Tribpedia: Special Sessions

A special session of the Texas Legislature is a convening of state lawmakers outside the constitutionally mandated 140-day regular session. The Texas Constitution says special sessions may last a maximum of 30 days but does not set a minimum duration. The first called special session of the 38th Legislature met for only one hour.

Only the governor may call the ...

Analysis: A legislative session ending on the lieutenant governor’s terms

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confers with State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, during SB 6 debate on March 14, 2017.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confers with State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, during SB 6 debate on March 14, 2017.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has put the clock to his advantage. With a week to go in the regular legislative session, his threat of pushing lawmakers into overtime if he doesn’t get his way on pet issues is paying off.

Gov. Rick Perry in San Antonio on July 8, 2013, announcing that he will not seek re-election.
Gov. Rick Perry in San Antonio on July 8, 2013, announcing that he will not seek re-election.

Finally, a Political Starting Gun

The Legislature has overstayed its time in Austin and the governor delayed his announcement. But the first is almost over and the governor has done his thing: It's time for politics.

Young attendees, wearing the blue of anti-abortion protesters, attend demonstrations at the Texas State Capitol on the first day of the second legislative session, July 1, 2013.
Young attendees, wearing the blue of anti-abortion protesters, attend demonstrations at the Texas State Capitol on the first day of the second legislative session, July 1, 2013.

The Policy and the Politics of the Abortion Debate

The Texas Capitol has been full of protesters and demonstrators off and on for the last month as lawmakers considered abortion legislation. And activists on both sides fight have put some R-rated signs in the hands of children.

The Main Building of The University of Texas at Austin.
The Main Building of The University of Texas at Austin.

TRBs Ready to Move Forward, if Perry Allows It

Legislators appear ready and willing to approve billions in tuition revenue bonds — or “TRBs” — for campus construction projects, but only if Gov. Rick Perry will let them.

Preparations for Planned Parenthood rally at Texas Capitol on March 7th, 2013
Preparations for Planned Parenthood rally at Texas Capitol on March 7th, 2013

Anti-Abortion Bills Back on the Table

UPDATED: The House State Affairs Committee did not vote on an omnibus abortion bill after more than nine hours of testimony. Opponents of the measure say the abrupt end to the hearing may open the door to killing it.

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Perry Open to Expanding Special Session Agenda

Gov. Rick Perry told reporters Friday that he is leaving open the possibility of adding more items to the agenda of the special legislative session, but he wants to first see specific proposals that have a chance of passing.

Inside Intelligence: In Closing...

For the latest installment of our unscientific survey of political and policy insiders, we asked whether this will be the last special session, how many lawmakers will return for another term and what issues from the session will play in the elections next year. 

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.

Sine Die Report: What Survived, What Died

The Trib's been keeping track of the key issues throughout the special session. From budget measures to school finance, health care and airport groping, here's our final rundown of bills that passed, and the ones that died.