Texas legislative session approaches end, lawmakers entertain idea of special session

The 88th legislative session concludes on May 29.
The 88th legislative session concludes on May 29.(Hope Merritt)
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) - Texas lawmakers filed thousands of bills during the 2023 legislative session, but most of those bills won’t become law.

The 88th legislative session concludes on May 29. KBTX spoke with Texas Rep. John Raney (R-District 14) who said tensions are high at the State Capitol amid the decision-making process.

“It seems as though it’s more contentious, but it seems like that every year if I’m being honest,” said Raney. “The Senate gets mad because we don’t work quite as fast as they do, but we have 150 members. We also have calendars committee and committee rules we have to follow. It appears they don’t seem to have the same kind of rules.”

Raney said most bills are already dead, but some are still under discussion.

“Today [May 24] is the last day we can do third readings on Senate bills. If it’s not passed by this point, it’s not gonna pass,” said Raney. “At the end of the session tempers get a little high sometimes between political parties and the House and the Senate.”

Tuesday night, the Senate pushed the House to accept changes to a bill that would manage school funding and voucher programs. Raney said House Bill 100 will not be passed.

“It is Chairman King’s bill,” he said. “The vouchers were added to that. He told me it’s dead and it’s not going to come back to the floor or be brought up on the floor. So, I guess he’s not going to concur.”

As far as the other chamber, the representative said the Senate Bill focused on eliminating tenure at universities is over too.

“It looks like the tenure bill is dead,” said Raney. “It had been called to point of order last night so it’s over. Every session I’ve been here there’s connection between both the House and the Senate. They don’t think we’re passing their bills and we don’t think they’re passing ours.”

All moves made by lawmakers halting decisions and continuous disagreements are setting the stage for a special session.

“We know we’re gonna be coming back for a Special Session to deal with the public education funding and I’m sure the vouchers will be on the call again,” Raney said. “I’ve heard everything from July to September as for when we’d come back but we’ll never know. It’s all up to the governor.”

For a list of bills still in discussion, click here.