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23Jun/130

Sunday Special Session-ing

If it's Sunday, we must still be doing some redistricting. On today's agenda is that the Senate may or may not consider the House-passed SB3 for the State House maps. Of course, there's also a boatload of abortion activity that both chambers will look at today and somewhere in the world, Jonathan Stickland is already thinking he'll have to shoot a few of the pro-choicers expressing their displeasure in the hallways. It really makes you wonder what one has to do to make the "10 Worst" list by Texas Monthly.

I'll be updating if it looks like the Senate takes up SB3 ... or if Sticky goes all Dirty Harry on everyone. Otherwise, it'll turn into a nice day for catching up on some reading. As things stand, the Senate was supposed to gavel in at 1pm. Which means that at 1:20, there's still an empty house in the upper chamber.

1:26pm ... Dewhurst, freshly tanned from his French vacation, gavels the Senate in. Worth noting that SB3 isn't on today's "Regular Order of Business". Not that the Senate has any hard & fast rules that they follow. Still, they matriculate out of Special Session on Tuesday, so there's only so much time to move stuff along to the Governor's desk.

Early word is that SB3 will indeed come up ...

1:47pm ... We're back up. Seliger is recognized for a motion to concur with SB3 as amended. He's outlining the 5 amendments, one of which is the Vo, Wu, and Murphy swaps. The Ratliff/Anchia change is also mentioned. Waiting to see if that brings up any discussion. Sen. Rodriguez rises first with some questioning. He leads off with the lack of Hispanic opportunity districts given the population growth over the previous decade. He touches on the HD117 issues and the loss of a district in Nueces County. He concludes that with some objections to the inability to get approval of the Moody/Marquez swap in El Paso County.

Seliger's point is that the issue in front of them is "the House's business." Had that amendment been approved, he would similarly be proposing that the Senate concur. That's pretty much where things will end, but Rodriguez states his intention to not support the bill due to the El Paso issue.

Roll is called at 1:56pm. SB3 passes 18-11 and it heads to the Governor's desk. That'll be another important step to see whether Perry signs off or leaves the House map as-is until the court decides it. I'd have to think that he'll sign it, though. It's probably the last best map that the Texas GOP sees in a long, long time. Better for them to try and say "there, we did it right" and hope that it stands up in court rather than leave it for the courts to draw something that's less favorable for the GOP going into 2014.

The Senate stands in recess until 7pm. He's not promising that there will be any activity, but it's a "just in case" if there are any matters that come over from the House later today. Expect the House to be blowing up with abortion bills at any moment.

NON-REDISTRICTING UPDATE: A moment of sanity from a 2008 NYT Mag article on fetal pain.

UPDATE 2.0: After what seems to have been the lengthiest point of order in the House, we get this ...

Everyone's back to their battle-stations at 6:30pm tonight to discuss how to lethally inject 17 year olds, how to pave over more of Texas with roads, and some trifling bill involving uteruses and whatnot. Not sure if there are many people that care about the latter. </sarcasm>

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