Update: Gov. Perry is set to sign HB 2 in a ceremony this morning, July 18, at 9:30 at the state capitol.
Original Post: Thus far, no lawsuit against the State of Texas has been filed -- that would only come after Gov. Rick Perry signs the bill into law -- but even after the governor signs it, Terri Burke, the executive director the ACLU of Texas, said a lawsuit wouldn't be filed until 90 days later.
Less than 72 hours after the passage of House Bill 2, the bill that will hold clinics performing abortions to a standard equal to a ambulatory surgical center, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst released a campaign video that features his role in the bill's passage with clear political and religious undertones.
On June 19, before the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and before the second special session was even being discussed, Dewhurst sent a tweet that featured an ad about how the abortion bill would close all but five clinics in Texas.
Bexar County has been selected by the state legislature to test a pilot program for email voting. For the first time next year, ballots will be sent and returned by email from 200-300 military members.
Voters eligible for the program will be able to cast ballots by email for the first time in the 2014 primary elections.
A rally that started at the capitol in Austin yesterday only drew a small number of people compared other abortion rights events around the state.
About 300 abortion rights supporters gathered at the capitol to speak out against last week’s passage of a strict abortion bill during a national day of action. Demonstrators huddled under umbrellas and rain gear intently listened to keynote speaker Jim Hightower, the former agriculture commissioner, who had a few choice words for Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans at the state capitol.
The Texas House has given initial approval to a transportation funding plan that uses money from the gas tax rather than tapping the Rainy Day Fund.
As it stands today, and has since 1991, 20 cents of every gallon used to fill up your car has gone to the state's highway fund with the stipulation that five cents of it would go to fund education.
House Joint Resolution 2, authored by Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, would stop that diversion. Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, is the co-sponsor of the bill and explained the difference between the House bill and the Senate version.
It took lawmakers ten hours of debate to pass the strictest abortion legislation Texas has ever seen on a vote of 19 to 11 Friday night.
Democratic lawmakers in the Texas Senate tried 21 times to change the bill by adding resolutions but none of those attempts were successful. Sen. Judith Zafarinni, D-Laredo, was one of those who tried to change the bill.
"As a pro-lifer I tried mightily to amend this bill to prohibit the abortion of an unborn child after 5 months," Zafarinni said. "Please remember that 11 Democrats voted for that amendment today."
Update: (4:55 p.m.) DPS has issued a press release saying that they have received information that people are planning on using a variety of props and items to disrupt Senate proceedings and will be inspecting bags before letting people into the gallery.
According to the release, so far DPS has found:
"One jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint. All of these items – as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti."
The controversial abortion restriction bill will likely pass the Texas Senate in Austin today, but yesterday in downtown San Antonio, a rally with Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, demonstrated that there is plenty of opposition to that bill.
The rally was called Stand With Texas Women, and along with Mayor Julián Castro were four Texas Senators all beating the drum in opposition to the abortion bills.
But the person that the crowd came to see was Davis.