By Caleb Slinkard
Austin — UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: State Senator Bob Deuell, who represents Hunt County, said in an interview this afternoon that he doesn't believe the Senate will have a chance to pass the bill by tomorrow's deadline and that Gov. Perry will hopefully call another special session. The Texas House got the bill to the Senate early Monday morning instead of Sunday afternoon after House Democrats successfully slowed down the bill's passage. The Senate must now wait 24 hours before voting on the bill, giving Senate Democrats a chance to filibuster. The Senate could vote to suspend the 24 hour wait, but Deuell said they do not have enough votes to do so.
"We're all beat up and tired," he said, describing the impact the special session has had on Texas lawmakers. "We have the votes, we just don't have enough votes to suspend the rule."
Senate Bill 5, controversial legislation that limits abortions in the state of Texas after 20 weeks and requires increased medical standards for abortion facilities, passed the Texas House of Representatives this morning and was returned to the senate for a final vote. According to State Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van), the legislation is designed to safeguard women’s health and “the unborn.”
“Today is a great day, one that will have far-reaching effects and increase standards for places that perform abortions,” Flynn said. “This is a great day for protecting women’s healthcare and for protecting the unborn.”
SB 5 must sit for 24 hours before the senate can pass it and send it to Gov. Rick Perry, unless the senate votes to suspend the time requirement. The senate has until midnight tomorrow to pass the bill, which is when the special session ends. They will undoubtedly have to weather a filibuster by Senate Democrats.
A full story is being prepared for Tuesday's edition of the Herald-Banner.