Texas Special Session 2013 Topics For Essays

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Special sessions and years

LegSessionDaysGovernorBegin dateEnd dateSession topicsSummary
85th 1st C.S. 29 Greg Abbott Jul 18, 2017 Aug 15, 2017 21 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
83rd 1st C.S. 30 Rick Perry May 27, 2013 Jun 25, 2013 4 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 Rick Perry Jul 1, 2013 Jul 30, 2013 3 topicsProclamations  
  3rd C.S. 7 Rick Perry Jul 30, 2013 Aug 5, 2013 1 topicProclamations  
82nd 1st C.S. 30 Rick Perry May 31, 2011 Jun 29, 2011 6 topicsProclamations  
81st 1st C.S. 2 Rick Perry Jul 1, 2009 Jul 2, 2009 3 topicsProclamations  
79th 1st C.S. 30 Rick Perry Jun 21, 2005 Jul 20, 2005 22 topicsProclamations  
  2nd C.S. 30 Rick Perry Jul 21, 2005 Aug 19, 2005 21 topicsProclamations  
  3rd C.S. 30 Rick Perry Apr 17, 2006 May 16, 2006 12 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
78th 1st C.S. 29 Rick Perry Jun 30, 2003 Jul 28, 2003 30 topicsProclamations  
  2nd C.S. 30 Rick Perry Jul 28, 2003 Aug 26, 2003 5 topicsProclamations  
  3rd C.S. 28 Rick Perry Sep 15, 2003 Oct 12, 2003 14 topicsProclamations  
  4th C.S. 28 Rick Perry Apr 20, 2004 May 17, 2004 14 topicsProclamations  
72nd 1st C.S. 30 Ann W. Richards Jul 15, 1991 Aug 13, 1991 10 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
1st & 2nd C.S.
  2nd C.S. 7 Ann W. Richards Aug 19, 1991 Aug 25, 1991 13 topicsProclamations(see above)
  3rd C.S. 7 Ann W. Richards Jan 2, 1992 Jan 8, 1992 3 topicsProclamations  
  4th C.S. 24 Ann W. Richards Nov 10, 1992 Dec 3, 1992 1 topicProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
71st 1st C.S. 30 William P. Clements Jun 20, 1989 Jul 19, 1989 59 topicsProclamations  
  2nd C.S. 29 William P. Clements Nov 14, 1989 Dec 12, 1989 1 topicProclamations  
  3rd C.S. 30 William P. Clements Feb 27, 1990 Mar 28, 1990 2 topicsProclamations3rd - 6th C.S.
  4th C.S. 30 William P. Clements Apr 2, 1990 May 1, 1990 3 topicsProclamations(see above)
  5th C.S. 29 William P. Clements May 2, 1990 May 30, 1990 3 topicsProclamations(see above)
  6th C.S. 4 William P. Clements Jun 4, 1990 Jun 7, 1990 37 topicsProclamations(see above)
70th 1st C.S. 2 William P. Clements Jun 2, 1987 Jun 3, 1987 4 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 William P. Clements Jun 22, 1987 Jul 21, 1987 72 topicsProclamations  
69th 1st C.S. 3 Mark W. White, Jr. May 28, 1985 May 30, 1985 3 topicsProclamations  
  2nd C.S. 30 Mark W. White, Jr. Aug 6, 1986 Sep 4, 1986 19 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
2nd C.S.
  3rd C.S. 23 Mark W. White, Jr. Sep 8, 1986 Sep 30, 1986 21 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
3rd C.S.
68th 1st C.S. 4 Mark W. White, Jr. Jun 22, 1983 Jun 25, 1983 11 topicsProclamations1st C.S.
  2nd C.S. 30 Mark W. White, Jr. Jun 4, 1984 Jul 3, 1984 31 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
2nd C.S. Pre
2nd C.S. Post
67th 1st C.S. 30 William P. Clements Jul 13, 1981 Aug 11, 1981 20 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
1st C.S.
  2nd C.S. 5 William P. Clements May 24, 1982 May 28, 1982 7 topicsProclamations2nd C.S.
  3rd C.S. 3 William P. Clements Sep 7, 1982 Sep 9, 1982 2 topicsProclamations  
65th 1st C.S. 11 Dolph Briscoe Jul 11, 1977 Jul 21, 1977 5 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
1st C.S.
  2nd C.S. 30 Dolph Briscoe Jul 10, 1978 Aug 8, 1978 18 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
2nd C.S.
63rd 1st C.S. 3 Dolph Briscoe Dec 18, 1973 Dec 20, 1973 1 topicProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
62nd 1st C.S. 4 Preston Smith Jun 1, 1971 Jun 4, 1971 10 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 3 Preston Smith Mar 28, 1972 Mar 30, 1972 2 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 24 Preston Smith Jun 14, 1972 Jul 7, 1972 1 topicProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  4th C.S. 30 Preston Smith Sep 18, 1972 Oct 17, 1972 30 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
61st 1st C.S. 30 Preston Smith Jul 28, 1969 Aug 26, 1969 2 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 14 Preston Smith Aug 27, 1969 Sep 9, 1969 12 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
60th 1st C.S. 30 John B. Connally, Jr. Jun 4, 1968 Jul 3, 1968 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
59th 1st C.S. 10 John B. Connally, Jr. Feb 14, 1966 Feb 23, 1966 1 topicProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
57th 1st C.S. 30 Price Daniel, Sr. Jul 10, 1961 Aug 8, 1961 24 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 5 Price Daniel, Sr. Aug 10, 1961 Aug 14, 1961 2 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 30 Price Daniel, Sr. Jan 3, 1962 Feb 1, 1962 39 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
56th 1st C.S. 30 Price Daniel, Sr. May 18, 1959 Jun 16, 1959 11 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 Price Daniel, Sr. Jun 17, 1959 Jul 16, 1959 13 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 21 Price Daniel, Sr. Jul 17, 1959 Aug 6, 1959 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
55th 1st C.S. 30 Price Daniel, Sr. Oct 14, 1957 Nov 12, 1957 56 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 21 Price Daniel, Sr. Nov 13, 1957 Dec 3, 1957 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
53rd 1st C.S. 30 Robert Allan Shivers Mar 15, 1954 Apr 13, 1954 23 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
51st 1st C.S. 30 Robert Allan Shivers Jan 31, 1950 Mar 1, 1950 39 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
47th 1st C.S. 11 Coke R. Stevenson Sep 9, 1941 Sep 19, 1941 1 topicProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
45th 1st C.S. 30 James V Allred May 27, 1937 Jun 25, 1937 29 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 James V Allred Sep 27, 1937 Oct 26, 1937 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
44th 1st C.S. 30 James V Allred Sep 16, 1935 Oct 15, 1935 34 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 James V Allred Oct 16, 1935 Nov 14, 1935 31 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 30 James V Allred Sep 28, 1936 Oct 27, 1936 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
43rd 1st C.S. 30 Miriam Ferguson Sep 14, 1933 Oct 13, 1933 153 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 Miriam Ferguson Jan 29, 1934 Feb 27, 1934 116 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 30 Miriam Ferguson Aug 27, 1934 Sep 25, 1934 59 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  4th C.S. 30 Miriam Ferguson Oct 12, 1934 Nov 10, 1934 9 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
42nd 1st C.S. 30 Ross S. Sterling Jul 14, 1931 Aug 12, 1931 31 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 26 Ross S. Sterling Sep 8, 1931 Oct 3, 1931 28 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 23 Ross S. Sterling Aug 30, 1932 Sep 21, 1932 23 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  4th C.S. 10 Ross S. Sterling Nov 3, 1932 Nov 12, 1932 2 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
41st 1st C.S. 30 Daniel J. Moody, Jr. Apr 22, 1929 May 21, 1929 58 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 Daniel J. Moody, Jr. Jun 3, 1929 Jul 2, 1929 40 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 18 Daniel J. Moody, Jr. Jul 3, 1929 Jul 20, 1929 14 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  4th C.S. 30 Daniel J. Moody, Jr. Jan 20, 1930 Feb 18, 1930 13 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  5th C.S. 30 Daniel J. Moody, Jr. Feb 19, 1930 Mar 20, 1930 51 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
40th 1st C.S. 30 Daniel J. Moody, Jr. May 9, 1927 Jun 7, 1927 78 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
39th 1st C.S. 26 Miriam Ferguson Sep 13, 1926 Oct 8, 1926 125 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
38th 1st C.S. 1 Pat M. Neff Mar 15, 1923 Mar 15, 1923 4 topicsProclamations  
  2nd C.S. 30 Pat M. Neff Apr 16, 1923 May 15, 1923 58 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 30 Pat M. Neff May 16, 1923 Jun 14, 1923 16 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
37th 1st C.S. 30 Pat M. Neff Jul 18, 1921 Aug 16, 1921 134 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 9 Pat M. Neff Aug 17, 1921 Aug 25, 1921 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
36th 1st C.S. 5 William P. Hobby May 5, 1919 May 9, 1919 3 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 William P. Hobby Jun 23, 1919 Jul 22, 1919 253 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 30 William P. Hobby May 20, 1920 Jun 18, 1920 204 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  4th C.S. 12 William P. Hobby Sep 21, 1920 Oct 2, 1920 30 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
35th 1st C.S. 30 James E. Ferguson Apr 18, 1917 May 17, 1917 96 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 59 James E. Ferguson Aug 1, 1917 Aug 30, 1917 24 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  3rd C.S. 30 William P. Hobby Aug 31, 1917 Sep 29, 1917 71 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  4th C.S. 30 William P. Hobby Feb 26, 1918 Mar 27, 1918 172 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
34th 1st C.S. 30 James E. Ferguson Apr 29, 1915 May 28, 1915 77 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
33rd 1st C.S. 30 Oscar Branch Colquitt Jul 21, 1913 Aug 19, 1913 50 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 
  2nd C.S. 30 Oscar Branch Colquitt Aug 24, 1914 Sep 22, 1914 8 topicsProclamations
Supp. Mat.
 

Indeed, many of the lawmakers’ hardest-fought initiatives this session — preventing wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct, overhauling high school diploma requirements and high-stakes testing, and curbing the authority of regents of the state’s public university systems — did not fall along party lines.

Behind the curtain, there were many forces at play: a more robust state budget; the biggest freshman class in years; a Republican base just small enough to require allegiances with Democrats or the Tea Party, depending on the issue; and the soon-to-be-revealed political aspirations of Mr. Perry, along with the chessboard of elected officials waiting for him to make his move.

In many ways, the most gripping stories of the 2013 legislative session happened outside the House and Senate chambers. EMILY RAMSHAW

SPECIAL SESSIONS

Special sessions are like “Fight Club”: other than Gov. Rick Perry and his trusty dachshund, Lucy, nobody knows for sure if and when there will be one, and nobody knows what it will be about. But this being a legislature, everyone feels free to speculate. Lawmakers have talked among themselves about the possibility for weeks.

Mr. Perry has said he wants lawmakers to address water and transportation issues, cut taxes and write a balanced budget that leaves enough money in the Rainy Day Fund to maintain the state’s triple-A bond rating. If they do not complete his wish list, he could summon them for a special session on one of those topics.

As this session came to a close, the only open question was whether the tax cuts that were made were big enough to keep the governor happy, but a hitch in any of those issues could force lawmakers into overtime.

A couple of other issues remain. A state district judge found Texas’ financing plan for public schools unconstitutional. Lawyers on both sides expect an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. Depending on the content and timing of a ruling by the top court, legislators could be forced to return for a special session before their regular session in 2015 to patch the budget.

Then there is redistricting. Attorney General Greg Abbott wants lawmakers to ratify court-drawn maps that were used in 2012, freeing the state from defending maps drawn by lawmakers in 2011 that are still tangled up in litigation. If the governor agrees to go along, that could mean a quick special session — perhaps as early as this week.

And Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has a list of special session topics, too: anti-abortion bills, drug screenings for welfare recipients and allowing the carrying of concealed firearms in university buildings. ROSS RAMSEY

SPECIAL INTERESTS

Special interest groups on the far right were a noisy bunch this session, but in many ways their bark was worse than their bite.

When the conservative advocate Michael Quinn Sullivan took aim at an expensive water deal or a transportation-financing plan that would have raised vehicle registration fees, the Tea Party set in the House showed strength in numbers.

Still, the influence of groups like Mr. Sullivan’s Empower Texans and the Texas Public Policy Foundation was mixed, particularly when compared with their successes in 2011.

Their efforts to keep the Rainy Day Fund intact have failed; the legislative budget deal would ask voters to spend $2 billion of it for water projects. Any tax relief approved this session will be smaller than they had hoped for. While they avoided a Medicaid expansion under the federal health overhaul, there has been little movement to formally ask the Obama administration for block grants.

Other groups had bigger successes. Homebuilders, who played a key role in blocking immigration enforcement legislation last session, helped derail a measure to crack down on worker misclassification and payroll fraud in the construction industry.

In legislation to prevent wrongful convictions, the Texas defense bar successfully removed language requiring defense lawyers to open their files to prosecutors. The measure only forces prosecutors to turn their records over to the defense.

But Texans for Education Reform and Texans Deserve Great Schools, two groups that tried to pass school choice legislation, underperformed, despite hefty spending. Although they got the cap on charter schools raised, they struggle to find support for a number of other measures on their agenda. EMILY RAMSHAW

BUDGET BARGAINING

In 2011, lawmakers struggled with how to address a multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall. Now, the Legislature has a much different problem. Tax collections are surging and state coffers are flush, in large part because of an oil drilling boom.

Before the session began, it was clear that three issues would drive the budget debate: restoring the 2011 education cuts, finding money for water infrastructure projects and addressing a financing crisis at the Texas Department of Transportation.

With a Rainy Day Fund of about $12 billion, some legislators were hopeful that all three could be resolved. That became less likely as a debate emerged among Republicans: Is the fund there to address revenue needs during recessions and in the event of natural disasters? Or is it meant to preserve the state’s high bond ratings so that lawmakers can continue borrowing money cheaply? Rick Perry and a contingent of Tea Party-friendly Republicans insisted that the latter was crucial, and they pushed for withdrawing as little from the fund as possible.

Others said the state would be just fine with a savings account $6 billion lighter. A deal backed by budget leaders last week had legislators spending about $3.9 billion from the fund.

As the factions fighting for school and water financing gained traction, those focused on transportation were not as successful. Transportation Department leaders said the agency needed to address congestion, but lawmakers did not get worked up over the issue this session.

In the final week, Democrats resigned themselves to coming up short of their goal to fully restore $5.4 billion in cuts to education. But far-right lawmakers and conservative activists also failed in their efforts to maintain all the cuts. AMAN BATHEJA

BAD BEHAVIOR

For those who reach for the popcorn whenever they spot drama unfolding on the House or Senate floor, the 2013 session was a bit of a letdown. Lawmakers largely sidestepped the most contentious issues, at least in public.

It would have been hard to surpass the riveting theater of 2011, in which a House member displayed a transvaginal probe as a debate prop, and protesters cried “Criminal!” and “Treason!” from the Senate gallery over the death of a bill that would have criminalized invasive body searches by Transportation Security Administration employees.

Much of that session’s rancor centered on volatile issues related to abortion and illegal immigration that Gov. Rick Perry had deemed “emergency items.” He did not designate any emergency items this session.

Even fights over the budget have been more congenial, an unsurprising outcome given that the Legislature has had the luxury of debating where to invest rather than where to cut.

The angriest debates emerged in the fight over a measure to create a state innocence commission. During a Senate committee hearing, the brother of an exoneree who died while wrongly imprisoned shouted at Senator Joan Huffman, Republican of Southside Place, over her pivotal opposition to the bill. Days later, the bill’s author, Representative Ruth Jones McClendon, Democrat of San Antonio, began using a parliamentary procedure to kill several of the senator’s bills in retaliation for Ms. Huffman’s opposition.

On Tuesday night, Democrats used several delay tactics to run out the clock on a bill to create a drug-testing regimen for some welfare beneficiaries. But they could not forestall a bill on drug tests for unemployment benefits. AMAN BATHEJA

TOP LEADERS

Two years ago, Rick Perry was at the height of his power, driving the Legislature to produce tough new restrictions on abortion, pass new curbs on lawsuits and enact deep budget cuts. This session, he fell into a more traditional role: nudging a lot and threatening when necessary, but otherwise compromising, even with Democrats.

Mr. Perry played a major role in knocking off a bill that would have used increased fees to pay for expanded transportation financing. He also put a lot of political capital behind passage of a $2 billion water infrastructure upgrade and a large business franchise tax cut.

While he still has veto power, Mr. Perry faces the prospect of making concessions on the details. Though he insisted on $1.8 billion in tax cuts, the Legislature was, at last check, leaning toward giving him less. Education financing, at the insistence of Democrats, is also set to rise more than Mr. Perry had urged.

House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst faced similar pressure to compromise. Mr. Straus had initially criticized Mr. Dewhurst’s plan to let voters decide whether money should be taken out of the Rainy Day Fund to pay for water, transportation and education programs. In the compromise reached by the two chambers, voters will be asked to approve financing for only water projects.

“The legislative process, when it’s working normally, forces people to move off their ideal position,” said Jim Henson, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin and a Texas Tribune pollster. “It does look like everyone’s going to have to give a little something.” (U.T.-Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune.) JAY ROOT

FRESHMEN

Even geniuses have to learn the ropes. Somewhere in the Legislature’s huge freshman class, there may be a genius. It is too early to know.

This much is known: 41 people in the 150-member House were serving in their first legislative session, along with three former representatives who returned after losing their seats in 2010. The 31-member Senate got six new members this year.

The big numbers in the House led to some substantial changes. For example, a group of conservatives banded together several times during the session to influence debates on the budget, pensions and ethics legislation.

This freshman class will be more influential when the members learn their way around the Capitol. The traditional advice for new legislators is blunt: “Sit down and shut up.” Many of them took that seriously. Some did not. And some got schooled for opening their mouths in debate, with senior members ribbing them good-naturedly as they presented their first bills, and much more roughly when they challenged or amended other bills — especially for political reasons.

The freshman class and the large sophomore cohort together include most state officeholders who might be classified as exponents of the Tea Party. When they are engaged, they can swing issues, like using the state’s Rainy Day Fund. That is partly because of their numbers and partly because other Republicans are wary of crossing Tea Party voters who have an outsize voice in primary elections.

That power can only grow when they gain some experience. ROSS RAMSEY

WHAT’S NEXT

The Legislature has all but finished the business of the regular 2013 session, and all eyes will be on Rick Perry as he weighs major decisions on the policy and political fronts.

First, he will have to decide whether to sign or veto the state budget, which might not have everything he wanted; a tax cut, which probably will not reach the $1.8 billion he insisted on; and scores of other measures — from new ethics rules to education reforms — hurtling toward his desk. He has until June 16 to sign or veto legislation; if he does neither, the legislation becomes law.

Even if the must-pass budget legislation survives, there are several avenues toward a special session this summer and beyond.

Attorney General Greg Abbott wants a session so the Legislature can adopt the redistricting maps put into place by the federal courts. And if voters do not approve financing for an enormous water infrastructure plan, lawmakers could be back sooner rather than later to find the money.

Later, a fix for the school financing system, already deemed unconstitutional by a state court, might prompt another.

All the while, Mr. Perry will have to decide whether he is running for re-election, running for president, or both. Or even none of the above.

He has said that he will send a signal about his future in June, just months before the filing deadline for the 2014 elections. There are numerous signs he will step aside and let Mr. Abbott become the heir apparent. But Mr. Perry is keeping the decision under wraps, and anyone who knows him has learned to expect the unexpected. JAY ROOT

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