Third special session looms for Texas Legislature

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House speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said Gov. Rick Perry would immediately call a third special session later this evening after transportation funding was left unsolved at the closure of the second special session on Tuesday.

The second special session called by Perry was first initiated to address transportation funding as well as abortion restrictions. The bill on the floor Monday would have raised about $900 million for the Texas Department of Transportation from money intended to go to the Texas Rainy Day Fund, fulfilling the state’s most pressing road construction needs. The House vote on the bill fell 16 votes short from the required 100-vote consensus.

State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, authored the bill and has asked Perry not call another 30-day session immediately and instead wait until after the 2014 primaries.

“Legislators have been in Austin for nearly seven months now, and to go home without dealing with one of the most pressing issues facing all Texans is simply unacceptable,” Perry said in a statement after transportation bills failed Monday. “I join Texans across the state who appreciate the 84 members of the House who voted today to keep Texas moving.”