Democrats vow to resist special session’s ‘make-believe crises’


Saying the special legislative session is built on “make-believe crises,” House and Senate Democrats vowed Monday to resist wherever possible, starting by denying Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick the ability to speed the approval of bills in the early part of the special session.

Patrick, who presides over the Senate, cannot suspend Senate rules without the support of 25 senators, including five of the body’s 11 Democrats.

“He doesn’t have five Democrats,” said Sen. Jose Rodriguez of El Paso, head of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “This is not a time for us as Democrats to just roll over and say yes we want to get out of here, pass all your bad legislation.”

“I’m here to resist,” said Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston and head of the Senate Hispanic Caucus. “We will try to do everything we can to stop what we can.”

Read the full story on mystatesman.com.

As the minority party in both houses, Democrats are limited in their responses to Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for a 20-item special session that is filled with issues important to social and religious conservatives, including abortion regulations and limits on which bathrooms transgender people may use.

During a Capitol news conference Monday, Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said Democrats also plan to act as a counterpoint by focusing on issues pertaining to children, the economy, health and communities.

A major focus will be on providing meaningful property tax relief by requiring the state to pay at least half of public school costs, instead of a projected 37.7 percent by 2019, Democrats said.

“When the state refuses to keep up its end of the funding bargain, those costs are shifted to homeowners,” said Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, who added that the state must stop “shirking its responsibility and pay its fair share of the school finance system.”

Other Democratic bills would increase the state’s minimum wage, ensure women get equal pay for equal work, seek to lower the state’s high maternal mortality rate and allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

The idea, Turner said, is to propose “real solutions to problems” in contrast to the “dangerous and divisive policies” being pushed by Abbott and Patrick.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Traffic report for Monday, Feb. 26

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The northbound outside lane will be closed between Boggy Creek and Stassney Lane from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. The William Cannon exit will be closed as needed. The southbound outside lane will be closed between Stassney and Boggy Creek from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights. Reduced...
Split vote likely on removing Confederate names from Austin schools
Split vote likely on removing Confederate names from Austin schools

A split vote is expected Monday night as the Austin school board decides whether to remove Confederate names from five campuses. At least five of trustees, the minimum needed to move the measure forward, have expressed support for the measure. But others on the board continue to raise concerns about the name changes, saying the board’s action...
Catholic bishops sever ties to Texas Right to Life, exposing rift
Catholic bishops sever ties to Texas Right to Life, exposing rift

Exposing a deep and widening rift in the state’s energetic anti-abortion movement, the Catholic bishops of Texas have directed churches across the state to refrain from working with Texas Right to Life, which bills itself as the “oldest and largest statewide pro-life organization.” According to a written directive, Texas Right to...
FluMist returns for next flu season, but it won’t be for everyone
FluMist returns for next flu season, but it won’t be for everyone

Next flu season, most people will again have the choice between a flu shot and FluMist, an inhaled live virus vaccine. Last week, AstraZeneca, the maker of FluMist, announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the vaccine for the 2018-19 season, two years after...
Amid complaints, Travis County judges change ‘jail reduction’ court
Amid complaints, Travis County judges change ‘jail reduction’ court

Two Austin defense lawyers are demanding Travis County discontinue a misdemeanor court docket they say pressures indigent defendants to accept bad plea deals — and even plead guilty to crimes they did not commit — in exchange for their release from jail. The Jail Reduction Docket is unconstitutional, perpetuates poverty and mirrors characteristics...
More Stories