Whitmire Expects Special Session on Sunset Bills


All eyes are on Gov. Greg Abbott and whether or not he'll call lawmakers back to Austin for a special session, and which items will be on the agenda.

The governor holds all the cards in what has turned into a political poker game over the Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's transgender bathroom bill.

“If we come back in and the governor does not put it in the call, I think all hell breaks loose in Austin in terms of the political climate,” says state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

The governor has until June 18 to sign or veto hundreds of bills.  Whitmire says the unfinished sunset bills are necessary to prevent certain state agencies from shuttering, so he expects there will be a special session, the only question is when?

“There's some thought the governor will take a week or two to veto bills and then bring us back to town, but there's another speculation he should wait until July or August when there's a September 1 deadline to do the sunset,” he says.

Whitmire says property tax reform also has become unpopular among cities and counties, so he's unsure whether the governor will put that on the special session agenda as well.

“There's a lot of politics being played, I couldn't begin to tell you how its going to resolve itself,” he says.  “I'm not sure anything will be different in the special session.  The key to it is going to be communication and compromise.”


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