Abbott Announces Special Session

Eye-popping 20 item sprint begins July 18

The only thing more ridiculous than scheduling 20 items for a special session is the reality of this man running the state of Texas.
The only thing more ridiculous than scheduling 20 items for a special session is the reality of this man running the state of Texas. (Photo by John Anderson)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans for a special session this summer, to clean up a bit of the leftover mess from the recently concluded 85th legislative session. The state’s House and Senate will reconvene at the Capitol on July 18. Abbott will have lawmakers consider legislation to fix the state’s Medical Board.

That’s a part of the state’s Sunset bill, which did not get squared away before sine die last Monday. Abbott said the Lege won’t consider any other initiatives until that bill “pass[es] out of the Senate in full,” at which point he plans to return 19 other items for consideration, including a number of education-based initiatives: teacher salaries, practices for teacher hiring and firing, school finance, and school vouchers for students with disabilities. Abbott also signaled plans to bring up property tax reform, population growth and inflation spending caps, local regulations, annexations, a new texting while driving ban that pre-empts local regulation, ending union deductions at state and local levels, prohibitions on local governments funding abortion providers, and – well, the list goes on and on.

Somewhere in the middle of the governor’s laundry list was mention of a bathroom bill. “At a minimum,” he said, “we need a law that protects the privacy of our children in our public schools.”

20 items is a whole hell of a lot to get through within 30 days – the pre-determined amount of time that a special session can last before Abbott would have to call a new one. We’ll see how far along this disjointed and eternally bickering legislature can get.

For more on Abbott’s press conference, see this week’s print edition.

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Greg Abbott, 85th Lege

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