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Special session wrap up: Over the halfway mark

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More than halfway through Gov. Greg Abbott’s Special Legislative Session, the Senate has completed nearly all items on the agenda while the House still has much work to do. The governor began the third week by tweeting out progress of his 20-item list.

Here is what you may have missed this week:

Lawmakers ask governor to add ethics reform to agenda

 Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, hosted a press conference with both republican and democratic colleagues, calling Abbott to add ethics reform to the special sessions agenda.

Davis reminded the governor he has made ethics an emergency item in both of his regular sessions. She filed five bills dealing with ethics reform specific legislation that would close loopholes on campaign funding while in session and provide more transparency for elected officials.

“We are asking for one thing, and that one thing is for Gov. Abbott to add ethics reform to the official proclamation of the special session,” Davis said.

Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, vice-chair of the general investigating and ethics committee, emphasized the bipartisan support on ethics reform.

“I look forward to voting these bills out of committee and on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives,” Moody said.

How is the House and Senate working together?

 Leadership in the House and Senate have different feelings about returning to Austin for the special session, however the two leaders haven’t strategized the execution of the special session agenda.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick shared he hasn’t discussed policy with House Speaker Joe Straus.

“I’ve not had one meeting with the speaker of the House in nine months, face to face, on policy,” Patrick said. “The special session is really left up to the governor and I to try to direct it.”

The Speaker’s office replied stating Straus’ door is always open. Leadership hasn’t announced a meeting between Patrick and Straus.

A letter calling for the governor to reject discriminatory bathroom regulation has received support from businesses

Keep Texas Open for Business is rallying businesses to speak out in opposition of Senate Bill 6, commonly referred to as “the bathroom bill.”

More than 80 businesses, including Alamo Drafthouse, Amazon and Warby Parker, have signed on to an open letter urging Texas Lawmakers and the governor to consider the harm bathroom regulations would have on businesses and economic growth.

#20for20 and #PassThemAll still in the picture

Two weeks of the special session remain and the governor hasn’t signed a bill into law. Despite the slower pace this last week, Abbott remains expectant that his 20-item agenda will full pass.

“Let’s compare this to football, we’re getting pretty close to the two-minute drill, and that’s going to occur next week,” Abbott said. “And so I fully expect the House and the Senate to both be working at a very rapid pace next week to make sure we get these bills passed.”

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