House, Senate have not yet engaged in backand- forth on key bills

by ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Not a single bill had been agreed to by the state House and Senate as of July 28, exactly 10 days into the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature.

Lawmakers have a tall order served up to them by Gov. Greg Abbott in the form of 20 must-resolve matters in the first called session of the 85th Texas Legislature. Something could be on Abbott’s desk in short order if top-priority “sunset” legislation to ensure the continuation of the Texas Medical Board and several other healthcare-related state oversight boards gains approval by both chambers. The Senate’s version is SB 20 by Van Taylor, R-Plano; the House has produced two versions: HB 1 and HB 2, both by Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock. There are enough differences in the bills to spark elongated floor debates, if lawmakers are so inclined.

Last week, both chambers moved beyond the as-yet unresolved sunset legislation. The House approved and forwarded two bills to the Senate: HB 7 by Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, legislation creating a tree planting credit to offset tree removal fees imposed by a municipality, and HB 13 by Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, creating reporting requirements for abortion providers about surgical complications.

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