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Second Special Session Update
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 7/19/2013 Views: 4251  Impressions: 15849
Categories: Politics

A few weeks ago I wrote about the three items on the call for the 2nd Called Special Session of the 83rd Legislature. This week I will provide information on the status of each of these bills.
The 2nd Special Session convened in Austin on July 1 to consider the items placed on the call by the governor: legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers, and facilities; legislation relating to the funding of transportation infrastructure projects; and legislation relating to establishing a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.
On Friday, July 12, the Senate passed House Bill 2, which regulates abortion procedures, providers, and facilities. This bill would prohibit an abortion of an unborn child that is more than 20 weeks of gestational age, with certain exceptions. The bill would also require that by September of 2014, facilities where abortions are performed must meet the same minimum safety standards as do ambulatory surgical centers. House Bill 2 was signed into law by Governor Perry on Thursday, July 18.
Senate Bill 2, which relates to the punishment for a capital felony committed by an individual younger than 18 years of age, has been passed by both the House and Senate, and has been sent to the governor. Since 2/3 of the members of each chamber voted in favor of SB 2, the bill will take effect immediately.
The House this week passed a constitutional amendment relating to transportation funding, HJR 2. The Senate on Friday also considered and passed HJR 2 on Friday, however significant changes were made to the bill. The House must either concur to the changes made by the Senate or go to conference committee. Because HJR 2 is a constitutional amendment, a 2/3 majority in both chambers must vote in favor of the bill. Should this constitutional amendment pass, it would then go to the voters for approval.
For more information on these laws or any other state matter, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.

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