Texas House Moves on Abortion Restrictions, Teacher Pay


The Texas House gives early approval to a bill that would require doctors to report more details on abortion complications to the state - and would fine those that do not comply.

A House committee also cleared two bills to use the state's Rainy Day fund for increasing teacher pay and also to cut health insurace costs for retirees.  However, the Senate wants to avoid using the Rainy Day fund.

It also remains unclear if any of the governor's other agenda items will pass in the next three weeks.

“Some of the committees are actually meeting to hear legislation that is not on the call at all, and it can't act on it until the governor adds that to the call,” says Felicia Cravens, a Houston tea party activist and blogger with TheHayride.com.

“There's no push that I can find to even add these things to the call, so what are they doing?”

After the Senate pushed through more than a dozen items in less than a week, Cravens questions how motivated the House is to finish the job.

“How much of this is about getting items done on the call, and how much of this is political posturing ahead of next cycle is anyone's guess, but it doesn't feel like a very productive session,” she says.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Joe Straus continues to suggest he won't pass the so-called bathroom bill. 

“You can broadcast to your cohorts and tell them you really would rather not anything come out of their committee,” Cravens says of the Speaker's influence at the capitol.  “I'm not saying those things have actually been done, but that certainly is what it appears like to a lot of conservative activists.”

 Cravens says it's too early to know if Governor Abbott will keep lawmakers for a second special session.


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