AUSTIN, Texas - Texas is nearing the final 24 hours of its third special legislative session with some bills making it through to law while other bills are being filed under unfinished business that may not make it to the governor’s desk.
"We're kind of in the final stretch of all the debate and the argumentation," said Eddy Carder, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law, Philosophy, And Ethics At Prairie View A&M University.
The third special legislative session will come to an end at midnight on Wednesday. "There are a number of issues that are not yet resolved and not yet remedied," said Carder.
One of the main bills on the session's agenda is redistricting. The new redistricting map has been finally approved following a conference committee and has been sent off to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, but the controversy surrounding the new map has sparked legal challenges.
"The late-breaking news is that there has already been a lawsuit filed with regard to the discriminatory nature of the redistricting plan for the state of Texas even before the bill has been signed into law by the governor," said Carder.
Also to pass through the legislative session are HB 25 and SB5.
Senate Bill 5 creates a criminal offense relating to the unlawful restraint of a dog. House Bill 25 is still awaiting a signature, but is expected to become law and that bill requires public school students to compete in athletic competitions based on a person’s biological sex.
The governor had also added SB 51 onto the agenda. A bill that would make it illegal to mandate COVID-19 vaccines and discriminate against vaccine status. The bill does not look like it will make it through.
"Currently, it looks as though that particular bill, which prohibits the mandating of COVID vaccines at virtually every level in the state of Texas, it looks as though that bill does not have the support to pass. and so that may indeed be one of the reasons why we are really looking at the possibility or likelihood of a fourth session," he said.