One more week left in the special session … before we get to do it all over again, most likely.
The final week
The current special session must adjourn sine die on Friday, August 6. If anything is going to happen, it has to occur before that deadline. If not, the governor will have to start things all over again with a second called session.
Meanwhile, the Senate’s new Select Committee on the Future of College Sports in Texas is going to meet on Monday so members can share their favorite internet memes about UT and OU’s attempt to jump ship from the Big XII to the SEC. Otherwise, the capitol will remain quiet until the House Democrats return from their exodus.
More executive orders
Governor Abbott issued two executive orders yesterday related to the on-going pandemic.
Executive Order GA-37 relates to “the transportation of migrants during the COVID-19 disaster.” This order authorizes DPS troopers to stop any civilians providing ground transportation to migrants who have illegally crossed the border and then been released by the Feds. DPS is further ordered to re-route those vehicles to a port of entry or impound the vehicles of those drivers who refuse to return.
Executive Order GA-38 relates to “the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster” and is a laundry of preventative steps that state and local governmental entities and officials are not permitted to take in response to the recent increases in COVID-19 transmission caused by the delta variant. You’ll have to read the details for yourself to see how it applies to your local jurisdictions, but we note that at least two provisions—paragraphs 3(g) and 4(a)—may directly conflict with the Texas Supreme Court’s Emergency Order No. 40, issued July 19, 2021, which instructs courts to take all reasonable actions deemed necessary to avoid exposing court participants to the virus, including various best practices recommended by OCA.
Good luck figuring out how any of this works in practice. These are uncharted waters.
Legislative Update CLEs
We’ll continue to monitor the special session while finalizing our Legislative Update course for launching next month. As of this morning, we have accepted:
- 235 registrations for the in-person course in Rockwall (August 12, room capacity of 250);
- 413 registrations for the in-person course in Galveston (September 21); and
- 1,148 registrations for the online course that will go live in the latter half of August.
Registration details are available at any of those links, so click on the one that interests you and sign up now—especially if you are taking the course online, as early registration guarantees that you will receive your complimentary 2021–23 Legislative Update book in time to follow along with our speakers as you take the course.
Some articles that you might find interesting:
- “‘Holy moly!’: Inside Texas’ fight against a ransomware hack” (AP News)
- “Gov. Greg Abbott orders Texas National Guard to help with migrant arrests at the border” (Texas Tribune)
- “Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative rolls out with confusion, missteps and a whole lot of state troopers in Val Verde County” (Texas Tribune)
- “Fentanyl deaths are soaring in Texas, and officials aren’t taking key steps to stop them” (Houston Chronicle)
Quotes of the Week
“We’re not sitting around Ranch 616, sucking down Ranch Waters. There’s always real business to do.”
—State Rep. James White (R-Hillister), referencing a local Austin watering hole that is popular with the capitol crowd when explaining how the House members left behind are biding their time in Austin.
“We have (to) meet people where they’re at sometimes … #HOLLA.”
—Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster), in a text reply to a reporter asking why he spent campaign money at a local strip club for a “constituent meeting.” For the rest of the story—including details of Rep. Jones’ other legal problems—see this article in The Detroit News.