March 20, 2019

Texas Legislature ends session, may be back soon

30 May 2017, 04:13 | Rhonda Young

Texas Legislature ends session, may be back soon

Texas Legislature ends session, may be back soon

The noise prompted House leadership to stop its session, the last one before its recess, according to the AP. The demonstration continued for several minutes as officers led people out of the chamber peacefully in small groups. There were no reports of arrests. It was eventually struck down in court.

But even after the protest ended, tensions remained high.

In the midst of the scuffle, which was recorded on video by several bystanders, Democratic Rep. Justin Rodriguez says he heard Rinaldi say something rather different to his colleague: "I'll put a bullet in his head".

Asked how much pressure he felt from Patrick to call a special session, Abbott replied, "none".

According to Rinaldi, Nevárez said he would "get him" on the way to his vehicle, to which he then replied that if Nevárez were to get him, he would shoot the other lawmaker.

KVUE's Ashley Goudeau witnessed a scuffle on the Texas House floor as representatives pushed each other.

Texas state Rep. Matt Rinaldi reported protesters to ICE in a move that enraged many of his fellow legislators and caused chaos to briefly erupt on the House floor.

In a statement, Rinaldi said state Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, "threatened my life on the House floor", and that he is now under the protection of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) as a result.

In a subsequent Facebook statement, Rinaldi admitted saying he'd called federal authorities and threatened to shoot Nevarez - but said his life was in danger, not the other way around.

State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, said he called U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement while hundreds of people dressed in red T-shirts unfurled banners and chanted in opposition to the state's new sanctuary cities law. He said Democrats were encouraging protesters to ignore police instructions and, "When I told the Democrats I called ICE, Representative Ramon Romero physically assaulted me, and other Democrats were held back by colleagues". Lawmakers are barred from passing most legislation the final day so it's mostly reserved for group photos and hugs goodbye.

Although the legislative session in Texas ends today, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called on Friday for a special session devoted exclusively to passing his anti-transgender law. Texas Democrats reacted to the bill's passage with alarm; one lawmaker went on a hunger strike.

The threat of a special session has loomed since the Texas House and Senate could not agree on property tax reform and a so-called "bathroom bill".

By the end of the state legislative session in Texas on Monday, the Capitol had devolved into scuffles and grave accusations. The bill was viewed as a crackdown on Austin and other "sanctuary cities", a term that has no legal meaning but describes parts of the country where police are not tasked with helping enforce federal immigration law.

He didn't say whether he'll drag lawmakers back to work to tackle another issue he's endorsed, a North Carolina-style "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people.

Based on the per diem rate of $190 per day for each member of the Legislature and the lieutenant governor, a special session could cost upward of $1 million for 30 days.

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