Jun 2, 2017
As House Speaker Joe Straus gaveled his chamber to adjournment, he acknowledged that the end of the 140-day legislative session had been, well, a bit exciting. And he wished members the best until he sees them again, "which, like you, I hope won't be anytime soon."
Exciting was probably an understatement.
On the last day, Senate and House leaders exchanged accusations over legislation that died. Large protests over Senate Bill 4, the so-called ban on sanctuary cities, filled the capitol with angry protesters. Shouting by the demonstrators forced Straus to clear the public gallery.
Then, several House members got into a shouting match after one Republican said he had called federal immigration authorities on the protesters, some of whom carried signs saying they were undocumented. And Democrats said that a Republican, Matt Rinaldi of Irving, threatened to shoot them.
The Legislature left town without passing a necessary bill to keep the Texas Medical Board, the agency that licenses and polices doctors, in operation for the next two years. Gov. Greg Abbott quickly hinted that would be enough for a special session.
While Abbott insisted he is in charge of the agenda and timing of any special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was insistent that he wanted one to pass a bathroom bill aimed at keeping men out of women's restrooms and to prevent 10th grade boys and girls from showering together.
While awaiting a decision on what will come next, and with most everybody at the statehouses still fuming at someone else after the session's rough conclusion, the news from Austin just keeps coming.
We've got it all and more, in this week's Texas Take, where you get the inside scoop on the Legislature in unvarnished, straight talk that every Texan can understand.
From Mike Ward, the Chronicle's Austin Bureau chief, and Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, comes Texas' leading online podcast about Lone Star politics.