This Week in Texas: June 12, 2013

Posted June 12, 2013 in The Mignon Memo

Governor Perry has expanded the special session call to include:

  • Legislation relating to transportation funding;
  • Legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities; and
  • Legislation relating to establishing a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.

The Senate will hold committee hearings today and tomorrow on these issues and the House will likely follow with hearings next week.  Redistricting bills will be heard on the Senate floor on Friday.  The House is still conducting redistricting hearings. Legislators must complete their work by June 25, the last day of the current special session.  If work is not completed by then, Governor Perry could choose to keep legislators working for another special session but all bills must be refiled and begin the legislative process anew.

On Monday, Governor Perry signed several education bills into law, including House Bill 5 which reduces the number of required standardized tests in high school from 15 to five.   Starting with the 2014-15 school year, high school students will be required to take a foundation curriculum of four English credits; three credits each in science, social studies and math; two foreign language credits; one fine arts and one P.E. credit; and five elective credits. Students would add a fourth science and math credit when they select one of five diploma “endorsements” in areas including science and technology, business and industry, public services, arts and humanities or multidisciplinary.

The Texas Monthly list of best and worst legislators has been released.  Look below to see if your favorites are on either list and look for the July edition of Texas Monthly on your newsstand in two weeks.

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen); Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth); Sen. Robert
Duncan (R-Lubbock); Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth); Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen); Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D- San Antonio); Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie); Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio); Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio); and Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands).

Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth); Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas); Comptroller Susan Combs (R-Austin); Rep. Naomi Gonzalez (D-El Paso); Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North
Richland Hills); Rep. Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville); Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston); Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston); Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City);
and Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano)