Texas Senate tackles special session agenda items after Monday delay

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick reacts while presiding over the Texas Senate on July 24, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick reacts while presiding over the Texas Senate on July 24, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Texas Senate took to its chamber on Monday to plow through 16 items on the agenda.

However, a delay during a morning recess pushed the second reading of the bills back more than two-and-a-half hours.

Once all senators returned back to the chamber, Senate Bill 17 was read for the second time. SB 17 relates to “maternal health and safety, pregnancy-related deaths,
and maternal morbidity, including postpartum depression.”

The bill extends the state’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force until 2023. It was set to expire in 2019.

Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, answers a question related to Senate Bill 17 to Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso. July 24, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, answers a question related to Senate Bill 17 to Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso. July 24, 2017. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

“That gives us four more years into really giving a very good look into finding the causes of the results of these deaths,” said Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, the bill’s author.

The bill passed 31-0 and will be up for a final vote Tuesday.

SB 2, which relates to “public school finance, including the establishment of a tax credit scholarship and educational expense assistance program,” passed 19-12. A portion of the finances target students with disabilities.

“The total amount of that is $75 million,” said Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, who authored the bill. “Of that $75 million, we’re giving $60 million towards scholarship money for students who could attend a special needs school or private school that can better address their situation, their own particular situation in private schools.”

SB 10 was next, relating to abortion reporting. It passed 22-9.
SB 1 was the final bill of the day addressed by the Senate. It amends the Tax Code to related to property taxes and annexation. It passed 20-11.

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