Working over the weekend, the Senate gave final approval to two measures, sending them to Governor Greg Abbott for signature. A third will likely see final passage in the Senate this week. So far, five of the 20 items set for consideration by Abbott for the special session have made their way to his desk, with only three days left to consider the rest.
Two of the bills deal with abortion. The first, HB 214, sponsored by Conroe Senator Brandon Creighton, would ban abortion coverage for insurance offered to state employees, private group insurance and insurance purchased through the ACA exchange. Abortion coverage would have to be purchased through a separate policy. The second, HB 215, sponsored by Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola, would add additional reporting requirements for abortions involving minor women, requiring providers to report to state health officials the number, location and means of permission for minors who get abortions. Minors seeking abortion in Texas require either parental approval or a judicial order. HB 215 will face a final vote in the Senate on Monday.
Also sent to the Governor over the weekend was SB 6, which would require voters weigh in before an annexation takes place. Under the bill by New Braunfels Senator Donna Campbell, cities would have to seek approval from a majority of registered voters in an area before it can be added to a city’s jurisdiction. The bill would only apply to cities in counties with a population greater than 500,000, but smaller counties could hold elections to opt in.
There are only two days left in the special session.