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Texas Take


May 13, 2017

So, those reps used a procedural maneuver to kill all 120 bills on the calendar they had been denied. And then they started a talkathon to keep hundreds of other bills from being voted on.

By the time the political theater ended at midnight Thursday, more than 300 bills were reported dead, and emotions were boiling over. One House member was able to save a bill on stem-cell research with a tearful speech.

And the guy who orchestrated the whole show, Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, gave an empassioned plea himself, complaining about "disgusting" manipulation by House leaders to control which bills pass.

The legislative drama continued, with a House committee chair confronting mayors and local officials because they couldn't tell the difference between the Senate and the House, and who was their friend.

Gov. Greg Abbott also made news by signing into law a bill banning so-called sanctuary cities, in an unannounced show on Facebook Live. Remember that this was the bill that Abbott once said was a top priority, an "historic" measure that became law without even the sponsors  present, as is custom in Austin.

The reason: Perhaps that Abbott wanted to avoid protests of doing a public ceremony, on legislation that could tick off Hispanic Texans who voted for him.

Have you heard that Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is being considered to replace James Comey as FBI director? We have the latest on what happens next.

Get the latest war news and other 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 unvarnished, straight talk that every Texan can understand.

From Mike Ward, the Chronicle's Austin Bureau chief, and Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, comes Texas' best online podcast about Lone Star politics.