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Texas Special Session Ends Abruptly a Day Early, Without Bathroom Bill Or Property Tax Reform

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick blamed House Speaker Joe Straus for what he considers the failure in passing both measures.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. In this image, Abbott speaks at an event where he announced his bid for re-election, Friday, July 14, 2017, in San Antonio.

The Texas Legislature has adjourned a day early. Lawmakers are heading home without passing a property tax relief bill.

It was Governor Greg Abbott’s top priority for the special session.The two chambers had passed different versions of the same bill. The Senate had named members of a conference committee to try to hammer out an agreement. The House was expected to do the same. Instead, House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen said time had run out. With that, the House adjourned Sine Die.

That left it up to the Senate to either pass the House version of property tax relief or none at all. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said no deal, and the Senate adjourned as well.

Patrick then held a press conference. He blamed House Speaker Joe Straus for the failure not only of the property tax bill, but also of a privacy measure restricting transgender access to school restrooms – popularly known as the bathroom bill. Asked if he supported calling a second special session to address these issues, Patrick said that was up to the governor. But he said those Republicans who voted against the measures could now go home and explain themselves to the voters. That suggests Patrick will make both issues central to his 2018 reelection campaign.

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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 delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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