wnol.info December 16 2017

Texas governor signs texting-while-driving ban into law

December 16 2017, 10:27 | Irvin Gilbert

Texas governor revives 'bathroom bill' for special session

Texas governor signs texting-while-driving ban into law

The special session will start July 18th with an unexpectedly long "to do list". "If they fail, it's not for lack of time, it would be because of a lack of will".

By allowing a "bathroom bill" in the special session of the most powerful Republican-controlled state, Abbott has placed a focus on Texas on an issue that has been a flashpoint in USA culture wars, analysts said.

"If we are going to come together and work this summer at taxpayers' expense, then let us work on relieving Texas homeowners from out-of-control property taxes", he said.

"After providing zero leadership and interest during the regular session, the governor is clearly panicking and trying to shovel as much red meat as he can to his right-wing, tea party base", said Rep. Chris Turner, head of the House Democratic Caucus.

Greg Abbott promised to add a slew of hardline conservative items, like a so-called "bathroom bill" to discriminate against transgender public school kids, to a special session of the Texas Legislature.

During the regular session, House Republican leaders also rejected Patrick's property tax proposal, which would trigger automatic rollback elections if local property taxes grow by more than 5 percent. There is one law and one fine, Craddick said.

Even though members of the Senate were willing to reach a compromise with House members, Saenz says House Speaker Joe Straus refused to do so. He also wants Texas to create a commission to study ways to fix its troubled school finance system after a bill that would have begun an actual revamp died during the regular session amid a House-Senate battle over vouchers.

Greg Abbott today announced he would be calling the Texas legislature into special session July 18 to complete unfinished business on the state budget. The special session lasts 30 days and lawmakers are not required to pass every bill that Abbott has demanded.

Only the governor can decide the topics of a special session, though property tax reform and a North Carolina-style "bathroom bill" are likely to be revisited. But Abbott can campaign saying he tried. Texas Supreme Court called that system "Draconian" previous year in a ruling that found inconsistencies in how money is distributed among Texas public schools - namely, its "recapture" system, which requires wealthier school districts to disperse revenue to needier districts. A special session was entirely avoidable.

Any such bathroom legislation that targets transgender Texans - an already vulnerable population - for unequal treatment and puts innocent children in harm's way is unconscionable. "We will not give up in our efforts to prevent the passage and enactment of such a risky and immoral law".

In a special session, it would be harder for Straus and other moderate Republicans to find procedural tools to kill bills they oppose. "Some local governments, like the city of Austin, are doing everything they can to over-regulate".

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