Texas House gives initial approval to sunset legislation

After final approval Friday, could be first bills sent to Gov. Abbott

August 11, 2017 - 8:58 am

UPDATE: The House gave the bills final approval Friday morning, sending them to Gov. Abbott's desk.

AUSTIN (KJCE) - If you're keeping score at the Texas Capitol, there was a glimmer of movement Thursday - on the 24th day of the 30-day special session.

The Texas House gave initial approval to two bills which re-authorize five state agencies for another two years - the same five agencies that were held hostage in the waning days of the 85th Legislature's regular session, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to call the current special session.

Without the legislation, the five agencies - the Texas Medical Board, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors - would close on September 1.

The House is expected to give final approval Friday to both bills, sending them to Abbott's desk - making them the first bills actually sent to Abbott from the special session.

It remains to be seen what progress will be made on Abbott's other 19 items on the special session's call. The current special session ends next Wednesday, August 16, and the two chambers seem to be far apart on most of the other issues - school finance, property tax reform, the so-called "bathroom bill", and even tree regulations.

Abbott can always call legislators back for another 30 day special session, if he so chooses.

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