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Abbott’s Signals on What Could Be on a Special Session Agenda

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On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that a special legislative session would take place starting July 8. However, he stopped short of announcing what specific issues will be considered as part of the call.

Based on previous statements by Abbott himself, we can speculate on some of the issues he might add.

Election Integrity and Bail Reform

On February 1, Abbott announced both election integrity and bail reform as emergency legislative priorities as part of his biennial State of the State address.

The Legislature could have almost immediately moved to consider these items, but they chose not to. Two different omnibus election integrity bills were filed: one in the state Senate and the other in the House of Representatives. After a series of bizarre parliamentary maneuvers, a revised Senate Bill 7 was ultimately considered by both chambers. Both chambers appointed conferees to a conference committee near the end of May, and the report came back on May 29.

In the waning hours of the 87th Legislative Session, Republican leadership enabled a majority of House Democrat lawmakers to “bust quorum.” This meant that the conference committee reports for both the omnibus election integrity bill and the bail reform bills could no longer be considered, ending their prospects altogether.

Abbott quickly took to Twitter to indicate that both of these issues would be added to a special session agenda.

Funding for the Legislature

As a result of two of his emergency legislative priorities dying, Abbott threatened to defund the Legislature by line-item vetoing the section of the budget he was in the midst of considering for the next biennium.

A little more than two weeks later, he followed through on that threat and indicated he would not restore funding for the Legislature until certain priorities, such as election integrity and bail

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