Zero For Twenty? Time Is Running Out For The Governor’s Special Session Agenda

On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus met for the first time in six months, but it may be too little too late.

By Jill AmentAugust 8, 2017 10:50 am

The 85th Legislature’s special session is not gaining momentum. Not one of the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott listed in his special session call has reached his desk. And with the clock ticking, the House and Senate continue to remain at odds over several legislative priorities. But maybe a long awaited meeting between the estranged chamber heads could smooth things over?

Andrea Zelinski, state bureau reporter for the Houston Chronicle, explains what the meeting between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus says about the inner workings of state government.

“To some extent, it’s a sign of progress, that they are meeting, that they are talking,” says Zelinski.

However, initial reports about Monday’s meeting do not reveal consensus on any of the priority items over which the House and Senate remain at odds. The bathroom bill, education measures and a contentious annexation bill are among the measures that remain in limbo.

“The two chambers definitely have different motivations this special session and different goals they hope to accomplish,” says Zelinski.  

Indeed, the House and Senate remain at odds, operating in silos.

“I’m not sure there’s going to be all that much [legislation] passed by the end of the session,” says Zelinski.

There are only nine days left in the special session. Abbott had high hopes — he charged the chambers with passing legislation to address each of the items on his ambitious agenda. But it appears the government is running out of time.

“It’s definitely not going to be anywhere close to the governor’s 20 for 20,” says Zelinski.


Written by Taylor Jackson Buchanan.