The end of the first-called special session may be in sight for the Texas Legislature, which spent most of the weekend debating measures Gov. Greg Abbott wants it to pass and worked into Sunday night trying to reconcile differences over school finance, retired teacher insurance and property tax legislation. Far from the business at the Capitol, a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly — and as Texas officials weighed in, news broke that a similar event is scheduled at a Texas university next month. Here's what you need to know:
• What did the Legislature pass over the weekend?
State lawmakers on Friday sent "sunset" legislation extending the lives of several state agencies and a bill aimed at cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud — even though it repeals a similar measure in the process — to Abbott, who signed the bills shortly afterward. Legislation adding abortion reporting requirements was also passed, and as of Sunday night, local annexation reform and a bill restricting abortion insurance were en route to the governor's desk. Legislators also made progress on measures requiring certain patient approval for do-not-resuscitate orders and extending the state's maternal mortality task force.
• And what didn't happen at the Legislature over the weekend?
Three big issues are still wrapped up in end-of-session negotiations: School finance, teachers' health care insurance and property tax reform, the last of which is Abbott's chief priority of the special session. The "bathroom bill" — perhaps the most contentious issue of them all — appears all but dead, as do a few other measures such as a tree removal bill and a measure that would end union and association payroll deductions for most public employees in the state.
ICYMI: A white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend over removing Confederate statues ended in deadly violence. How did Texas officials respond? Here you go — Abbott called what happened "un-American and unacceptable," and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz wants the Department of Justice to investigate the incident as an "act of domestic terrorism." Since we're on the topic, there's a white nationalist rally happening at Texas A&M; University next month, featuring alt-right leader Richard Spencer. Students are already planning a counter protest.