A second special session of the Texas Legislature kicked off this week – but with many Texas’ Democratic lawmakers still out-of-state, there’s still no quorum.
Matthew Watkins, managing editor for news and politics at the Texas Tribune, is keeping an eye on the latest news from the Lege. In the Texas House “work … has basically been ground to a halt,” Watkins says, adding right now “it’s basically wait and see” if a quorum will materialize this session.
In a sign of the tension under the capitol dome, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan signed 52 arrest warrants for those Texas Democrats still missing. The move prompted a flurry of legal activity, and now “those warrants were passed on to Texas Law enforcement. They were basically deputized to be able to bring in the Democrats,” Watkins says.
But the biggest story in Texas politics continues to relate to COVID-19. Several of the state’s biggest cities this week defied Gov. Greg Abbott by requiring mask for students, in an attempt to curb a new wave of COVID infections. Will those schools be allowed to continue with their own mask mandates?
“We saw basically a revolt in the courts this week,” Watkins says.
Listen to our recap of the week in Texas politics in the audio player above.