The Texas Tribune
One week left: Texas lawmakers have just seven days before the legislative session ends on May 31. With deadlines fast approaching, both chambers met over the weekend to move legislation along. Here’s the latest:
- Anti-trans bills: Texas lawmakers are set to consider legislation later this week that would limit transgender athletes’ participation in school sports. Other legislation that would ban gender-affirming health care for transgender children missed a key deadline.
- Power grid: Lawmakers in the Texas House advanced legislation that — among other things — would require natural gas facilities to prepare for extreme weather. The legislation was amended to go further than what the Texas Senate passed. The chambers have passed few bills related to the power crisis after February’s winter storm, and they have just a week left to finish their work.
- Guns: A bill that would allow permitless carry of handguns is likely headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signing after the top negotiators in the House and Senate reached a crucial compromise. The House has moved the final version of the bill forward — all that’s left is for the Senate to do the same.
- Public education: After hours of passionate debate about how Texas teachers are allowed to instruct school children about America’s history of subjugating people of color, the Senate advanced over the weekend a new version of a controversial bill aimed at banning critical race theory in public and open-enrollment charter schools. The legislation now heads back to the House — where lawmakers can either accept the changes the Senate made or request the other chamber enter into negotiations.
- Criminal Justice: House lawmakers advanced a bill that would make it harder for police officers with histories of misconduct to find future law enforcement work.
- Protests: Lawmakers have passed legislation that would raise criminal penalties and require jail time for people who knowingly obstruct emergency vehicles from passing through a roadway or who block a hospital entrance.
- Environment: Following a massive chemical fire in 2019 that forced Deer Park residents to shelter in place for three days due to air pollution, House lawmakers have advanced legislation that will introduce new regulations aimed at preventing future fires.
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