Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday he's calling a third special session of the legislature.
The first special session failed for a lack of quorum when democrats fled to Washington, D.C. A second session started on Aug. 7. The third special session will start on Monday, Sept. 20.
Following the end of the 87th Legislative Session, the governor called a special session to advance items on his agenda that were not passed during the regular session. But that session collapsed when Texas House Democrats walked out of the Capitol and flew to Washington, D.C., depriving the body of a quorum and stopping the session in its tracks.
The Democrats said they were leaving because the Republicans were pushing an election integrity bill that they said was veiled voter suppression. Republicans say that's not true and the legislation is necessary in order to have secure elections in Texas. Abbott signed that legislation into law on the same day that he called the third special session.
The list of items on Abbott's agenda include:
- Legislation relating to the apportionment of the State of Texas into districts
used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas
Senate, the State Board of Education, and the United States House of
- Legislation providing appropriations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Pub. L. No. 1 17-2.
- Legislation identical to Senate Bill 29 as passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student’s sex at birth.
- Legislation regarding whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate.
- Legislation similar to Senate Bill 474 as passed by 87th Legislature, Regular Session, but that addresses the concerns expressed in the governor’s veto statement.
- Such other subjects as may be submitted by the Governor from time to time after the session convenes.