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: You can fight City Hall — if you’re governor of Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017. 
<p><span>Gov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017.&nbsp;</span></p>

Local government attorneys in Texas are about to take a page from Greg Abbott, who spent 12 years as the top attorney for the state of Texas — suing a faraway government that has its nose in their business. 

Gov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017.
<p><span>Gov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017.</span></p>

Here's what Gov. Greg Abbott has said — or not said — about special session items

Some of the 20 topics Gov. Greg Abbott is asking the Texas Legislature to consider during a special session have been his priorities since his State of the State Address in January. On some of the other topics, though, he's been relatively quiet. 

Gov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017.
<p>Gov. Greg Abbott lays out items for a special session at a press conference on June 6, 2017.</p>

Gov. Abbott calls special session on bathrooms, abortion, school finance

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday called a special session of the Texas Legislature starting July 18. Abbott said that after legislators address a bill to keep some state agencies from shuttering, he'll add another 19 items to the agenda.

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. 

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.

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>

Texas Senate looks to resurrect bathroom, property tax bills

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.

 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confers with State Sens. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Royce West, D-Dallas, on March 14, 2017.
<p>Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confers with State Sens. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Royce West, D-Dallas, on March 14, 2017.</p>

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

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.