Aug 11, 2017
As the special legislative session heads to its finale, Gov. Greg Abbott will be getting a few of his 20 must-pass priorities on his desk.
Maybe six, perhaps seven.
On Friday, after weeks of political bickering and gamesmanship, the House and Senate delivered to the governor the first three bills -- two on continuing the operations of Texas' medical regulatory agencies and one to crack down on mail-ballot fraud.
Abbott immediately signed all three into law.
The rest? Bills on property-tax reform, a maternal mortality study, end-of-life protections and new rules for tree-cutting ordinances in cities and abortion restrictions were moving, slowly, but were moving for possible final votes this weekend.
Others, such as the bathroom bill, were considered all but dead.
For his part, Abbott publicly was remaining optimistic that he would get much of his conservative agenda approved by the time lawmakers go home on Wednesday. But lawmakers in both chambers predicted the bottom line will look more like what House Speaker Joe Straus predicted before the session even started -- that some would be approved, but the most controversial would not.
For those Texans who are just ready for all this hair-pulling to end, and want something else to think about, we dissect the reported move by U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, to gain tea party support in his underdog campaign to unseat Republican Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a tea party darling.
And we'll respond to listener blowback on our debate last week over Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's reference to "soda pop," which some folks thought was un-Texan.
We've got the lowdown on all the political action under the Pink Dome, as the Austin statehouse is called, in this week's Texas Take. That's where you get the inside scoop in unvarnished, straight talk that every Texan can understand.
From Mike Ward, the Houston Chronicle's Austin Bureau chief, and Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, comes Texas' leading online podcast about Lone Star politics -- now coming to you with contributions from Texas Public Radio.