Tuesday was an eventful day on the House floor. Midnight Tuesday was the deadline for the House to consider Senate bills on “second reading,” which is the first debate and vote on legislation. (First reading is when a bill is first introduced and assigned to a committee; third reading and a final vote occurs on the day after second reading.)

In addition to passing three TCTA bills (more on that later in the week), House members considered several priority bills, including the major school safety bill of the session and a related mental health bill.

The mental health legislation, SB 10, created the Texas Mental Health Consortium and was one of several bills filed in response to the Santa Fe ISD school shooting two years ago. State leaders have worked to address several areas of concern this session, ranging from school “hardening” (improving security at school facilities) to prevention (identifying and treating students with mental health issues), with SB 10 the primary legislation dealing with the latter. SB 10 would connect children with mental health professionals through collaboration among the state’s institutions of higher education, such as the public university systems’ health science centers, Baylor College of Medicine, and more.

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) called a point of order on SB 10, jeopardizing its passage. He later told the Texas Tribune he had concerns over what he considered to be inadequate provisions for parent rights. At this point in the session, a successful point of order would normally kill a bill, but this legislation was important enough that the leadership found a way to revive it – adding provisions from the bill as an amendment to the school safety bill (SB 11) that had passed earlier in the day.

SB 11 was brought back to the floor in the final hours of Tuesday evening for reconsideration, amended with the SB 10 provisions over prolonged objections by Stickland, and then re-passed on a preliminary vote of 130-11. The final vote on SB 11 will be held Wednesday, before it is returned to the Senate, which will consider whether to accept the House changes or request a conference committee.