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House gavels in and out

That was quick.

The House gaveled in shortly after 10 a.m. today and adjourned about 10 minutes later after Speaker Joe Straus announced that he’ll have a better idea about the special session’s schedule when the body reconvenes at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

So far, only one bill has been filed in the House, and Straus said House and Senate leaders will be meeting to coordinate which bills will taken up first in the individual bodies.

“It will be more apparent tomorrow what our schedule is,” Straus said.

Several other bills have been filed in the Senate, including SB8, the health care compact bill that will likely be more sound and fury than anything else. Three bills are scheduled for committee hearings on Thursday.

A school district mandate relief bill is among the select few so far that will be considered during the special legislative session.

No text is available yet so it’s not clear which approach will carry the day: the limited and temporary Senate version, which did not include lifting the cap on class sizes; or far-reaching and permanent as House Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, has preferred.

Neither cleared its respective chamber, though the Senate proposal seemed to have some legs if it could have made it to the floor. The Democrats blocked it but that will not be an option this time around.

Another education bill, formerly known as House Bill 6, is also back. That one, which became a bit of an education free-for-all, didn’t get out of the House before the midnight deadline on Sunday.

Last but certainly not least is the school finance measure, which is still nestled among the budget-related tome that is the real reason we’ve all returned, now called Senate Bill 1. That bill frees up the revenue, mostly by deferring a school payment into the next budget, to pay for the $172 billion two-year budget.

Robert Miller thinks the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis at the end of the session was a strategic mistake on the grounds that the Republicans plan to pass their school-related bills before any further opposition can get organized. However, the House doesn’t expect to see any action till next week, which doesn’t sound particularly quick to me. We’ll see how it goes.

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