Tribpedia: Joe Straus

Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.
Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.

Analysis: Texas leaders couldn’t agree during the regular session. What’s changed?

Texas lawmakers will return to Austin in a month to take another swing at more than a dozen issues they couldn't resolve during the regular legislative session. So what has changed?

Gov. Greg Abbott looks on as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (left) and House Speaker Joe Straus shake hands at the Capitol on May 27, 2017. 
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott looks on as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (left) and House Speaker Joe Straus shake hands at the Capitol on May 27, 2017.&nbsp;</p>

Abbott "shuttle diplomacy" tested as Straus, Patrick reached impasse

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.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick &nbsp;gaveled out the 85th legislative session for the Texas Senate on May 29, 2017. &nbsp;Patrick hinted at a special session later this year to take care of issues that weren't resolved during the regular session.&nbsp;
<p>Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick &nbsp;gaveled out the 85th legislative session for the Texas Senate on May 29, 2017. &nbsp;Patrick hinted at a special session later this year to take care of issues that weren't resolved during the regular session.&nbsp;</p>

Uncertainty, deep tension mark the end of the 85th regular session

The 85th legislative session came to a close Monday amid uncertainty over whether Gov. Greg Abbott would call lawmakers back for overtime. Tensions ran high up until the session's end. 

At an outdoor bill-signing ceremony in Austin, Gov. Greg Abbott tells reporters he'll make an announcement on a special session later this week.&nbsp;
<p>At an outdoor bill-signing ceremony in Austin, Gov. Greg Abbott tells reporters he'll make an announcement on a special session later this week.&nbsp;</p>

Analysis: The Texas Legislature blows its deadline

The state's top leaders couldn't close a session-ending deal over the final weekend, giving advocates of bathroom and property tax legislation — if the governor allows it — another chance. 

Gov. Greg Abbott looks on as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (left) and House Speaker Joe Straus shake hands at the Capitol on May 27, 2017.&nbsp;
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott looks on as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (left) and House Speaker Joe Straus shake hands at the Capitol on May 27, 2017.&nbsp;</p>

Lawmakers teeter on the brink of 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.

Flanked by fellow lawmakers from the House, State Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, speaks at a press conference on May 28, 2017.
<p>Flanked by fellow lawmakers from the House, State Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-<span>Round Rock, speaks at a press conference on May 28, 2017.</span></p>

House, Senate accuse each other of inaction on critical legislation

House members accused the Senate of playing games with Texans’ health and safety by holding out on legislation that would keep state agencies, including the Texas Medical Board, in existence.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus on the dais in the House chamber for a joint session memorializing the nation's veterans, on May 27, 2017.
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus on the dais in the House chamber for a joint session memorializing the nation's veterans, on May 27, 2017.</p>

Political showdown over bathrooms has been years in the making

Well before the current legislative standoff over public accommodations for transgender Texans, the political elements of the "bathroom bill" fight were falling into place. 

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus on the dais in the House chamber for a joint session memorializing the nation's veterans, on May 27, 2017.
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus on the dais in the House chamber for a joint session memorializing the nation's veterans, on May 27, 2017.</p>

Analysis: Oversized tweets from a Texas trainwreck

It's the last Saturday of the legislative session — a day combining long, boring periods of inactivity with high levels of drama. In other words: perfect for a wandering mind.

From left: Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are shown on May 21, 2015.
<p>From left: Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are shown on May 21, 2015.</p>

Analysis: A test of negotiating skills for the state’s top three leaders

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.

Attorney General Ken Paxton and Solicitor General Scott Keller after oral arguments on the voter ID case before the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans on May 24, 2016.
Attorney General Ken Paxton and Solicitor General Scott Keller after oral arguments on the voter ID case before the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans on May 24, 2016.

Texas Republicans fear federal oversight as voter ID overhaul stalls

Republicans fear a failure to overhaul strict Texas voter ID rules could torpedo the state's position in litigation over whether lawmakers discriminated against minority voters.

At a May 17, 2017, news conference, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters that the House had to pass two items &mdash; property tax reform and the "bathroom bill" &mdash; or he'd look to force a special session.
<p><span>At a May 17, 2017, news conference, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters that the House had to pass two items &mdash; property tax reform and the "bathroom bill" &mdash; or he'd look to force a special session.</span></p>

Analysis: Property tax relief doesn’t equal extra money in your pocket

There's a simple test to tell you whether the promise of a tax cut is really a tax cut: Is there money in your hand?

At a May 17, 2017 press conference at the Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warns he'll seek a special session if the House doesn't pass certain legislation.&nbsp;
<p>At a May 17, 2017 press conference at the Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warns he'll seek a special session if the House doesn't pass certain legislation.&nbsp;</p>

Analysis: Patrick takes hostages — and control of legislative session

Amid rumors of a special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick put out a short list of bills he wants the House to pass if he's going to let the Senate advance must-pass legislation. And he appears to have the upper hand in the last days of the session.

House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.
House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at a Texas Legislative Budget Board meeting on December 1, 2016.

Analysis: The eyes of Texas reveal a legislative opening for social conservatives

In a legislative process where so many issues die quietly in committees and parliamentary actions, making politicians attach their names to their positions can be a powerful thing. The "sanctuary cities" bill tested that theory. 

Gov. Greg Abbott prays with event organizer Evelyn Davison at the 66th annual Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 1, 2017. Davison has organized the event for the last 43 years.&nbsp;
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott prays with event organizer Evelyn Davison at the 66th annual Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 1, 2017. Davison has organized the event for the last 43 years.&nbsp;</p>

Abbott: I urged pastors to pressure Texas House over "bathroom bills"

Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed Tuesday in a radio interview that he has urged pastors to pressure the Texas House to advance the so-called bathroom bills that have languished there for weeks. 

University of Houston President Renu Khator (center) and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan were among those who testified during a May 10, 2016, House Higher Education Committee hearing.
<p>University of Houston President Renu Khator (center) and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan were among those who testified during a May 10, 2016, House Higher Education Committee hearing.</p>

Will Texas universities face perfect storm of cuts?

The top three sources of revenue for Texas public universities are all being targeted for reductions or freezes by federal or state government leaders.