AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – After negotiations between the Texas House and Senate over a controversial elections bill, an agreement may be reached in the next few hours.
State Sen. Bryan Hughes, of Tyler, said Friday afternoon House and Senate members hope to announce an agreement on a final version of SB 7 by the end of the day.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
Among other things, the legislation will ban counties from sending out unsolicited mail ballot applications and from establishing 24-hour voting and drive-thru voting, as Harris County did in November.
The bill will also establish rules for poll watchers.
Republicans and Democrats have had sharp differences over the bill.
Democrats call it a voter suppression bill, while Republicans say it’s needed to prevent fraud.
Lawmakers will work through the holiday weekend because the regular session ends Monday.READ MORE: Fort Hood Soldier Accused Of Smuggling Migrants Into Texas From Mexico
Negotiations are also continuing on SB 3, a large bill aimed at preventing the deadly power outages in February from happening again.
Among other things, it would require a statewide alert system to be established to notify the public if there may be interruptions in their electric power.
It would also require power generators and other facilities to winterize their equipment.
A source familiar with the bill said one of the main sticking points is whether wind and solar providers will have to provide additional generation during an emergency.
Other bills being negotiated would allow the state to provide low-cost loans to electric co-ops and other power generators to pay for winterization projects.
Gov. Greg Abbott warned lawmakers after the February outages that he would not let them leave the Capitol if they didn’t address this issue.MORE NEWS: Man Pulled From Grapevine Lake In Critical Condition
Lawmakers are still considering what the final version of a bill will be that would allow school districts to be fully compensated for offering virtual learning to students next fall.