AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott has announced that he will convene a third special legislative session. The special session will begin on Sept. 20.
Abbott identified 5 agenda items for the third special legislative session in his proclamation, including tackling redistricting, setting restrictions on transgender student-athletes, and allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds amid the ongoing pandemic.
Abbott also included a bill that would ban the tethering of dogs outside with heavy chains, which he had vetoed earlier this year. Abbott said he had vetoed the bill for reasons of "micro-managing" and "over-criminalization".
"The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers," said Governor Abbott. "In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans."
Agenda items for the third Special Session will include:
- Legislation relating to the apportionment of the State of Texas into districts used to elect members of the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, the State Board of Education, and the United States House of Representatives.
- Legislation providing appropriations from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), Pub. L. No. 117-2.
- Legislation identical to Senate Bill 29 as passed by the Texas Senate in the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, disallowing a student from competing in University Interscholastic League athletic competitions designated for the sex opposite to the student's sex at birth.
- Legislation regarding whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate.
- Legislation similar to Senate Bill 474 as passed by the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, but that addresses the concerns expressed in the governor's veto statement.