Texas House OKs budget but 'bathroom bill' still in limbo

Marsha Scott
June 2, 2017

"It's on them. The ball is in their court", an incensed Gonzales said while flanked by members of the Sunset commission.

The Texas Legislature has approved giving the state's often-combative Board of Education broader veto power over textbooks used across the state.

"This is a fight that has nothing to do with the physicians or with the Texas Medical Board, and everyone at the Capitol knows that", said Texas Medical Association President Carlos J. Cardenas, MD. "We have no reason to believe that any of our state leaders want the TMB to go away, and we have every expectation that they will find a way to make sure that doesn't happen".

The GOP-controlled Texas Legislature has approved a weakened voter ID law and sent it to Governor Greg Abbott after a judge twice ruled that the original version deliberately tried to suppress minority voters. Dan Patrick presides, had a bill in hand Sunday that had been amended by the House to include safety-net language to keep agencies including the Texas Medical Board alive even though they haven't received a separate vote from lawmakers.

Patrick said the issue could be handled in two or three days in a special session.

The $217 billion spending bill sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will likely be a quiet footnote to a rancorous legislative session that ends Monday - upended by a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people and an immigration crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities".

Only Gov. Greg Abbott can call a special session and set its agenda. "We also should not use economic development incentives in a way that will hinder economic development in Texas", said Rep.

One of the agencies that would close if the sunset bill does not pass is the Texas Medical Board, which licenses doctors. House Republicans wanted to restore 75 percent of the cuts, but the Senate resisted that reversal as well, agreeing to restore only 25 percent.

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The House maintains that it did get its work done on time.

The inevitable bottom line as the session sputters towards its Monday conclusion is that we're probably headed for a special session. It will be shuttered in just under a year unless legislation authorizing its continuation passes, officials said Sunday.

House lawmakers pointed to wording in the amendment that specifically refers to "the law governing each agency".

When asked about the Senate Republican stance that a House amendment to SB 1929 was not germane, state Rep.

Then the House adjourned Saturday without appointing conferees to the property tax bill, leading the go-to senator on the issue, Houston Republican Paul Bettencourt, to declare it dead.

Since Patrick's ultimatum to the House, public pressure has been slowly building for Abbott to take the session into overtime on a variety of issues.

"We can fix it".

"They waited to do their entire session of work in the last 20 some days of session", Patrick said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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