The Texas tribune
The 2021 Texas legislative session is heading into its final weekend fraught with uncertainty and tension between the House and Senate, which could lead to a special session. After three of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priorities effectively died in the House on Tuesday night, the Senate’s presiding officer called for a special session to pass them. This has jolted the final days of a session — which ends Monday — that was already on track to be the most conservative in recent memory.
House Democrats had mainly focused on killing Senate Bill 29, which would require transgender student athletes to play on sports teams based on their sex assigned at birth instead of their gender identity. When the midnight deadline to advance the bill passed without a vote, Democrats celebrated by waving blue and pink transgender pride flags.
Patrick specifically wants a June special session — before the special session that Abbott is expected to call this fall to address redistricting and COVID-19 relief funds. Abbott indicated Wednesday he was not on board with Patrick’s demand. Then, Patrick gave himself leverage to force a special legislative session when he neglected to pass a bill to extend the life of the regulating agency for Texas law enforcement. But after blowback from the governor during a Thursday news conference, Patrick said he wouldn’t use that leverage. “We’re not holding anything hostage,” Patrick said. Read the full story by the Tribune’s Cassandra Pollock.
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