Major issues remain unresolved as Texas legislative session winds down
HOUSTON - At the State Capitol, Texas lawmakers are working marathon shifts as the session winds to a close with many priority issues unresolved.
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Still on the table are the power grid, property tax relief, school funding, and the budget. With all that "heavy lifting" still to do a great deal of lesser legislation has been left to die.
With less than six days left in the Texas legislative session, a slew of proposed laws faces extermination as the clock ticks closer to a critical midnight procedural deadline.
A measure of extreme interest to greater Houston will not be among the casualties as Senator Paul Bettencourt's bid to abolish the post of Harris County Election Administrator appears destined to reach the Governor's desk.
"The public's belief in the election process is at risk," Bettencourt said. "That's what we are talking about here."
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After back-to-back electoral debacles last year, Bettencourt's bill replaces the appointed administrator with a pair of duly elected officials who answer directly to the citizens they serve.
"We can't go backward to how bad it was in 2022 ever again," he added.
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Also headed to the Governor's desk "the worst, first" legislation championed by Houston State Senator John Whitmire; a measure that will force criminal court judges to prioritize murder and capital murder cases for trial.
"Quite frankly you shouldn't need a piece of legislation to require a judge to take a capital murder case first," said Whitmire. "That's the worst of the worst. They need to get out of the jail, they need to get off the streets, but more importantly, the crime victim's families need a resolution to the case."
FOX 26 spoke with multiple lawmakers who were convinced Governor Greg Abbott will extend their stay in Austin with a special session.