Third Texas particular session to start Sept. 20 with 5 legislative priorities

Gov. Greg Abbott has referred to as a 3rd particular legislative session to convene Sept. 20 with 5 priorities for the legislature to deal with.

Every particular session is 30 days, and the governor can name classes consecutively for as many months per his discretion, in keeping with the state structure.

Notably, this session the legislature will start redrawing congressional maps to accommodate an extra two seats Texas will obtain attributable to its elevated inhabitants. Hearings started this week to start out the method forward of the particular session.

“The Texas Legislature now has the chance to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the brand new census numbers,” Abbott mentioned in a press release. “Along with redistricting, there are nonetheless points remaining which can be crucial to constructing a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.”

Redistricting entails the legislature passing payments to divide Texas into districts used to elect members of the Texas Home of Representatives, the Texas Senate, the State Board of Training, and the U.S. Home of Representatives.

Among the many different agenda objects are two that didn’t cross through the second particular session. They embrace the legislature offering enter on how Texas will spend billions of {dollars} in federal cash it acquired by means of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The funding will go towards well being care, nursing houses, vaccine administration, training and plenty of COVID-related applications.

One other measure that didn’t make it by means of earlier classes was SB29, which pertains to prohibiting college students from competing in College Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the intercourse reverse to the scholar’s intercourse at start.

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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who leads the Senate, requested for the invoice to be included within the particular session. The invoice failed within the Home after Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, appointed a Democrat who opposes the invoice to chair the committee overseeing it. Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, chair of the Public Training Committee, prohibited the invoice from making it out of committee.

“We nonetheless have unfinished enterprise to finish on the Honest Sports activities for Girls and Ladies Act,” Patrick mentioned. “The Senate has handed that invoice 4 instances, and it has failed within the Home.” Previous to Labor Day weekend, Patrick requested the governor so as to add the invoice to the particular session, saying then, “we’ll cross it once more.”

Final month, within the wake of controversy surrounding vaccine mandates, the governor mentioned he would add the difficulty to the particular session agenda, saying vaccination necessities has historically been determined by the legislature.

On August 25, Abbott issued an govt order sustaining the present coverage prohibiting the mandating of any COVID-19 vaccinations by any authorities entity in Texas. He additionally mentioned the legislature ought to decide whether or not any state or native governmental entities may mandate people to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine and, if that’s the case, what exemptions ought to apply.

“Vaccine necessities and exemptions have traditionally been decided by the legislature, and their involvement is especially essential to keep away from a patchwork of vaccine mandates throughout Texas,” he mentioned.

The ultimate legislative merchandise on the record is just like SB 474, which handed the common legislative session however was vetoed by Abbott. It considerations the illegal restraint of a canine.

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Notably absent from the third particular session agenda is a legislative precedence Abbott added to the second session: passing laws to reform quorum necessities in order that no future legislature could possibly be hijacked by politicians who break quorum.

Former state legislator and Dallas businessman Don Huffines, who’s working towards Abbott in subsequent yr’s gubernatorial major, mentioned after a 140-day common session and two 30-day particular classes that the legislature nonetheless did not cross a number of conservative reforms voters elected them to cross.

He’s referred to as on the legislature to deal with 20 points, together with offering substantial property tax reduction, reforming the Texas Catastrophe Act of 1975, ending company welfare and taxpayer-funded lobbying, imposing time period limits, passing quorum reform laws, constructing a bodily wall alongside the whole Texas border with Mexico, amongst others.

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