Texas governor signs texting-while-driving ban into law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Bill Ending Straight-Party Voting

After the sunset bills pass the Senate, Abbott named 19 other legislative priorities that will be presented to lawmakers, including education finance reform, abortion reform, voter fraud, school choice for special needs students, property tax reform, and reduction of local government's ability to over-regulate, among other issues.

Only Governor Abbott can call a special session and only he can decide what the legislature should debate. "These are incredible opportunities that should not have to wait another two years".

Greg Abbott revived a failed "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people Tuesday while also resurrecting anti-abortion proposals, anti-union efforts and more as an encore to a rancorous legislative session that ended with Republicans feuding and one GOP lawmaker threatening to pull a gun on a Democratic colleague.

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.

For more on Abbott's press conference, see this week's print edition.

Abbott ordered the special session despite vehement public and private opposition from the business community, including some major tech companies with presences in the Lone Star State. In March, the Senate passed a bill backed by social conservative Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick that would require people to use restrooms in public schools and buildings that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender with which they identify.

Tensions had flared when Republican Matt Rinaldi announced he had called federal immigration authorities on protesters in gallery of the Texas House of Representatives who Rinaldi said held signs saying they were in the country illegally. The 84th session in 2015 ended with no special sessions being called. "We'll continue working with our partners at Equality Texas and the Texas Association of Business to defeat discriminatory proposals and send a message that anti-LGBT legislation is one of the most irresponsible actions lawmakers could take at this time". It said the state could lose about $5.6 billion through 2026 if enacted.

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