With less than a week to go in the 82nd regular session of the Texas Legislature, most of the major issues are still up in the air. The budget has been sent to the printer but no one can agree on a school finance fix which is an essential component necessary to make the budget work. The possibility of a special session looms but we like to think positively and hope a rabbit can be pulled out of a hat in the next few days. Stay tuned.
As you may recall, Governor Perry declared several issues as “emergency items” in order to allow the Legislature to get to work on them immediately. Some have reached the finish line yet others have stalled out. Perry signed legislation requiring sonograms and limiting the use of eminent domain. Legislation to require certain voter identification is awaiting Perry’s signature as is a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a federal balanced-budget. The odds of the sanctuary cities bill passing are not good but a consensus was reached on the loser-pays tort reform legislation this week.
When you are told a bill has gone to “conference”, do you know what that means? Many people do not know so the Legislative Reference Library has composed helpful answers to frequently asked questions about conference committees. Follow this link for more information: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/whatsNew/client/index.cfm/2011/5/16/Conference-Committee-FAQs