Texas Senate advances bills keeping agencies operating

The floor of the Texas State Capitol rotunda (Nexstar Photo)
The floor of the Texas State Capitol rotunda (Nexstar Photo)

AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has preliminarily approved bills reauthorizing the Texas Medical Board and four other state agencies whose operations were jeopardized by similar measures stalling in May.

The move came Wednesday, during the second day of the 30-day special legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who oversees the state Senate, let the usually routine bills die during the regular session, forcing Gov. Greg Abbott to call lawmakers back to work.

The Senate planned to return to work at 12:01 a.m. Thursday to give final approval.

Abbott wants the Republican-controlled Legislature to tackle 20 issues during the special session, including conservative priorities like a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender Texans.

But work can’t begin on anything else until the Senate passes the agency bills, and Patrick’s chamber has rushed to approve them.

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