Will A House And Senate Divided Lead To A Special Session?

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

By Alain StephensMay 26, 2017 4:10 pm, , ,

Time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune.

Former Governor Rick Perry made an appearance in the Texas Senate chamber, Thursday. The Senate was honoring Perry’s father, Joseph “Ray” Perry, who died a month ago.

The legislative session will end on May 29, but Ramshow says the House and Senate are far from done arguing.

“We are staring down the barrel of a possible special legislative session,” Ramshaw says. “There is a standoff between the House and the Senate.”

The issue is the so-called ‘bathroom bill,’ passed by the Senate, and championed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Even though the House passed a version of the bill, the Senate isn’t satisfied with that bill. It is unclear, Ramshaw says, whether the House and Senate will form a conference committee to resolve the differences between the two bills, or whether the governor will send lawmakers back to work in a special session, whose call could include the bill.

Ramshaw says lawmakers may have come to some consensus on the state budget, which must be passed before the regular session ends. Both chambers are scheduled to vote on the budget Saturday.

A bill that did make it through both legislative chambers would ban texting while driving, statewide. It’s unclear whether the governor will sign the bill.

“We had heard through the grapevine” Ramshaw says “that he had been telling the bill’s author, former House Speaker Tom Craddick that he was going to sign off on it. But the latest we heard from him is that he’s not sure yet.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.