Yesterday in a press conference, Governor Abbott announced that there would be a special session of the legislature.
The main reason Abbott called for the special session was to pass a sunset bill for the Texas Medical Board, but the Governor used the opportunity to include an additional 19 bills that he wants voted on. Among the bills were legislation on transgender bathroom use, property tax reform, and school choice for special needs children. However, missing from his agenda were bills such HB 1911 on gun rights, the Texas Sovereignty Act, and many other conservative bills that many were hoping would get an up or down vote in this past session.
The Governor did take a moment to criticize law-makers for making a special session necessary. “There was plenty of time for the house and senate to forge compromises, to avoid the time and the taxpayer expense of a special session. Because of their inability or refusal to pass a simple law that would prevent the medical profession from shutting down, I’m announcing a special session to complete that unfinished business.” In his dressing down of legislators, perhaps the governor had in mind the Mother’s Day Massacre, when the house freedom caucus killed House leadership’s remaining bills because Straus quietly killed the caucus’s agenda, refusing it a vote at the last minute. However, the governor was not specific.
The special session is set to start on July 18th. It is unclear at this time if this will be the only special session called, but as previously reported, the possibility for more sessions until at least some of the Governor’s agenda is passed.