Hot List Day 120

Day 120 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“We need a uniform state law so that everybody knows what the law is on every campus, without a patchwork crazy quilt.”
Sen Jeff Wentworth on his concealed carry on campus measure, which ultimately passed yesterday after he tacked it onto a minor “fiscal matters” bill in the Senate

House Bill 400, the controversial bill that would make it easier to fire and furlough teachers, was stalled again last night in the House on a point of order. The Senate does not have the votes to consider its version of the bill. But as Abby Rapoport writes, should HB 400 pass the House, the Senate could once again bypass their tradition of requiring two-thirds support to get the bill passed

The House’s debate over the controversial “sanctuary cities” bill got emotional last night—some Democrats cried, some told personal stories of being humiliated by law enforcement because they are Hispanic, and others tried to reason with their Republican colleagues. But as Melissa del Bosque writes, “Republicans were unmoved by the personal stories, however. For them it was a red meat issue they could bring home to voters clamoring for an illegal immigration fix.” Afters hours of debate, the bill passed along a party line vote. 

After sending the sonogram bill to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk last week, the Legislature is gearing up to send a second emergency item to the governor—voter ID. Yesterday the Senate approved a conference committee report on the bill, but, as the Dallas Morning News reports, the report didn’t pass without some last minute speeches from senators. 

A major public education reform bill, which has been postponed several times this session, might finally see some debate this morning in the House. And in more national news, President Barack Obama is in the state—to talk about immigration reform and raise some money. 

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.

Alexa Garcia-Ditta is a staff writer (and former intern) covering women's health, reproductive health and health care access.