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It’s The Texas Legislature’s Last Weekend — For This Session

As the Texas Legislature heads into its final weekend before the regular session ends Monday, lots of parts at the Capitol are still churning.

A handful of tourists hang around outside the Texas Capitol on May 11, 2017 as the House faces a midnight deadline that will ultimately end in the death of scores of bills in the 85th Legislature.

What you need to know

As the Texas Legislature heads into its final weekend before the regular session ends Monday, lots of parts at the Capitol are still churning. A special session isn’t entirely out of the equation yet — House lawmakers face a deadline tonight, both chambers are slated to vote on the proposed state budget soon and big bills remain subject to negotiations. Here’s what you need to know: 

Another day, another deadline. House lawmakers have until midnight tonight to act on Senate amendments, meaning they can agree with changes senators made to bills, or send them to a conference committee where members from both chambers can hash out the differences. But time is no longer on anyone’s side, and after tonight, there will be around 72 hours left on the Legislature’s 140-day clock. 

Both chambers will likely vote on a state budget Saturday. The $217 billion document has around $1 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund and $106.8 billion from the state General Revenue, said Nelson, adding, the compromised budget “prioritizes education, addresses transportation, secures our border and strengthens protections for abused and neglected children.” 

• Key bills are still subject to negotiations. Some of this year’s most controversial subjects — the “bathroom bill,” voter ID overhaul, property tax reform and the sunset safety net bill — are still winding their way through the legislative process. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters he’s willing to go to a special session if the House doesn’t act on property taxes and a “bathroom bill” — which would regulate which restrooms transgender Texans can use. Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he wanted to see both chambers compromise and come together in the final days of session. 

Other stories we’re watching today:

• The consulting firm Public Blueprint is crowdsourcing a vote count for members of the State Republican Executive Committee who will pick the next Texas GOP chair. Houston-area businessman Rick Figueroa and James Dickey, the chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, are running to replace Tom Mechler, who resigned Saturday. SREC members will elect someone to finish Mechler’s term at their June 3 meeting.

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