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The Brief: What happened to rogue delegate legislation this session?

Last November, after two Texas electors went rogue by voting for someone other than the Republican nominee, support for proposals to bind Texas Electoral College members to voting for the state's popular vote emerged. What happened?

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks on the first day of the 85th Legislature on Jan. 10, 2017.

A slight programming note for y’all: Starting Monday, Cassi Pollock will be writing and sending The Brief. You’ll be seeing her name in your inbox every morning, instead of mine. As always, thanks for reading and thanks for subscribing! — BB 

What you need to know

Last November, after two Texas electors went rogue by voting for someone other than the Republican nominee, support for proposals to bind Texas Electoral College members to voting for the state's popular vote emerged. But the legislation never made it to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Here's what you need to know

"This charade is over," tweeted Abbott last year, referring to a meeting where electors Chris Suprun and Bill Greene voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, respectively. Before the vote happened — but after Suprun said he wasn't casting a ballot for Donald Trump — state Rep. John Raney, R-College Station, filed a bill to create a $5,000 fine for electors who didn't support the winner of the statewide popular vote.

• But Raney's bill — nor other legislation aimed at rogue delegates — passed the Legislature. Raney's bill was modified in a House committee that stripped the fine, and the bill never received a vote on the House floor. A companion bill in the Senate was never made it out of committee, nor did a pair of bills that aimed to invalidate ballots cast by faithless electors. 

Where's the issue headed? Some involved state lawmakers say the the Legislature may study the issue soon. "Unfortunately the bill itself was hung up in the legislative process," Raney said in a statement, "but it is my understanding that the topic will be revisited as an interim study." State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, chair of the Senate State Affairs Committee, says she plans to request an interim study "on the issue at the appropriate time."

Tribune today

• From Ross Ramsey: A special legislative session reveals a hole in the state's ethics laws, allowing elected officials to make laws at the same time they're raising campaign funds — from the people most interested in those new laws.

• The Texas governor just called a special session. Here's what you should expect

• The U.S. House passed a sweeping financial deregulation bill from U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas. 

• Here's a rundown of what Gov. Abbott has said — or hasn't — about the 20 issues he wants lawmakers to tackle in special session.  

• Fired FBI Director James Comey faced a panel of U.S. Senators — including Texas Republican John Cornyn — during historic testimony yesterday. 

News from home

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What we're reading

Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.

The story of James Comey's most explosive investigation — in college, The Chronicle of Higher Education

With new funds raised, clinical trials can continue for lung medications developed in East Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph

Lubbock ISD's board of trustees will vote on new budget June 22, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Ted Cruz's mic gets cut during speech at conservative conference, Washington Examiner 

Have businesses lost control of the agenda in Texas?, The Houston Chronicle ($)

Will the Texas Legislature have a special session because of a Dan Patrick phone call?, The Morning News ($)

For your calendar 

On June 10: Join us in Austin for a taping of KLRU's Overheard with David Brown, former Dallas police chief, and Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith.

Quote to note

"There's a lot of noise. There's a lot of people lighting their hair on fire on cable television every day. I've got one simple bit of advice for each of us, for the administration and for the majorities in both houses of Congress, which is ignore the political circus, and let's focusing on delivering results."

— U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking at a conservative conference in Washington, D.C. 

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. If you have feedback or questions, please email thebrief@texastribune.org.

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