Texas Speaker sends letter to Lt. Gov, urging him to take action to prevent a special session

AUSTIN - The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) urging him to take action to help prevent a special session.

Speaker Straus sent the letter to Patrick Monday. He begins by thanking Patrick for the work he and the Senators are doing and then commends both chambers on their work to pass the governor's emergency items. Straus then points out the House of Representatives has passed several bills that were priorities to Patrick.

And then he gets to the meat, writing the House wants to finish "all of our work in the regular session". And that the goal is in reach if they can work together to pass two bills, Senate Bill 1, which is the budget, and Senate Bill 310, which relates to the Sunset Commission and ensures Texas agencies can continue functioning.

Passing a balanced budget is the only thing the Texas Legislature is constitutionally bound to do. The Senate first approved its version and sent it to the House. The House made changes and approved it. Now select members from both chambers are trying to work out the differences. 

And there's a major difference.The House wants to tap into the Rainey Day Fund while the Senate does not.

As for Senate Bill 310, it's awaiting a hearing in the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce. 

Speaker Straus didn't end the letter without first asking Patrick to act soon on issues that are priorities to the House, including public education, testing reform and mental health.

He also pointed out that the clock is ticking. Next Tuesday is the last day for the House to take up Senate Bills on second reading and the last day of the session, known as Sine Die, is May 29th.

KVUE News reached out to Patrick's office but did not get a reply.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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