2017 Texas Legislature

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Texas senators voted Friday to send a bill banning the most common second-trimester abortion procedure and changing how health care facilities handle fetal remains to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

After months of back and forth over how to fix what ails funding for Texas schools, lawmakers argued late into the night, Wednesday over a bill that would pump more state money into school budgets statewide. In the end, members of the House and Senate couldn't see eye to eye on what to leave in the bill to make school financing more equitable statewide.

School Finance Legislation Is Pronounced Dead

May 25, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

An effort to overhaul the state’s beleaguered school finance system has been declared dead after the Texas Senate Education Committee’s chairman said Wednesday that he would not appoint conferees to negotiate with the House.

“That deal is dead,” Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, said.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers are close to passing yet another abortion bill, roughly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state's last major abortion legislation.

House Backs Giddings Measure Targeting 'Lunch Shaming'

May 24, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After several failed attempts and compromises during the legislative session — and a heated debate with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday — Rep. Helen Giddings succeeded in getting the House to pass a measure that targets "lunch shaming" in schools.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

With just days left in the Texas 2017 regular legislative session, the fate of a so-called “bathroom bill” is still uncertain.

Just after 1 a.m., state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) attached an amendment to a House bill in an effort to extend the life of the Senate’s controversial proposal.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

The legislative wrangling over where transgender Texans can use the bathroom isn’t over yet.

State Sen. Larry Taylor said he will reject the House's proposed compromise on the "bathroom bill," an amendment to Senate Bill 2078 that required school districts to provide single-occupancy bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities for students who don’t want to use the ones associated with their “biological sex.”

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

A bill aimed at ending the practice of “lunch-shaming” in Texas public schools died at the hands of Freedom Caucus members earlier this month. But state Rep. Helen Giddings, who filed the bill, isn’t giving up on the issue. 

Giddings, D-DeSoto, filed House Bill 2159 in February after learning that some public schools in Texas won’t feed schoolchildren whose parents cannot or have not paid for their lunches. In some of these schools, hot meals are thrown away in front of students.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate Sunday night approved a bill that would both simplify the formulas for funding public schools and allow parents of kids with disabilities to take state money to leave the public system for private schools or homeschooling.

Senators voted 21-10 to approve House Bill 21, which the House originally intended to reform a complicated system for allocating money to public schools and to provide a funding boost for most public schools.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

Amid threats of a special legislative session over the “bathroom bill,” the Texas House on Sunday took a last-minute vote and approved a proposal that would keep transgender students from using school bathrooms in line with their gender identity.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Legislation that would create a statewide texting-while-driving ban overcame a last-ditch attempt in the Senate on Friday to gut the bill. The bill's author, state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said he will concur with the changes the Senate made. The measure will then head to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

iStock.com/Naufalmq

The Texas House on Thursday passed a package of sweeping measures aimed at addressing a crisis in the state's child welfare system.

After a lengthy debate, the House passed Senate Bill 11, a measure that would have Texas shift to a "community-based care" model for handling some endangered children and allowing contracted organizations — not just the resources-strapped state — to monitor children in foster care and adoptive homes.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

With deadlines looming, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday threatened to push for a special session of the Legislature to pass a bill to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans and legislation to set new thresholds for when cities and counties must get voter approval for their tax rates.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers wrap up a very busy week at the Capitol today, and last night had a little bit of everything that you’ll find at the end of a legislative session.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

With the legislative session set to end on May 29, time is running out to pass a state budget, and resolve the avalanche of other bills that are still moving between chambers of the Legislature. And then there are the governor's priority items, some of which are still stuck, because lawmakers can't agree how to pay for them.

Faith-based adoption agencies in Texas would be able to reject prospective parents on religious grounds under a bill the state House preliminarily approved Tuesday over strong objections from Democratic lawmakers who said it would ultimately harm children and deny good people the right to care for them.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

A proposal to gut cities and school districts’ trans-inclusive bathroom policies did not advance in the House ahead of a crucial deadline, nixing the measure's chances of getting a vote by the full chamber. But that doesn't mean that the issue itself is dead.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Prayer is a staple of the Texas Capitol, where lawmakers begin each legislative day with an invocation and bowed heads.

But on Wednesday, about 50 faith leaders of various denominations lined the stairs outside the Texas House in protest. Their prayer was silent, but their message was clear: Don’t legislate against LGBT Texans in our name.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Officers arrested demonstrators who staged an all-day sit-in Monday to protest legislation banning so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

The Texas House on Thursday approved a proposal that would phase out an unpopular business tax that provides funding for public schools.

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