When the clock struck midnight on Saturday, it all but sealed the fate of the last remaining bill relating to emergency powers reform.

House Bill 3—or the Texas Pandemic Response Act, as it was known when it originally left the House of Representatives—was almost completely gutted and replaced with Senate Bill 1025 when it went through the Senate State Affairs Committee. It passed the Senate on May 25; when it got back to the House, they chose to appoint a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions, which were stark.

Due to a midnight deadline on Saturday, the bill is dead, as the conference committee report was never distributed.

This marks the end of a saga in the Texas Legislature with two varied approaches between the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Senate passed bills that sought to reform emergency authorities at both the state and local executive levels by passing SB 1025, SJR 45, and SB 1616. The House never granted hearings to many of its reform bills, which included HB 2097, HB 2098, HJR 42, and HB 665. The House even voted down an amendment to HB 3 when it passed the House that would have banned all future mask mandates.

The 87th regular legislative session ends on Monday, May 31, but deadlines now preclude any additional consideration of any remaining bills related to reforming emergency powers.

Jeramy Kitchen

Jeramy Kitchen serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard as well as host of 'This Week in Texas', a show previewing the week ahead in Texas politics. After managing campaigns for conservative legislators across the state, serving as Chief of Staff for multiple conservative state legislators, and serving as Legislative Director for the largest public policy think tank in Texas, Jeramy moved outside of the Austin bubble to focus on bringing transparency to the legislative process.