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The Brief: Abbott expands special session agenda after Senate speeds through sunset legislation

By the time you read this, critical legislation keeping several key state agencies alive is out of the Texas Senate and on its way to the House — and Gov. Greg Abbott has officially green-lighted the Legislature to begin working on the other 19 items he wants passed during the special session.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confers with a group of senators during the special session on July 19, 2017.

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What you need to know

By the time you read this, critical legislation keeping several key state agencies alive is out of the Texas Senate and on its way to the House — and Gov. Greg Abbott has officially green-lighted the Legislature to begin working on the other 19 items he wants passed during the special session. Here's what you need to know

Eat your veggies first, Abbott told the Senate — so they did. Abbott said lawmakers had to pass "sunset" legislation to reauthorize the agencies first, so senators shot the measures to a committee on the first day of the special session Tuesday, and after the committee approved them, the Senate gave the preliminary OK Wednesday. The Senate then met one minute after midnight Thursday to give the legislation a final stamp of approval; moments after, Abbott's proclamation expanding the special session agenda landed on the upper chamber's dais. 

Meanwhile, in the House... While the Senate's two sunset measures are headed across the rotunda, a House committee approved part one of its own sunset legislation on Wednesday — and another panel is set to consider the lower chamber's second sunset bill next week. 

Let the lawmaking begin. With an official nod from the governor, lawmakers will begin tackling everything from local annexation reform to extending the state's maternal mortality task force over the next few weeks. The Senate, keeping up its rocket pace, already has three committee hearings scheduled for Friday — to consider the controversial "bathroom bill" and school finance reform, among other things — and additional Senate panels are set to meet over the weekend to take up additional legislation. It's shaping up to be a busy weekend at #txlege.  

Tribune today

• Power Trips: This is the second story in The Texas Tribune's new series exploring the fight between state and local officials over regulatory power. We tackled ride-hailing first, and now we're exploring bathroom regulations. Which local control issue should we explore next? Tell us here

• State Rep. Sarah Davis wants more information from the TABC about their potential "misconduct."

• A federal judge's ruling called conditions at a Texas prison cruel and ordered the temporary installation of air conditioning for heat-sensitive inmates. But at another hot prison in Texas, life carries on.  

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What we're reading

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

Texas programs to prevent teen pregnancy scramble after federal funding cut, KUT 

First round of NAFTA negotiations to begin Aug. 16, The Monitor 

ICE chief: 80 percent jump in illegal targets, readies national 'sanctuary' crackdown, The Washington Examiner 

City council, awaiting bond election, adopts 5-year capital spending plan, The Houston Chronicle ($)

Trump refugee restrictions allowed for now; ban on grandparents is rejected, The New York Times ($)

Dallas' first female police chief wants to make force 'just like family,' The Dallas Morning News ($)

Photo of the day

A girl has her quinceañera dress adjusted before protesting the state's new immigration enforcement law at the Capitol in Austin on July 19. A quinceañera is a traditional celebration of a girl's coming of age on her 15th birthday. Photo by Bob Daemmrich. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"It’s akin to beating a dead horse ... I would characterize it as a regulatory abuse."

— Al Van Huff, a Houston lawyer representing Spec's Wine, Spirits, and Finer Foods, on the TABC's attempt to continue enforcement action against the state's largest liquor retailer

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