On the opening day of the special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took a step to fast-track two bills reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and four other state agencies jeopardized by inaction during the regular session.
The coming weeks will reveal whether the ongoing hostility between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus has paralyzed state policymakers as they take up the 20 items on Gov. Greg Abbott's agenda.
The Texas Legislature is returning to Austin, but the leaders of the Senate and the House appear to be starting the new session on the same sour notes with which they ended the regular session seven weeks ago.
The regular legislative session belonged to legislative leaders — primarily Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who aggressively set an agenda for the Senate. Now, with a special session looming, Gov. Greg Abbott is asserting himself.
Gov. Greg Abbott remains Texas voters' favorite state official, with more voters giving him good grades than bad, and the Republican voters he depends on heaping him with approval they're not giving to potential rivals, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
A review of Gov. Greg Abbott's schedule during May provides a glimpse into the final stretch of the legislative session, where the governor tried in vain to bring together lawmakers to avoid a special session.
As of Sunday night, lawmakers still had little to show for two assignments Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had given them in the home stretch: property tax reform and a "bathroom bill" that would regulate which restrooms transgender Texans can use.
Texans will get a close look at the state's top leaders over the next three days — the end of the regular legislative session — as they try to unknot their differences over regulating restroom use and limiting local property tax increases.
The Texas Senate, hoping to resurrect its versions of bathroom and property tax proposals dear to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, grafted both of them onto unrelated county affairs legislation early Wednesday morning.