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Senate Democrats Dig In Heels To Delay Votes On GOP Priorities

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick sought to push some of his top priorities for the special session to a floor vote, including property tax reform and transgender bathroom restrictions. The minority Democrats used procedural roadblocks to slow the process to a crawl.


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Senate passes SB1
Andrew Schneider | Houston Public Media

Late last week, Senate Republicans used a parliamentary maneuver to speed more than a dozen controversial bills to committee hearings. On Monday, it was the Democrats' turn to slow things down.

"Chair lays out second reading, Senate Bill 17..."

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick aimed to get preliminary approval on 16 bills. First on the agenda, a bill to help combat maternal mortality, which enjoys bipartisan support

"Senator Rodriguez, you're recognized on the amendment."

"Thank you, Mr. President, members, Senator Kolkhorst..."

Democrats offered amendments. They posed questions to bill authors that turned into extended conversations. And even when bills passed a second reading unanimously, as with the maternal mortality bill, they used one last tactic to delay a final vote.

"Twenty-one ayes, 9 no votes. The motion fails, despite you having 31 votes for the bill. So we will pass it on third reading tomorrow."

Which is about all Democrats can do in the Senate when faced with bills they oppose: delay.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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