Texas ended its contentious legislative session Monday as protesters packed into the state Capitol over a new ban on sanctuary cities, and lawmakers erupted into a heated argument with alleged death threats on the House floor.
The chaotic last day at the legislature marked a symbolic end to a polarizing session that had considered issues such as sanctuary cities, bathrooms used by transgender teens and religious objections.
One of the most heated debates during the session was around Senate Bill 4, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. The new law, which goes into effect in September, bans sanctuary cities and punishes local governments that don’t comply with immigration laws and detention requests.
On Monday, protesters filled into the Capitol, wearing red T-shirts, holding signs and chanting slogans, “SB4 has got to go!”
Republican Rep. Matt Rinaldi said in a Facebook post that he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the protesters, although ICE said that its officers “received no such call from local lawmakers.”
In retaliation, Rinaldi said he was “physically assaulted” by Rep. Ramon Romero and threatened by Rep. Poncho Nevarez, who called Rinaldi a liar on Twitter. Romero denied any assault happened.
It was a whirlwind last day of the 85th Texas Legislature, but there may be more this summer.
Abbott could call lawmakers back for a special session that could consider bills that didn’t pass, including a bathroom bill. The governor said he’d announce whether he’ll call a special session later this week, reported CNN affiliate KEYE.
Here’s a look at some of the most controversial Texas bills this session:
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: CNN, Madison Park