May 5, 2017
Republican-supported legislation banning so-called "sanctuary cities"' proved controversial to the very end, as the Texas Senate played out the final drama before approving and sending to the governor a House version that includes a "show your papers" provision.
Gov. Greg Abbott is expected soon to sign the measure into law, despite threats from immigration groups and Democrats to try to overturn the new statute in court.
That was far from the only drama this week under the Pink Dome.
In the Senate, Sens. James Huffines and Royce West, both from Dallas, tussled verbally over a bill regarding the Dallas County school district that became personal and, at the end, drew an apology -- before the legislation passed.
In the House, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, literally cussed out some Republican colleagues over their move to derail passage of a bill regarding cosmetologists and what role they should play in her ongoing war against human trafficking.
The issue of Chinese steel imports brought fervent debate, as well.
Plaintive cries could be heard from both chambers as deadlines for passing bills began approaching, as literally hundreds of House and Senate bills -- some important, some not -- began dying because they had not been assigned to a committee, or they had not received a public hearing or they had not been approved by a committee.
With the end of the legislative session less than a month away, those cries will increase in coming days.
One that may not: A bill that repeals mandatory state safety inspections for personal vehicles, a step that more than a dozen states already have taken. The Texas bill was passed by the Senate, and is bound for the House.
Get the lowdown on all the fighting and political intrigue in Austin in this week's Texas Take, the leading political podcast in the Lone Star State, where you get the inside scoop on the Legislature in simple language every Texan can understand -- unvarnished straight talk, as they say.
From Mike Ward, the Chronicle's Austin Bureau chief, and Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, Texas' best online newsletter for political insiders.