Dan Patrick Threatens To Force Special Session

Mothers protest in downtown Austin against law banning so-called sanctuary cities in Texas

With deadlines looming, Lt. Gov.

Gov. Dan Patrick is threatening to force the Texas legislature to convene for a special summer session if House Speaker Joe Straus doesn't cave to Patrick's demand that he pass several pieces of legislation, including a "bathroom bill". Sponsoring Sen. Charles Schwertner, said, "it's stating the obvious".

"As a person whose family is made up of Hispanics, I want to make sure no one who is Hispanic gets detained inappropriately", Abbott said, referring to his wife, Cecelia, the granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico, and his in-laws.

Watson noted that there is still time for the House to act on two of his bills that would address the Supreme Court rulings, "if there's political will". All state agencies must undergo periodic "sunset" reviews by the Legislature or be forced to shut down if reforms aren't passed.

The bills, bottled up in a House committee since mid-April, were given new life last week when the Senate voted to add all six as amendments to House Bill 2328 by Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville.

Patrick on Wednesday said the Senate had less than 48 hours to pass its version of the legislation and avoid the need for a special session.

Ultimately, it's Gov. Greg Abbott who has the authority to call a special session. But he only explicitly mentioned the property tax legislation. "There's nothing to do about it now unless we come back and try to change it next session", Rodriguez said.

Patrick deemed "hailstorm lawsuit abuse" a top priority for the legislative session, which ends May 29.

The Texas measure, called Senate Bill 6, passed the Republican-controlled Texas Senate on a party-line vote in March but has languished in the Republican-controlled House.

Putting nodes in rights-of-way is standard practice for many utility companies, but the bill would standardize it and cap the fees that cities can charge for the use of public property.

The bathroom legislation has stalled in the House.

"If you are Hispanic, or frankly anybody from any other country, you are not going to be stopped and required to show your papers unless you are suspected of having committed some serious crime", he said.

The bathroom bill, Senate Bill 6, as approved by the Senate, would specify that people use restrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms in government buildings, schools and universities that align with the sex on their birth certificates.

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