking: House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick): Senate Bill 6, the upper chamber’s original bill restricting bathroom access for transgender Texans, and Senate Bill 2078, which included a House compromise limited to public schools, did not pass the Legislature.
Property taxes (Speaking: Patrick): Senate Bill 669, amended by the House to require voter approval of some tax rates, did not pass the Legislature. It didn’t go far enough for the Senate.
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