Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the 85th Texas Legislature back into a special session beginning on July 18. The controversial “bathroom bill,” property tax relief, and 17 other issues not completed in the regular session that ended in May are on the agenda.
“We need a law that protects the privacy of our children in public schools,” Abbott told reporters during his announcement of the special session. The governor also expressed his displeasure at the legislature for not finishing its business during the general session.
“Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today,” Abbott said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, “and there was plenty of time for the legislature to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session.”
The new legislative session may only consider legislation pertaining to items referred by the governor during a special session.
Governor Abbott called for the following:
- Sunset legislation
- Teacher pay increase of $1,000
- Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices
- School finance reform commission
- School choice for special needs students
- Property tax reform
- Caps on state and local spending
- Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
- Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
- Speeding up local government permitting process
- Municipal annexation reform
- Texting while driving preemption
- Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues
- Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers
- Pro-life insurance reform
- Strengthening abortion reporting requirements when health complications arise
- Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders
- Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud
- Extending maternal mortality task force
Only the governor may call a special legislative session. Under the Texas Constitution, the special session may not last more than 30 days. The legislature may adjourn at any time before that if they have completed the business handed to them. Any number of special sessions may be called. Former Governor Rick Perry frequently called the legislature back for consecutive sessions.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick welcomed the call from the governor to complete items that he previously called priorities for the session.
“I want to congratulate Governor Abbott for his big and bold special session agenda which solidly reflects the priorities of the people of Texas,” Patrick said in a written statement obtained by Brietbart Texas. “Almost every issue he addressed today passed the Senate during the regular session and I am confident the senators are ready to hit the ground running to move these issues forward.”
“The people of Texas have a right to expect that we will finish the job on these critical issues and I am happy to join with the governor in doing the work they elected us to do,” Patrick concluded. “I continue to be proud to serve with Gov. Abbott and look forward to working with him in the upcoming special session.”
Regarding the number of items in his legislative call, Governor Abbott said, “As Governor, if I am going to call a special session, I intend to make it count.”