Gov. Greg Abbott assigned 11 items to the Texas Legislature during a special session that started the morning of Thursday, July 8.
The list includes hot-bottom issues such as election integrity, critical race theory in the classroom, and transgender competitors in University Interscholastic League sports.
During the regular session, the Legislature did not address two topics the governor identified as critical: election and bail reform. During the last hours of that session in May, Democrats in the Texas House walked out, denying the body a quorum in order to vote on an election integrity bill.
In the aftermath, Abbott said he would call a special session for election and bail reform along with other possible items. Later, he issued a line item veto to cut funding for the legislative side of the Texas state government, which doesn’t affect the current year but hits the next budget in September. Under the Texas Constitution, state legislators themselves are protected, but the move strips pay from their staff as well as several other state agencies such as the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, the Sunset Advisory Commission, and the State Auditor.
The governor has outlined the following items he wants addressed during the special session:
- bail reform
- election integrity
- border security
- social media censorship
- legislative funding (Article X)
- family violence prevention
- transgender youth and University Interscholastic League sports
- abortion-inducing drugs
- “thirteen” check (one-time supplemental payment of benefits under Teacher Retirement System of Texas)
- critical race theory
- appropriations for property-tax relief
- enhanced protection for safety of children in Texas’ foster-care system