An irony of therecent Texas political theater: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster aimed at stopping anti-abortion legislation raised not only her profile but that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
Shortly after Davis' talkathon ran out the clock on a bill that would potentially have made abortions much harder for women in Texas to obtain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Perry put himself back in the national headlines.
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.
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.
Republican efforts to greatly restrict a woman’s right to an abortion in Texas failed in the regular legislative session. But in a special session, things move faster, and it’s more difficult for the minority party to derail legislation.
Despite efforts by Democrats to slow down the anti-abortion bills Thursday night by filling a house committee hearing, causing the session to run until almost four in the morning, the bills appear to be on their way to eventual passage and becoming law.
Lawmakers at the state capitol are outraged by the decision of FEMA officials to deny the town of West continued federal assistance following the fertilizer plant explosion.
According to a report released by the Associated Press, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is refusing to provide West with the funds to help the town rebuild. In a letter from FEMA to state officials, the group has ruled that the plant explosion in West did not meet the criteria for a major disaster declaration.
Texas Democrats are outraged that Gov. Rick Perry is threatening to veto a portion of the state budget unless embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg steps down.
This spring, Lehmberg was arrested and convicted for driving under the influence in which her blood alcohol was three times the legal limit.
The governor’s office confirmed that Perry is considering a veto of a portion of the state’s budget bill that funds the state’s Public Integrity Unit, which investigates government entities and is headed up by the Travis County district attorney.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, has one of about six bills that address some aspect of abortion in the special session. Patrick said his bill would hold institutions like Planned Parenthood to strict guidelines when dispensing the Plan B abortion pillthe abortion pill (mifeprestone), a set of pills that medically ends a pregnancy and can be used up to 9 weeks after the woman's last period.