Bathroom bill appears all but dead

The governor lays out the agenda for the special session but that hasn't stopped House members from introducting other items they consider a priority

"I'm happy for our friends in other parts of the state to receive the relief that they need".

The critics also say that because the bill doesn't do anything about the public school system's heavy reliance on property taxes, it won't make a real dent in people's tax burden.

On Tuesday, Senate education chairman Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, held a press conference to announce he was rejecting the House's proposal to put $1.8 billion into public schools, likening it to trying to drive a broken-down auto "knowing you will be facing expensive repairs and ultimately be driving it into the ground".

Twenty five days into the 30-day special session, the Texas Legislature overcame a series of political impasses and began sending Gov. Greg Abbott what he's wanted all along: bills to sign into law.

Governor Abbott has not said whether he would call a second special session if transgender bathroom restrictions do not pass.

Women in Texas may have to purchase additional insurance coverage after the Texas House passed House Bill 214 in a 92-46 vote.

Senate Bill 1 by Sen. Controversial legislation that would regulate which restrooms transgender Texans can use is viewed as all but dead, and despite bipartisan support and early momentum in both chambers, proposals to tackle Texas' maternal mortality crisis haven't made much progress in the opposite chamber after passing out of their original chambers. About 250 small, rural school districts depend on the program, Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction, or ASATR, which is slated to expire in September.

Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, (right) talks with Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, about property tax legislation on the House floor in May during the regular session. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, stripped $1.5 billion out of the lower chamber's primary piece of school finance legislation. Similar bills brought forward in the House were assigned to a committee, but so far have been pointedly ignored by the committee chairman, Republican Byron Cook.

The Senate's version of HB 21 eliminates a major provision that would have increased the base amount of money schools get per student from $5,140 to $5,350.

In the regular session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called this funding mechanism a "Ponzi scheme".

The Senate wants to pay for HB 21 by delaying payments to Medicaid managed care organizations in the upcoming budget cycle to the following biennium.

Plus, state lawmakers advance a measure that would require women to have separate insurance coverage for abortions.

On Tuesday, as Taylor publicly announced he could not abide by the House education plan, Patrick backed him, releasing a statement that described public education as "a top priority for the majority of Republican senators". "I'm very concerned about this", he added.

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