This Week in Texas: July 28, 2021

Posted July 28, 2021 in The Mignon Memo

10 Days Left in the First Called Special Session of the 87th Legislature

Capitol Staff May Soon Be Logged Out

On Monday, House Administration Chairman Will Metcalf (R-Conroe) wrote to House members to outline the specifics of what will happen if funding under Article X, which was vetoed by Gov. Abbott, is not restored by August 1.

“The implications to the operation of the House are significant,” Chair Metcalf wrote. The full letter to House members can be found here. Metcalf listed a few major areas of impact such as staff members no longer having computer access and district office telephones being canceled.

Speaker Phelan Seeks to Arrest Rep. Cortez

House Speaker Dade Phelan signed a civil warrant for the arrest of state Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) who rejoined his colleagues in Washington, D.C., on Sunday to help prevent the passage of a GOP-backed election bill.

In a statement Monday, Phelan said that Cortez “has irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of this chamber.” Last week, Cortez returned to Austin from Washington in what he said was an attempt to engage in “good faith dialogue” about the election legislation. 
By Sunday though, Cortez was back in Washington, saying  that talks with lawmakers in Austin “have not produced progress.”

TX-6 Congressional District Special Election Runoff

State Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-Waxahachie) beat fellow Republican Susan Wright yesterday to succeed her late husband, U.S. Rep. Ron Wright (R-Arlington), and pull off a major upset against a candidate backed by former President Trump. With 93% of precincts reporting, Wright conceded the race for Ellzey late Tuesday, when he had 52.92% of votes to 47.08% for Wright, a longtime GOP activist.

Only in Austin…

The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma are expected to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. The move, which throws the future of several other Texas schools into uncertainty, is not sitting well with legislators that represent those schools.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said via Twitter he wants a new Texas Senate select committee to study the athletic and economic impacts other colleges in the state will face from the University of Texas at Austin’s potential departure from the Big 12 athletic conference. Patrick has asked state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) to chair what he called the Select Committee on the Future of College Sports in Texas. He said the panel will hold a hearing on August 2.