Texas Republicans have been pushing an aggressive right-wing agenda despite promised court challenges, including legislation that would let police ask drivers whether they're in the USA legally, restrict what school bathrooms transgender students can use, ban most second-trimester abortions and let adoption agencies reject gay couples over religious objections. Patrick said he is resolved to force a special session if a North Carolina-style law that could restrict bathroom access for transgender people doesn't prevail.
"The House has compromised enough on this issue", Straus told reporters.
During the regular session, Rep. Jason Harper (R-Sandoval) proposed suspending pet pork projects for one year to help the state meet its funding needs for this upcoming fiscal year.
Texas will keep spending $800 million on border security while putting little new money into public schools, maintaining therapy cuts for disabled children and easing handgun license fees as the Republican-led Legislature approved a new state budget Saturday.
Abbott has said previously he's hesitant to drag legislators back to work over any issue, but he's also bucked other GOP governors in supporting legislation that could impose transgender restroom restrictions.
After the House adopted the conference committee report on Sunday, the Senate followed suit with a 26-5 vote.
A conservative coalition, including Texas Values, the Texas Pastor Council and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in a statement dismissed the amended Senate bill as too weak.
"There's something I remember called personal responsibility", he said, adding the bill would result in a patchwork of limitations across the state.
It has been seen by Patrick and most senators as a key bargaining chip to leverage passage of a tough bathroom bill and property-tax reform, two top priorities in the upper chamber. Who should compromise in the future or in the event of a special session? But Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, who has long opposed the bathroom bill as potentially bad for Texas' economy, said his chamber would go no further. Under it, transgender students wouldn't be allowed to choose the bathroom they use but could be directed to separate, single-use facilities.
The Texas Legislature has approved giving the state's often-combative Board of Education broader veto power over textbooks used across the state.
"The only way to fix this is in a special session", Taylor said.
"We'll pass it in the special", Patrick said Sunday of the oversight legislation.
The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who can sign or veto it. Lambda Legal, a national gay rights group, signaled a legal challenge after Republican members overwhelmingly sent the bill to the state Senate.