• First abortion bill of second special session filed by Dan Patrick

    Update: A second bill on abortion has been filed in the second special session. 

    HB 2, filed by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, is the second bill. The text is not online yet, but the caption says "Relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers, and facilities; providing penalties."

    Original Story:

    The first abortion bill of the second special session has been filed by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

    The bill, SB9, is "relating to distributing or prescribing abortion-inducing drugs." The text for the bill is not online yet. As of 11:42 a.m. on Friday, SB9 is the only abortion-related bill filed.

    Patrick is the same senator who declared on Thursday he would be running for the lieutenant governor position. In a press release following the announcement, Patrick said the senate needed leadership that was "unapologetically conservative." Current Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, who is the leadership in the Texas Senate, has been criticized by several Texas Republicans for the way he handeled the filibuster of the first special session's abortion legislation.

    Abortion legislation failed to pass in the first special session because of a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announed he was calling a second special session on abortion, transportation funding and juvenile sentencing. Transportation funding and juvenile sentencing were also on the call for the first special session, but failed to pass.

    The governor is the only one who can call a special session, and he is the only one who can tell the legislative bodies what they may consider during the special session.

    Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard.

  • The Morning Texan: 104 degree high, video games and more

    Friday's temperature may reach 104 degrees according to the National Weather Service, but things are bound to cool off a little bit this weekend when a few thunderstorms roll in. There is a 10 percent chance for rain Saturday, and a 20 percent chance of rain Saturday evening.

    Here is some morning reading:

    Yesterday’s most read article online: Rick Perry has called a second special session and has included abortion, transportation and juvenile sentencing on the call.

    In case you missed it: UT is partnering up with Paul Sams, the chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment, to create a new video game academy. The program is expected to open in the fall of 2014.

    What you have to read: Lawmakers have already started filing bills in the second special session. No abortion related bills have been filed — yet.

  • Texas Republicans gunning for David Dewhurst's job

    Since the chaotic end to the Texas Legislature’s first special session Tuesday, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has gained opponents for the 2014 election for his position.

    Texas Senator Dan Patrick, Houston-R announced Thursday he will run for lieutenant governor because the Senate is in need of leadership that is “unapologetically conservative.” While making the announcement, Patrick criticized Dewhurst's leadership abilities during the filibuster Tuesday night.

    Patrick said although the position is said to be the most powerful in the state and Republicans have held it for more than a decade, little has been done to further conservative initiatives including border security, debt and property tax relief. 

    Patrick supported the 2011 sonogram bill requiring Texas women to have an ultrasound and known details of a fetus at least 24-hour prior to an abortion.

    The special session ended after an 11-hour filibuster to block abortion legislation by Texas Senator Wendy Davis, Fort Worth-D. Debate about proper procedure and handling of the filibuster lasted until nearly midnight, when the Senate gallery’s cheering crowd overwhelmed the room and halted action on the floor.

    A vote on the bill was taken minutes after midnight, when the special session finished, with more than 100,000 online viewers watching. The vote prompted senators and reporters to document the vote’s listed date as June 26, before it was altered online and in print copies to June 25.

    Patrick joins two others who previously announced their run against Dewhurst  —Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.

  • Perry addresses Davis at anti-abortion convention

    While addressing the National Right to Live Convention on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry commented on Texas Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and her family relations.

    Davis helped prevent abortion legislation from passing on Tuesday with an 11-hour filibuster. The legislation would have reduced the number of abortion clinics legally available in Texas from 42 to five.

    Perry said even children born into the worst of circumstances could eventually lead successful lives and pointed to Davis as an example.

    “In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances, the daughter of a single mother and a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate,” Perry said in his speech, which was posted online.  “It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example: That every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential, that every life is precious.”

    The filibuster closed out the first special session, without passing items on abortion, transportation or juvenile sentencing. All three topics will be taken up during a second special session starting July 1.

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.


  • Lawmakers already filing bills for second special session, no abortion legislation yet

    Lawmakers have already started filing legislation just one day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement of the second special session.

    One joint house resolution and one house bill have been filed. HJR1 provides Texas with additional transportation funding through a constitutional amendment. HB4 has to do with juvenile sentencing. No abortion legislation has been filed, as of 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. 

    Trasnportation funding, juvenile sentencing and abortion legislation were all issues Perry wanted to pass in the first special session. However, because of a filibuster on abortion legislation by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, all three of those issues failed to pass on the last day of the first special session. 

    The only issue to successfully pass through the first special session was redistricting maps. The second special session will begin July 1

    Follow The Daily Texan on Twitter @thedailytexan for updates on bills filing during the second.