In a proclamation issued Thursday, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced a second special legislative session starting at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 7 after Texas House Democrats fled to Washington, D.C. — and apparently Portugal — to deny a quorum.
"The Texas Legislature achieved a great deal during the 87th Legislative Session, and they have a responsibility to finish the work that was started," Abbott said in a release, adding he "will continue to call special session after special session" in order to "chart a course towards a stronger and brighter future for the Lone Star State."
Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation announcing that he will convene a second special legislative session at 12:00 p.m. on August 7, 2021.— Mike Emanuel ???? (@MikeEmanuelFox) August 5, 2021
The proclamation identifies 17 agenda items for the second Special Session. pic.twitter.com/01bJPAWNd9
Governor Abbott also announced 17 agenda items for the legislature to consider during the second special session including election security, legislative quorum requirements, accountability for big tech, funding for law enforcement and border security, in-person education, non-mandatory COVID vaccines, and more conservative priorities.
As Abbott's proclamation explains, the special session will consider:
- Reforming the bail system in Texas to protect the public from accused criminals who may be released on bail.
- Strengthening the integrity of elections in Texas.
- Providing appropriations from unappropriated available revenues for COVID-19-related healthcare expenses.
- Providing strategies for public-school education in prekindergarten through twelfth grade during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ensures... in-person learning is available for any students whose parent wants it, the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory, and COVID-19 vaccinations are always voluntary.
- Enhancing criminal laws or providing funding from unappropriated available revenues to support law enforcement agencies, counties, and other strategies as part of Texas' comprehensive border security plan.
- Safeguarding the freedom of speech by protecting social-media and email users from being censored based on the user's expressed viewpoints, including by providing a legal remedy for those wrongfully excluded from a platform.
- Disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student's sex at birth.
- Legislation which prohibits people from providing abortion-inducing drugs by mail or delivery service, strengthens the laws applicable to the reporting of abortions and abortion complications, and ensures that no abortion-inducing drugs are provided unless there is voluntary and informed consent.
- Legislation relating to legislative quorum requirements.
I'm convening a second special session on 8/7.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 5, 2021
The #txlege must finish the work that was started.
I'll call special session after special session to reform our broken bail system, uphold election integrity, & pass other items Texans demand & deserve. https://t.co/EXoHBR0JTg