The Texas House finally reached a quorum late Thursday, Aug. 20, for the first time since mid-July.
Bills on the governor's agenda that passed the Senate in the earliest days of the session have been in limbo, with the House unable to conduct business. But Thursday, a handful of Democrats who had not previously appeared on the floor were in attendance, allowing the body to reach the 99 members needed for a quorum. Though we have previously reported that 100 members were necessary, the recent resignation of two House members (one was elected to Congress in a special election, another resigned to take a position in higher education) lowered the magic number to 99.
This allowed the House to begin the process of addressing the bills that the Senate has sent over and moving its own bills. Committee hearings will begin Friday on bail reform legislation, with one of the controversial election bills to be heard Saturday.
SB 7, the 13th check legislation, will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee Monday afternoon. House Public Education will meet Tuesday morning to consider House and Senate bills relating to civics instruction ("critical race theory" legislation); SB 2 regarding transgender students in UIL athletic activities; SB 9 addressing how schools provide instruction relating to child abuse, family violence and dating violence; and SB 15 relating to virtual instruction.
It is noteworthy that while committee hearings can begin, the House will continue to require a quorum in order to approve bills that have come to the floor.