SB5 Fails To Pass Before Midnight, But Another Special Session Is Expected
The attempted filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, slipped off the rails, but Democrats were still able to defeat the legislation with a little help from citizens who packed the state capitol.
Davis’ filibuster lasted about 11 hours, until the strict filibuster rules of the Texas Legislature allowed Republicans to end her attempt to block the bill just short of the midnight deadline.
What happened next was a mix of shouting from spectators and additional Senate Democrats jumping in to stall a vote even further. Finally, Senate Republicans got their vote, but they were not in time.
"The journal will show the vote took place at 12:02 or 12:03. I know for a fact that it was 12-midnight and then we turned around and showed y'all that it was 12-midnight and so if the vote took place after midnight then we’re out of session," said Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas.
But this is not the end for the legislature, as Governor Rick Perry is expected to call another special session since other issues like transportation have yet to be decided.
"I think the motivating cause for a special session will be the fact that the transportation bill failed to pass," Davis said. "We Democrats stood ready to vote favorably on those bills and the lieutenant governor, for whatever reason, choose not to advance those bills first. I think he wanted to maximize the amount of time I would have to be on my feet in hopes that I would not succeed in a filibuster."
Davis said she is pleased to know that the spotlight is shining on the failure of the current leadership but also shinning on how great Texas is because of the incredible people that supported legislative efforts to kill the abortion measure from the start of the session through the final hours.
Republicans in the Senate and House have already drafted a letter petitioning the governor to ask lawmakers to come back to address the failed abortion bills and transportation funding.
Some lawmakers have speculated that Perry will make his announcement about a second special session and future election plans during his speech at the start of the "Right to Life" conference in Dallas this Thursday.