US: America’s Future Is Texas

Lawrence Wright's in-depth piece examines the Texas government which has been embroiled in controversy over laws that restrict LGBT rights

The session was the most fractious in memory, and the bad feelings stirred up in the capitol will linger long after the lawmakers return home. Immigrant communities are fearful, lawmakers are vengeful, and hatemongers feel entitled to spread their message. And the bitter battle among Texas Republicans isn’t over. Governor Abbott called a special session, to reconvene on July 18th, and set forth a list of twenty items that he said required action. Most of them could have been passed in the regular session; none of them were a priority for him before the session began. In addition to the bathroom bill, his list of demands included education vouchers, caps on state and local spending, and new abortion restrictions. He also asked for a thousand-dollar raise for public-school teachers, which the local school boards—not the state—would likely have to pay for. “I expect legislators to return with a calm demeanor, and with a firm commitment to make Texas even better,” he said. Straus was not intimidated. He told me, “We’re under no obligation to pass anything.” ♦ Read more via The New Yorker