Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Wednesday announcing a special legislative session to address election integrity, among other issues.
“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success for the people of Texas, but we have unfinished business to ensure that Texas remains the most exceptional state in America,” Abbott said in a statement.
“Two of my emergency items, along with other important legislation, did not make it to my desk during the regular session, and we have a responsibility to finish the job on behalf of all Texans.”
I’ve outlined a list of Special Session priority items that put TX first. I look forward to working with the #txlege as we build a brighter future for all Texans.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 7, 2021
“These Special Session priority items put the people of Texas first and will keep the Lone Star State on a path to prosperity,” the governor further noted. “I look forward to working with my partners in the Legislature to pass this legislation as we build a brighter future for all who call Texas home.”
Abbott’s special session agenda identified 11 issues. Among the topics noted is election integrity, a key reason behind the special session. Democrats walked out on the final day of the regular session to keep a vote on voting reform from moving forward.
Although the Texas state Senate approved the bill on the Saturday before the regular session ended in May, the House was deliberating the next day as the legislative clock ran down. The legislative session in Texas — an eventful one by any measure — ended at midnight.
Democrats walked out at about 10:45 p.m. local time on May 30, meaning the House did not have the 100 members necessary for a quorum. It then had to adjourn, according to CNN.
Sawyer Hackett, executive director of former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro’s People First Future group, tweeted a photo of the chamber in a post that referred to the legislation as a “voter suppression bill.”
WOW. Dozens of Texas House Democrats walked out of the chamber to break quorum on SB7, Republicans’ voter suppression bill.
Only an hour and change until the session expires. pic.twitter.com/V8ojDV4EBj
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) May 31, 2021
Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan said the decision by Democrats to abruptly leave the chamber killed several bills that Democrats had joined Republicans in supporting.
“Texans shouldn’t have to pay the consequences of these members’ actions — or in this case, inaction,” he said, adding that the majority of Texans support “making our elections stronger and more secure,” according to The Washington Post.
Another important agenda item that will be addressed in the special session is border security.
“Legislation providing funding to support law-enforcement agencies, counties, and other strategies as part of Texas’ comprehensive border security plan,” will be included as one of the key items, according to Abbott’s agenda.
Texas conservatives will strongly advocate in the pro-life area as well.
The special session agenda will address abortion-inducing drugs, noting, “Legislation similar to Senate Bill 394 from the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, which prohibits people from providing abortion-inducing drugs by mail or delivery service, strengthens the laws applicable to the reporting of abortions and abortion complications, and ensures that no abortion-inducing drugs are provided unless there is voluntary and informed consent.”
Two additional hot button items on the special agenda section include critical race theory and youth sports legislation related to transgenderism. Both topics were addressed in the state’s general session, and will once again be discussed during the July 8 gathering.
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