The 86th Legislature runs from Jan. 8 to May 27. From the state budget to health care to education policy — and the politics behind it all — we focus on what Texans need to know about the biennial legislative session.
Halfway through the session, the Capitol's hallways are full of talk of a special session on school finance and property taxes. That won't happen — unless the Legislature makes a mess of the time it's got left.
There are now two sets of bail reform bills named after a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who was murdered while the suspect was out of jail on a $15,500 bond after allegedly assaulting a sheriff’s deputy.
A now-erased provision in Senate Bill 15 explicitly said a potential new state law would not supersede local nondiscrimination ordinances. Without that language, many LGBTQ advocates fear Texans could be exposed to some discriminatory employment practices.
Before Hurricane Harvey, state aquarium staff evacuated turtles, stingrays, dolphins and other recovering animals from an aging rescue center they feared would blow away. Now, they're asking the state for help to build a new facility.
Despite the fact that lawmakers have so far been focused on bipartisan "bread and butter" issues like property taxes and school finance, more than a dozen abortion-related bills are circulating in the state Capitol.
State Rep. Eric Johnson said he plans to file legislation that would halt the practice of soliciting letters from elected officials supporting or opposing housing developments being considered for federal tax credits.