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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Special Session: First bills get to governor’s desk

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Going into the last five days of the Special Legislative Session, Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda is three for 20 items. Here is what you missed at the Capitol this week:
Sunset legislation, voter fraud and abortion arrive at the governor’s desk
Sunset legislation refers to bills that support government agencies under the jurisdiction of The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.
The 12-person panel is involved in about 130 agencies and other governmental entities. The purpose of the commission is to evaluate the need for a state agency or program to exist. Most agencies undergo review once every 12 years, and over 30 agencies go through the Sunset process each legislative session.
Just two days into the 30-day session, the Senate unanimously voted passage on Senate Bill 20 and Senate Bill 60, and the governor has officially signed these into law.
Senate Bill 5 is a measure that broadens the definition of mail-in voter fraud and ups the penalties for those who commit it.
House Bill 13 requires physicians to submit reports to the state health commission within three days of an abortion service. The report would include personal information of the patient such as year of birth, race, marital status, residence and the date of her last menstrual cycle.
The bill, authored by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, advocates that this information would “guarantee the best medical practices.”
Reporting services about abortion patience information was one of three abortion-related topics on Abbott’s special session agenda.
Speculation of “bathroom bill” grows
The Senate passed Senate Bill 3 in the second week of the session. Although there was a sense of urgency in one chamber, the House has yet to act on the bill. Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has not assigned the bill to a committee, the first step in the legislative process.
With less than a week remaining, the bill’s author, Sen. Lois Kolkhorst R-Brenham, released the following statement, advocating that the issue is still up for debate in future sessions.
“Men do not belong in female locker rooms, showers and restrooms and no amount of monetary threats, corporate logos, New Yorker articles or Hollywood hypocrisy will ever change that,” Kolkhorst said. “Many Texans are alarmed at the effort by some to erode all gender barriers in our schools and public spaces and at the end of the day, there will be future legislative sessions and elections to continue the conversation.” 
Although Kolkhorst’s statement was focused on future legislation, the governor released a Facebook video, stating that lawmakers should support similar legislation proposed in the House.
Hundreds gathered in Capitol on Thursday to pay respect to former Gov. Mark White
Mark White, Democratic governor of Texas from 1983 to 1987, died at the age of 77 on Aug 5.
White is most remembered by “no-pass, no-play,” which requires students to pass their classes to play sports.
Texans from around the state, including Abbott, payed respect to the former governor. White laid in the capitol rotunda Thursday before being buried in a private ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
What is next for lawmakers?
Abbott has yet to announced whether he will keep lawmakers in Austin to continue work on his agenda, or wait until the next regular session in 2019.

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