During the third week of the special legislative session, state senators and the governor found themselves waiting on the House. Though the Senate has passed bills based on all of Gov. Greg Abbott’s list of 20 called items, the House has not acted on most of them. Mitra says Speaker Joe Straus and his members did prioritize the must-pass sunset legislation that is required to keep some state agencies running, but they aren’t rushing to address the governor’s more controversial agenda items.
Mitra says the House has taken up legislation that isn’t directly on the governor’s agenda, including groundwater protection.
Ethics reform is another issue some House members are pushing, Mitra says. Reps. Sarah Davis and Lyle Larson have each filed bills that would restrict campaign contributions to lawmakers and statewide officeholders during a special session. The governor prioritized ethics reform during the two most recent regular legislative sessions. Abbott’s spokesman, however, has been dismissive of Davis and Larson’s proposals during the special session.