Special Session of Texas Legislature Ends One Day Early
In a surprise move, just before 7pm on Tuesday night, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus suddenly accepted a motion from the floor for sine die to end the proceedings of the Texas House with one complete day left in the special session.
Just over three hours after the House's surprise action, the Texas Senate also adjourned sine die, ending the First Called Session of the 85th Legislature one day early.
The House's surprise move essentially killed any chance of compromise between the two chambers on property tax reform legislation known as SB 1.
"We are not going to accept the take-it-or-leave it proposal from the House, and we are going to fight another day," said State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R- Houston) said on the floor of the Senate. "Because Texas taxpayers deserve elected officials that fight for them another day. And if it takes years, I will be back to fight. I hope the governor calls us back (for another special session) as soon as possible, so we can provide the tax relief Texans deserve, the tax Texans need."
The chances of an immediate second special session increased dramatically on Tuesday when a San Antonio appellate court panel ruled the boundaries to two Texas congressional districts unconstitutional. The current boundaries of Congressional Districts 27 and 35 violated the Voting Rights Act according to the panel. Congressman Blake Farenthold (R- Corpus Christi) represents CD 27 and Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D- Austin) represents CD 35.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office will have three business days to tell the judicial panel whether or not the Texas Legislature would take up redistricting the districts. If the legislature doesn't participate in the redistricting, it would fall to the State and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to hammer out an agreement.
Governor Greg Abbott will discuss the end of the special session on Wednesday morning at 9:05am with Chad Hasty on News/Talk 95.1 and 790, KFYO. The show will be streamed online at KFYO.com.