Texas Legislative Session Winds to a Close

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Governor Rick Perry appealed to state lawmakers Monday "to rise above their differences and finish the work of the people of Texas."

His appeal came after a walkout by opponents of state House Speaker Tom Craddick walked out of the House in the pre-dawn hours Monday. That denied the chamber of a quorum and brought its work to a halt.

Perry said the rupture in the House has "placed in serious jeopardy legislation that has statewide impact." He specified legislation addressing state water, border security, clean air, parks funding and energy policy.

Another bill awaiting House action calls for mandatory random steroid tests for every high school athlete in the state.

A rush of legislation is expected today as the Texas House and Senate hurry to get as much done as possible before the Legislature adjourns at midnight (Central time). Thirty-two bills are left on the schedule.

Democratic state Representative Joaquin Castro and others who participated in the walkout say they could vote to suspend the rules to take up the legislation when they meet Monday afternoon.