Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls for June special session after three of his priority bills fail in Texas House


Last Updated on May 26, 2021 – 2:06 PM CDT

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune: Read More

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks at a press conference on April 7, 2021.

Credit: Evan L’Roy/The Texas Tribune

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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday is asking Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session of the Texas Legislature to advance three pieces of GOP-backed legislation that died in the Texas House at midnight on Tuesday.

The bills sought to ban transgender students from playing on sports teams based on their gender identity, prohibit local governments from using taxpayer funds to pay for lobbyists and punish social media companies for “censoring” Texans based on their political viewpoints.

“The TxHouse killed these conservative bills that majority of Texans in both parties support,” Patrick tweeted.

Asking @GregAbbott_TX to call a June #SpecialSession today to pass #SB29 to save girls sports, #SB10 to end taxpayer funded lobbying and #SB12 to stop social media censorship. The TxHouse killed these conservative bills that majority of Texans in both parties support. #txlege

— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) May 26, 2021

House Democrats pulled out all the stops Tuesday night in a last-ditch effort to block a handful of bills that had the support of Patrick, Abbott and the Texas GOP. The lower chamber faced a midnight deadline to advance Senate bills. Democrats instead spent the day barraging their colleagues with questions, compliments and procedural objections to slow down the process.

A series of objections to key bills forced their sponsors to delay consideration until 11:30 — leaving just half an hour remaining to take up and vote out the measures. As the midnight deadline drew closer, Democrats offered an amendment to an unrelated bill about prevailing wage rates in a coordinated effort to run out the clock.

When time expired, Democrats cheered and waved transgender pride flags on the House floor, celebrating with a crowd of onlookers in the gallery.

The Texas Constitution grants the governor the power to call a special session of the Legislature “on extraordinary occasions.” During these periods, lawmakers can only consider specific subjects designated in the governor’s proclamation.

It’s unclear whether Abbott will concede to Patrick’s demand. An Abbott spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.