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.
While lawmakers in the 86th Texas Legislature advanced measures on some controversial issues, they know it often takes several sessions to pass bills and say they intend to refile them next time. Full Story
Negotiators in the House and Senate couldn't come to an agreement on a bill addressing how Texas handles capital murder defendants who may be intellectually disabled. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that executing people with intellectual disabilities amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Full Story
The money will be used to hire more employees, give a raise to current staffers and open two new driver’s license offices in Angleton and Denton. The Department of Public Safety's management of the offices has drawn criticism, but lawmakers stopped short of moving those duties to another agency. Full Story
Behind closed doors, a joint Senate and House committee killed a measure that would require police officers to explain why they arrest someone for fine-only offenses, otherwise the case would be dismissed. Criminal justice reform advocates considered the issue a priority following the arrest of Sandra Bland. Full Story
The bill aims to slow rising property tax revenues and make it easier for Texans to understand how their tax bills are determined. The House and Senate both approved it Saturday, and it is expected to soon be sent to Abbott for his signature. Full Story
Lawmakers delivered on their promises of school finance and property tax reforms, agreeing to spend $11.6 billion on a combination of education changes and tax cuts. It's big, but is it really "transformative"? Full Story
The bill would prohibit such partnerships, even for services not related to abortions.
Abortion rights advocates worry that the bill's broad language could even halt privately funded programs held on government property. Full Story