losangelesnewstoday.com March 22, 2018

Senate gives early OK to must-pass "sunset" legislation

21 July 2017, 12:40 | Katrina Lee

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State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, the House public education chairman, welcomed the additions to the special session call - and said that school finance reform was particularly important for legislators to address. Both the House of Representatives and Senate gaveled in at 10 a.m. but it was clear the chambers would operate at different paces.

Straus's office has no comment on that, and while Patrick can speed bills through the Senate, the House remains another matter.

The House Committee on State Affairs held a public hearing Wednesday to gather input from Texans about HB 1.

"Believe me, there's very few of us that actually want to be here today", said Austin Representative Celia Israel (D).

The Associated Press estimated that had that bill not been repealed as it was on 30 March, it would have cost the state more than $3.7 billion over the next decade because sports teams, advertisers, and companies were pulling business from the state.

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"Is this bill what needs to happen?" she asked. "These jobs serve at the core of the health care industry which represents approximately 12-percent of our state's economy", said the bill's author, Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano), before the vote.

While Democrats in the Senate may feel the same way, some were even wearing pins that read "Sunset and Sine Die", Republicans seemingly want to fast track sunset bills to move forward with the rest of the Governor's agenda.

Huberty filed a bill this week - mirroring one he filed during the regular session - that would inject state money into public schools and simplify the formulas for funding them.

The whole thing is meant to show that Smith would be forced to use the men's restroom if Texas's Senate Bill 6 were to pass in a special legislative session this summer. "This is all about, should be, giving people the democratic right to participate in this legislative process", said Rodriguez.

After a brief pause on the floor to complete some paperwork, the first of the two bills, SB 20 was voted on and passed 31-0. Rodriguez says that's likely because in order to vote, four-fifths of the Senators would have to vote to suspend the three-day rule. However, a vote on the sunset legislation is not expected before Monday.

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