State lawmakers will reconvene in Austin on Thursday for a special legislative session called by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Abbott made the announcement three weeks after the 87th regular legislative session ended.
A special session in Texas can last no more than 30 days. If the governor isn’t satisfied with the outcome of this special session, or if he wants lawmakers to focus on additional topics, he can call additional sessions – as many as he wants.
A statement released by Governor Abbott says, “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. 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.”
Special Session agenda items include: Bail Reform; Election Integrity; Border Security; Social Media Censorship; Article X Funding; Family Violence Prevention; Youth Sports; Abortion Inducing Drugs; Thirteenth Check; Critical Race Theory and Appropriations. Only legislative items that the governor puts on the agenda can be discussed during a Special Session.
Many lawmakers felt that Republican-backed Senate Bill 7’s failure to pass would be addressed even before the July 8 agenda was announced. House Democrats walked out off the floor, breaking quorum to prevent a vote regarding the hotly debated voting rights issue.
The Texas Constitution only allows the governor the power to call for a special session. According to the Quorum Report, a 30-day special session typically costs about $1 million in tax dollars.