88th LegislatureState HouseStatewide NewsSecond Texas House Deadline Before Sine Die Leaves Senate Bills Vulnerable to Expiration

Senate bills that fail to pass second reading by midnight are dead for the rest of session.
May 23, 2023
An important deadline awaits the Texas Legislature on Tuesday when the clock strikes midnight: the last day for the House to pass all Senate bills on second reading.

Anything not passed on second reading Tuesday, and then on third reading Wednesday, is dead in what’s left of this 88th Regular Session.

On the May 11 deadline for House bills, hundreds of bills perished at midnight, having not received initial approval to advance to the next day. Democrats had spent all day, and the better part of the week, chubbing — a procedural tactic to waste time and kill bills.

That week, Democrats chubbed enough to kick much of the previous day’s calendar to the deadline day, rendering the entire calendar for that Thursday moot.

At risk this time around on Tuesday’s calendar are a number of notable bills, such as Senate Bill (SB) 2424 that creates a criminal offense for illegally entering the state from Mexico; two education priority bills giving teachers a pay raise and funding school security measures; and SB 1318 that would restrict the ability of judges to release violent offenders on personal bond or low cash bail, a second attempt after last session’s version couldn’t clear the 100-vote line in the House to amend the constitution.

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Also at stake are an eight-year extension of the state’s enrollment in a potential “Article V Convention of States” to amend the U.S. Constitution; an amendment stipulating that a Texas voter must be a U.S. citizen; and restrictions on state and local disaster powers — though that last one sits at the very bottom of Tuesday’s nine-page calendar.

Wednesday is the Senate’s first floor deadline, at which point all bills must pass lest they be tossed into the dustbin of this session.

After that, all sights will move to conference committees on bills that have passed but differ in form between the two chambers’ approved versions. That will take up the bulk of the 88th Legislative Session’s final days before the body adjourns sine die on May 29. What gets across the line by Monday, and more importantly what doesn’t, will determine whether the Legislature is reconvened later this year for a month-long special session.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.