The mood, and boundaries, have changed a lot at the state capitol since the regular session. Upon entering the capitol, you take immediate notice of the differences -- chained off sections of the stairwell and rotunda and an increased presence of Department of Public Safety troopers.
But what has really changed in this second special session?
Texas Matters: The battle over abortion hit a boiling point in Texas this week and it all started with a 13-hour filibuster attempt by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, which was cut short, continued with Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio challenging the Republican (male) dominance of the floor, which finally pushed the room into a frenzy with one ruckus crowd of supporters. This did not sit well with the governor.
Gov. Rick Perry was clear in his statement about the intended purpose of a second special session, stating "I am calling the legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas."
Lawmakers will be back in the state capitol on Monday, July 1 to continue work.
Josh Havens, who is with the governor’s office, said this session will be about the three items the legislature was unable to pass during the first session.
After a vote on a controversial bill to restrict abortion in Texas was deemed to have fallen outside of the state's legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry has called for a special session to take up the issue, along with other topics. The session is scheduled to begin July 1 at 2 p.m., ET.
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.
The official clock ran out on Texas lawmakers overnight, which effectively killed a bill that would have dramatically restricted abortion in the nation's second most populous state. Hours of chaos and confusion in Austin finally lifted as Texas Senate leaders decided that the vote on Senate Bill 5 did not clear a constitutionally-mandated hurdle that it pass before midnight.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:42 am
By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)
"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.